Tuning Cool'n'Quiet: Maximize Power And Performance, Part 2

Benchmark Results: Photoshop CS4

For this test, we ran Driverheaven.net's Photoshop benchmark script, using the default test image. The script runs several filters in sequence: Texturizer, CMYK Color Conversion, RGB Color Conversion, Ink Outlines, Dust & Scratches, Watercolor, Texturizer, Stained Glass, Lighting Effects, Mosaic Tiles, Extrude, Smart Blur, Underpainting, Palette Knife, and Sponge.

The red line says it all: Adobe Photoshop CS4, or more precisely, the filters used in the benchmark script, do not fully utilize both cores (Ed.: our own in-house Photoshop CS4 benchmark, on the other hand, is made up of threaded filters, so your mileage may vary).

The performance graph looks familiar, doesn't it? First, let’s talk results. If these numbers are to be believed, Photoshop (or at least the filters used in the benchmark) are more sensitive to clock rate than cache size. We already know they're not multi-threaded, so that’s not a factor. If the filters were, in fact, threaded, we wouldn’t see the Athlon II X2 250 offering more performance than the Phenom II X3 710. Remember, the 6MB L3 cache should have (using the term loosely here) compensated for the 400 MHz difference in clock.

Since the difference in power consumption is lower than the difference in time spent running the benchmark, total power consumption numbers favor the quad-core processors again.

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  • Anonymous
    crystalcpuid is a better alternative to AMD's CNQ. Multiplier management allows a wide range of multplier/voltages to be selected. A bit of testing and you can use really low voltages at only slightly lowered multiplier settings. Power consumption is related to the square of the voltage so low voltage give massive power savings. AMD CNQ uses very conservative CPU voltages. You dont need to stick to that ridiculously low idle frequency either and its latency penalties.
  • pertshire
    Great article. Really open my eyes that quads can actually be more energy efficient that dual cores (On application that ends of course)