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WorldBench
WorldBench's overall score is a pretty decent indication of general-use performance for desktop computers. This benchmark uses scripting to step through a series of tasks in common Windows applications and then produces an overall score for comparison. WorldBench also records individual results for its component application tests, allowing us to compare performance in each. We'll look at the overall score, and then we'll show individual application results alongside the results from some of our own application tests. Because WorldBench's tests are entirely scripted, we weren't able to capture Task Manager plots for them, as you'll notice.

Like most of the desktop applications out there today, including its component apps, WorldBench doesn't gain much from more than two CPU cores. In fact, the Core 2 Duo E8500 nestles into fourth place just behind the quad-core QX6850. Clock for clock, Intel's Core 2 architecture again looks to be faster, with the Core 2 Quad Q6600 scoring quite a bit higher than the Phenom X4 9750.

Productivity and general use software

MS Office productivity

Firefox web browsing

Multitasking - Firefox and Windows Media Encoder

WinZip file compression

Nero CD authoring

The new Phenoms put in a series of respectable showings in these productivity apps, with the 9850 matching up particularly well against the Core 2 Quad Q6600. The two exceptions are WinZip, where I'd wager the Core 2 chips' larger caches may be helping them, and Nero, which depends greatly on disk controller performance. Here, the Phenoms' scores suffer due to the 790FX chipset's problems with ACHI and NCQ.