We started to use POV-Ray quite recently as it stresses the CPU severely and the latest Beta version allows you to run a test that is either single or multi-threaded. This has been very useful to show the worth of a dual core processor over a single core processor but it’s not exactly a real-world test. For that we took a one hour TV show that was encoded with DivX to give a file size of 715MB and then transcoded it to DVD using Nero 184.108.40.206. If you’ve ever downloaded a TV show from one of the peer-to-peer networks and want to watch it on your TV you’ll know that this is a quick and simple approach but the transcoding can take an hour on a decent PC.
We compared FX-57, X2 4800+ and FX-60 and just for fun we added in the Intel XE 955 and i975X that Benny looked at here, which we used with 1GB of Samsung DDR2-5300 memory.
3DMark05 gave similar results across the board as you would expect as it tests the graphics card and memory system, rather than the processor. PCMark certainly favoured the dual core processors and the FX-57 trailed X2 4800+ and the 955XE by 20 per cent, while the FX-60 came out on top by a healthy six per cent.
In the single threaded POV-Ray test the results went with processor clock speed, but in the ‘All CPUs’ test the FX-57 just looked silly while the 955XE with its four virtual cores cleaned the floor with the X2 4800+ and FX-60.
Our video encoding test painted a very different picture, and while the FX-57 still looked like a slowcoach, the Intel processor lost out heavily to the dual core AMD processors, while the FX-60 was nine per cent faster than the X2 4800+ which is exactly what you would expect from their respective clock speeds.
The conclusion is quite simple. Athlon 64 FX-60 is a missile of a processor and if you thought it was worth the cash to buy one of the previous models of FX then you should place your order for an FX-60 now. However, if you currently own an Athlon 64 X2, while there’s no doubt that the FX-60 will be an improvement, it would be hard to justify the asking price.