The Panorama Factory photo stitching
The Panorama Factory handles an increasingly popular image processing task: joining together multiple images to create a wide-aspect panorama. This task can require lots of memory and can be computationally intensive, so The Panorama Factory comes in a 64-bit version that's widely multithreaded. I asked it to join four pictures, each eight megapixels, into a glorious panorama of the interior of Damage Labs.
In the past, we've added up the time taken by all of the different elements of the panorama creation wizard and reported that number, along with detailed results for each operation. However, doing so is incredibly data-input-intensive, and the process tends to be dominated by a single, long operation: the stitch. Thus, we've simply decided to report the stitch time, which saves us a lot of work and still gets at the heart of the matter.
Because it measures completion time in seconds, this test gives us an easily accessible sense of how going with a lightweight CPU could affect the user experience. You'd be waiting roughly a minute longer for the panorama to be stitched together on an E-350 than on an Athlon II X3 455. With an Atom D525, you'd be waiting another 19 seconds beyond that.
picCOLOR image processing and analysis
picCOLOR was created by Dr. Reinert H. G. Müller of the FIBUS Institute. This isn't Photoshop; picCOLOR's image analysis capabilities can be used for scientific applications like particle flow analysis. Dr. Müller has supplied us with new revisions of his program for some time now, all the while optimizing picCOLOR for new advances in CPU technology, including SSE extensions, multiple cores, and Hyper-Threading. Many of its individual functions are multithreaded.
At our request, Dr. Müller graciously agreed to re-tool his picCOLOR benchmark to incorporate some real-world usage scenarios. Thus, we now have four tests that employ picCOLOR for image analysis. We've summarized the results of those tests below, alongside the results from picCOLOR's synthetic tests of image processing functions.
The baseline for all of these results is a Pentium III 1GHz, interestingly enough. That chip would score 1.0 on these tests, so the E-350 APU is 3-4 times as fast as the PIII. Then again, the E-350 is only about half as quick as the Core 2 Duo E6400. The good news for AMD's new APU? It's again a little quicker than the Atom D525.
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