Etc.

Wow. Although we’ve had lots of coverage of new CPU architectures this year, I just realized this morning that we haven’t had a proper, full-on desktop CPU review since April. (Our K-series review was a shorter-form article.) That’s going to change soon, in a big way. I already have our new CPU test rigs in place, complete with Corsair Nova V128 SSDs and Asus GeForce GTX 460 graphics cards. One of my tasks this week will be to get all of the software setup completed and to begin working on a revised test suite.

I’m currently thinking of adding several important things to our slate of tests, including TrueCrypt with AES-NI acceleration, new games like Civilization V, and possibly a compiling benchmark. PC games that are truly CPU-intensive are a little tough to find these days. If you have suggestions or requests, now would be a good time to let us know. If it’s feasible, we may incorporate your request into our test suite.

On another note, we’ve been gratified to see our podcast listenership growing steadily over time, especially in recent months. Some of you guys still haven’t even given it a listen, but I think this latest episode is a decent starting point. We cover a ton of graphics-related stories, including the GTX 580’s debut, the HAWX 2 controversy, and rising Radeon HD 6800-series prices. To make things easy for you, I’m going to save you the work of clicking and simply embed the player in this post, like so…

Listen now:

Hit the play button to give it a start. You know you’re at least a little curious about Cyril’s accent!

This is a pretty intense episode from my point of view. Its great weakness is a whole lotta me talking. We try to keep things more even most of the time, but Jordan didn’t manage to contain me this week, with all of the GPU news. I’m sure he’ll try harder next time out.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Unfortunately video games as of late in addition to just sucking also haven’t done much to push hardware. I’m still waiting for physics to catch on. You know when game developers actually start playing their games and realize what would make them more fun.

    Putting that aside Civ 5 just seems more buggy/glitchy then it does actually pushing computer hardware. I haven’t played it lately though, some patches might’ve changed that.

    Good luck in your hunt, I’m still looking for good games to switch to from WoW. Maybe BF3 that is coming up will change something for the better.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    CoD: Black Ops seems to be the only title that make my quad bleed.

    • esterhasz
    • 9 years ago

    I really love the podcast. Listen to it while running. The one thing I think that you guys should think about is how you position it in relation to the other content on the site. Is is an overview of two weeks on TR? Is it trying to bring the site to a new audience?
    Personally, I’d love for you to intensify the “op-ed” or “analyst” aspect, to look at how certain technologies aim at specific market segments, how stuff came to be where it is and how things are going to continue. In a sense, this is what you’re doing already but I wouldn’t mind even more “opinion”…

    • dragmor
    • 9 years ago

    Cyril has the most normal accent of the podcast regulars. I would say Jordan has the strongest accent.

    • NarwhaleAu
    • 9 years ago

    X Plane 10 when it comes out – fill the sky with AI planes and see how it runs.

    • StuG
    • 9 years ago

    These are all the games that I have seen make my CPU sweat in the last year:
    Battlefield: Bad Company 2
    Empire: Total War
    Civ V
    L4D2
    Dragon Age: Origins
    Dawn of War II

    Runner up:
    Metro 2033

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    Based on what folks have been saying about CivV, a late-game bench (ie lots of units on a large map with advanced civilizations) would be an interesting CPU/system test. Should be perfectly reproducible too.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 9 years ago

      post patch it isn’t bad. I play on large or huge, sometimes with reduced AIs (it feels too crowded at default).

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 9 years ago

      (/[

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Yes a Source Engine Benchmark please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • phez
    • 9 years ago

    You guys *[< DESPERATELY <]* need to change your SC2 benchmarks. SC2 relies heavily on CPU performance but your benchmark replay is a /[

      • Jambe
      • 9 years ago

      I’d be interested to see a more unit-heavy match used in reviews as well.

