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Friday, August 17, 2007

How fast is your processor?

Recently I have been involved in a series of discussions about performance and processors speed. And in all these discussions people use words like "slightly slower", "a little bit slower", "not that slow", but up to this moment I have not seen anybody presenting a real number, a result of a real test.

There are many benchmark programs and all of them include Processors tests but sometime they are hard to read and harder to compare the results. So I started to think about an easy way to show exactly how slow is a processor compared to another and I remembered then about a Chess program that I used back in the 80s: Fritz. That program has a benchmark option to measure how many positions a processor can calculate per second. This test only measure that and it does not depend on the memory installed or any other hardware parameter. Then somebody pointed me to this program which does that and only that, it checks how many chess positions per second any processor can calculate.

I ran the program in my both UMPCs, the eo v7110 and the Q1 Celeron and I asked a group of people to run it in Q1Us (A110) and a eo i7210 (Pentium M). I gathered all the reports and selected the best results in each case. I have to say at this point that all the results for a single device were very close one to another. And that's normal because the only thing that could may this test to have different results is the processor being used while the test was running. This means that for a higher score you had to be sure that there was not any program using the processor at that time. That's all.

So here are the screen shots of the results that I have selected.

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I have prepared a little table with these results and some calculations.

table

The column in the right shows how slow is any Processor compared to a Pentium M running at 1000 MHz used in the first generation of UMPCs.

This could be not the best way to test how good is a processor but at least is one of the simplest one I have found. If you know of any other method I'll be glad to test it and gather again all this information just to have real numbers to compare each processor.

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