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AMD Athlon64 - 64-bit vs. 32-bit Head On Comparison

AMD Athlon64 - 64-bit vs. 32-bit Head On Comparison - PCSTATS
Abstract: What does 64-bit, specifically the 64-bit support built into AMD's Athlon 64 and AthlonFX processors, have to offer the gamer and enthusiast markets?
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Oct 18 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Athlon64

64-bit Benchmarks: Streams

Streams Source: PCStats

The streams benchmarks consist of 32-bit and 64-bit executables that have been optimized for AMD64. Please note that these executables have not been optimized for any other microprocessor and do not run on processors without SSE2 support (such as the AMD Athlon XP).

Streams
Copy MB/s Ranking
WindowsXP Pro w/SP1 (32 bit Mode) 5640.97

WindowsXP 64 (32 bit Mode)

5489.44

WindowsXP 64 (64 bit Mode)

5518.41

Scale

MB/s

Ranking

WindowsXP Pro w/SP1 (32 bit Mode) 5590.86

WindowsXP 64 (32 bit Mode)

5425.46

WindowsXP 64 (64 bit Mode)

5496.74

Add

MB/s

Ranking

WindowsXP Pro w/SP1 (32 bit Mode) 5621.4

WindowsXP 64 (32 bit Mode)

5546.84

WindowsXP 64 (64 bit Mode)

5582.54

Triad

MB/s

Ranking

WindowsXP Pro w/SP1 (32 bit Mode) 5640.59

WindowsXP 64 (32 bit Mode)

5531.16

WindowsXP 64 (64 bit Mode)

5594.25

In case you were getting excited by the whole thing, this should bring you back to earth. As the results from this benchmark show, running the same program in 64-bit mode is not necessarily going to net you a performance increase if the program itself does not take advantage of the benefits that 64-bit operations or the Athlon 64's extra registers offer. Indeed, the additional complexities of 64-bit memory operations may even slow things down.

The STREAMS benchmark is designed to test the 'sustainable' memory bandwidth of a given system by providing it with a steady stream of large operations which exceed the size of the processor's available cache memory. This simulates the efficiency and performance of the system under sustained, heavy workloads while steering clear of dubious 'peak memory bandwidth' numbers which are dependent on the processor having the required data available in its cache memory.

Since the STREAMS benchmark is sending the same set of operations from the memory to the processor in both the 32-bit and 64-bit bit benchmarks, the performance should stay essentially the same (unless perhaps you installed more than 4GB of memory on the 64-bit mode test).

What we saw was that using 64-bit memory addressing, or especially converting the memory addressing of a 32-bit executable to work with the 64-bit version of XP, imposed a slight memory bandwidth hit. While not big enough to be an issue, it proves what we were already seeing from the previous benchmark results: 32-bit code runs slightly slower in a 64-bit environment than it does in its native 32-bit habitat.

On a more positive note, the results from this memory bandwidth test indicate that any gains made in 64-bit mode on the other tests are specifically the result of the processor using the extra registers and headroom available to it. Since we know that memory bandwidth is the same or slightly reduced in 64-bit mode, any gains in performance must come from within the processor itself.

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Contents of Article: AMD Athlon64
 Pg 1.  AMD Athlon64 - 64-bit vs. 32-bit Head On Comparison
 Pg 2.  AMD64 and 64-bit Operations
 Pg 3.  No Mess Solution for 64-bit
 Pg 4.  AMD's Second Major Innovation
 Pg 5.  64-bit Extra Registers
 Pg 6.  64-bit Benchmarks: nvidia, mini-gzip, DivX
 Pg 7.  — 64-bit Benchmarks: Streams
 Pg 8.  64-bit Benchmarks: RSA Cyrptography
 Pg 9.  From 32-to-64-bit Conclusions

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