Next up is SiSoft's Sandra system diagnosis program, which includes a number of different benchmarks. The one of interest to us is the "multimedia" benchmark, intended to show off the benefits of "multimedia" extensions like MMX and SSE/2. According to SiSoft's FAQ, the benchmark actually does a fractal computation:
This benchmark generates a picture (640x480) of the well-known Mandelbrot fractal, using 255 iterations for each data pixel, in 32 colours. It is a real-life benchmark rather than a synthetic benchmark, designed to show the improvements MMX/Enhanced, 3DNow!/Enhanced, SSE(2) bring to such an algorithm.
The benchmark is multi-threaded for up to 64 CPUs maximum on SMP systems. This works by interlacing, i.e. each thread computes the next column not being worked on by other threads. Sandra creates as many threads as there are CPUs in the system and assigns [sic] each thread to a different CPU.
The "Integer x16" version of this test uses integer numbers to simulate floating-point math. The floating-point version of the benchmark takes advantage of SSE2 to process up to eight Mandelbrot iterations at once.
The Duo cranks through the integer test with ease, finishing just ahead of the FX-60. When it comes to the floating-point version of this test, though, the Duo comes back to earth a bit, practically tying the Athlon 64 X2 3800+still not bad company to keep.