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Intel Dual Core Pentium Extreme Edition 840 Review

First, we ran Unreal Tournament 2004 Timedemo alone, testing
out the single task performance of the Dual Core.

We chose to run the normal 1024 x 768 resolution and a low resolution of 640
x 480 as this is a CPU test and not a GPU test. At low resolutions, the system
is CPU-limited rather than GPU-limited, and thus we can really determine the
performance of the Dual Core.

As many know, UT2004 is an extremely CPU-limited game so there is virtually
no change in performance going from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768. The Pentium Extreme
Edition 840 lags behind by around 10% in this single task and
single threaded environment.

We tested out the multi-tasking performance next. We used a
556MB VOB Video file from a DVD and started converting it to DiVX format. The
task of video conversion takes up a lot of processing power so its a good way
to see if the Dual Core can really multi-task decently.

This time round, the tables are turned. The Pentium Extreme Edition 840 now
takes the lead, 13% faster in low resolution and 7%
faster in higher resolution. Apparently, the Dual Core really steps in in the
multi-tasking environment to raise the bar one notch above Hyper-Threading Technology.


We decided to pull the system further by running 3 CPU intensive
applications instead of just the previous 2. We ran Trend Micro Virus Scanner
on top of the Video conversion and UT2004. Point to note, the drive that is
being virus-scanned is a seperate drive from where the game is installed in.
This eliminates hard disk read/write speeds from the equation of accurate CPU

This is what real multi-tasking is about I guess… ability to run your games
very decently while doing the nitty gritty work in the background! The Extreme
Edition 840 now becomes 38% faster in low resolution and 25%
faster in higher resolutions. Game is definitely very playable even with the
2 CPU intensive applications running in the background. Just a side note, UT2004
is a weird game to benchmark on, at times timedemos can run a bit faster at
higher resolutions than lower…


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