    • ClickClick5
    • 9 years ago

    Some games I have noticed that pull CPU power on all four cores:
    Q6600 at 2.7Ghz

    -Left 4 Dead 2 with multicore on.
    -GTA 4
    -Fallout: New Vegas. With a tweaked .ini (turn all threaded options on)

    All I have right now. 🙂

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    cyril has an accent? I didn’t notice.

      • _Sigma
      • 9 years ago

      Only occasional do I ever hear a slight accent, but his English is flawless.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        His excellent grammar indicates his foreign origin. :p

      • Disco
      • 9 years ago

      I find damage has the more interesting pronunciation of words. Cyril always says stuff the ‘proper’ way.

      dave from Canada eh

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t know if it can be incorporated by the time of the review or if the GPU part of SB will even take advantage of it, but some F@H benches would be nice if the client could take advantage of the GPGPU capabilities of the new APU’s, SoC’s whatever they heck you want to call them. I doubt Stanford will have a client supporting it for quite some time though.

    • not@home
    • 9 years ago

    I would appreciate an Adobe Photoshop and/or Lightroom benchmark. I use both a lot and they are the most demanding thing I do. I watch some videos and surf the web but those do not even come close to demands Photoshop puts on my workstation.

    I was thinking of a simple timed test like stitching two photos together and retouching something. Maybe put in some HDR.

      • NarwhaleAu
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed – photoshop is probably the most CPU intensive thing I use. That and excel monte carlo simulations (even on my dual core they run quickly though). Are there any autocad benchmarks that could be used?

    • herothezero
    • 9 years ago

    A serious CPU crushing game option would be ARMA 2; I have no idea how to benchmark with it, but that game will eat cores and cycles like there’s no tomorrow, particularly on more involved maps.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    imo, /[

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      you love the sound of his sexy, sultry voice. I know the feeling. ohhhhh scott.

        • dpaus
        • 9 years ago

        Geoff has a dog named Scott? That’s awkward…

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          nope. this post is by scott. We love scotts voice. get with the program.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    For me, CPU performance is no longer an issue as a gaming home user. Now it’s frankly all about power consumption. If I could keep the same level of CPU performance as I have now but use less watts, thats the way I’d go. Smaller CPU coolers and slower spinning and fewer fans and smaller power supplies and smaller cases. Yeah. Give me some of that. At the same time, the features offered by the platform are becoming more important. I want an IGP always so the hand-me-down or secondary use situation is made simpler. I want USB 3. And I want SATA 6g just because I know SSDs are the future. I want Crossfire even though I’ve never used it. And I want all this on mATX. Kinda like this: §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130269<]§ And I'd like to have dual Gig-E even though I'd probably never make good use of it. At work, we use Revit which still seems to drive the display with the CPU rather than being GPU accelerated. With a complex model the system can bog down pretty hard. So more per-thread CPU performance that I get from a Core 2 Duo E8500 would be nice at work. I'm hopeful that Sandy Bridge will deliver big. If it does and at a good price, I'll likely finally ditch AMD.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      I agree about the cpu performance being good enough. I don’t really need anything else. That being said, I’m not that hopeful for sandy bridge. I feel like I know what it’ll bring. Bulldozer is the one I’m waiting for, but based on past experiences, when AMD has better products, we hear more benchmarks. Phenom didn’t have any leaks, and it was bad. I’m hoping bulldozer is a good one. JF can probably detail.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    Can’t wait for an in depth article about SB. I hope we can get some extensive discussion about the architecture in an upcoming podcast.

      • mmmmmdonuts21
      • 9 years ago

      y-cruncher: Great benchmarking for single and multi-threaded tasks.

      • Jason181
      • 9 years ago

      I’ll second that. By the way, I think you guys do a terrific job.

      Your even-handed reviews and the matter-of-fact writing style are something I’ve been appreciating for a long time now (probably nigh on 10 years now; the time at which I became an avid reader being somewhat fuzzy).

      Thanks for all you do,

      Jason

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        No problem jason! that’s what we’re here for!

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