OUR BRITISH friends behind the famed Sandra benchmark suite, are putting in some serious work to push forward the suite in face of the increasing competition like Everest and such.
After all, Sisoftware Sandra has been popular for a long time due to its rich graphics, multitude of CPU, memory and I/O tests, as well as easy-to-create summary reports in a variety of formats.
The upcoming Sandra 2009 promises a lot more, and we've been running its beta over the past few weeks - yeah, the one in Original (British) English flavour.
Besides getting some record results on the 2.66 GHz 4-socket 24-core Dunnington demo box at IDF (how does 300,000 MIPS and 230 GFLOPs in double precision sound?) the new Sandra also shows some truly good NUMA-optimised dual socket Gainestown Nehalem memory bandwidth numbers on the Tylersburg platform, exactly thrice that of the dual socket Skulltrail.
All this pales in comparison to something else Sandra can do: it is the first combined CPU and GPU computational throughput benchmark we're aware of - with nice comparison graphs to boot. Even the beta version is stable - so expect the final one very soon.
We put together a simple configuration, using a 3.2 GHz QX9650 Asus Striker Extreme X48 setup with 8GB RAM of DDR3-1600 Kingston memory and Windoze Vista 64-bit SP1.
We ran a spread of the most recent graphics cards on the Nvidia side, Asus GTX280 TOP and Leadtek GTX260, as well as the older Asus 9800GTX TOP (same speeds as the current 9800GTX+) and 9800GX2 dual GPU monster. The GPUs were all run at factory settings here.
So, how does the ultimate PC, a total of four 3.2GHz cores, compare with the GPUs in this - highly synthetic, mind you - Mandelbrot comparison using the new 'pixels per second' measure? Here are the screen shots:
vs the GPUs:
Finally, the current version couldn't run on the AMD cards under Vista64 - we'll fix a separate test run on XP64 instead for this purpose. In the meantime, look how the Nforce GTX280 compares to the reference AMD graphics cards provided by Sandra. Strange, this is an obnoxiously high advantage for Nvidia over the cards that all have a theoretical GFLOPs advantage over it - 2.5x in the case of 4870X2, for instance.
Coming back to the results, as you can see, Sandra bandwidth results correspond nicely to the vendor's claimed GPU memory bandwidth minus some overhead. The numbers, in excess of 80GB/s for GTX260 and dual 4870, show how far things go. If the run passed fine on the GTX280 TOP, it'd have exceeded 100GB/s handily.
As for the computational numbers in this Mandelbrot run, well look at it this way: hundreds of Mpixels for CPU vs Gpixels for the GPU - says it all.
Once the release version is out, we'll be showing the complete NV vs ATI GPU computation and memory benchmarks - in the meantime, enjoy the early peep at t he scores! µ
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