Duron-TBird Head to Head Comparison

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SUMMARY: Impressive performance, although the T-Bird 750 at twice the cost does not deliver twice the performance. Duron: Price/Performance champ overall.

One of the questions I was asked when we were doing benches on the Duron 650 @ 935 was “How does it compare to the T-Bird?” Not having one, I could not answer the question. Now with the Blue 750 in hand, I ran some benches comparing the Duron against the T-Bird.

I ran two different sets: One comparing the Duron and T-Bird head-to-head, same speed. The second comparing the Duron’s best speed against the T-Bird’s. All tests were on the ASUS A7V with exactly the same components – only the CPU was changed. Results:

Bench

Duron 935

TBird 935

% chg T vs D

TBird 1100

% chg       T vs D

SiSandra CPU

2609/1304

2609/1304

NA

3070/1534

17.7/17.6

SiSandra MM

3188/4370

3186/4370

NA

3749/5142

17.6/17.6

SiSandra Memory

489/599

488/603

NA

489/608

NA

Quake

132.2/127.9

141.6/138.7

7.1/8.4%

152.5/149.1

15.4/16.6%

3DM2000 800x600x16

7545

8150

8.0%

152.5/149.1

15.4/16.6%

3DM2000 800x600x32

6397

6639

3.8%

6796

6.2%

Pi Solver 1M

181 sec

156 sec

-13.8%

140 sec

-22.7%

Content Creation

31.4

33.6

7.0%

36.8

17.2%

ASUS A7V, 935 = 8.5×110, 1100 = 10×110, 1.85 volts, 128 MB HSDRAM 7ns, Leadtek GTS2, water cooled CPU temp 45 C, ambient 26 C.

I did encounter some strange anomalies while benching the T-Bird 750; I did manage to get benches at both 935 and 1100, but at 935 the system just was not stable with the T-Bird. I had many freezes in 3DMark 2000 and Content Creation, while I had NONE with the Duron 650 @ 935. However, the T-Bird ran Prime95 for over four hours at 10 x 110 without a problem, suggesting that the issue may be video related.

I suspected that running the FSB at 110 might be a factor, so I ran the benches with the AMD 750 using 11 x 100 instead of 10 x 110. Result: NO PROBLEMS! I infer from this that perhaps the ASUS A7V may have some stability issues with the more powerful T-Bird. Note that these issues look to be video related – running number-crunching routines like Prime95 or Pi Solver did not exhibit any instabilities.

I will do more experimenting with BIOS settings to see if somehow there are AGP issues that can be resolved.

Meanwhile, I did a set of benches to show the performance difference between running 1100 at 10×110 and 11×100:

Bench

T-Bird 10×110

T-Bird 11×100

% chg

SiSandra CPU

3070/1534

3098/1494

0.9/-2.6%

SiSandra MM

3749/5142

3738/5188

-0.3/0.9%

SiSandra Memory

489/608

457/548

-6.5/-9.9%

Quake

152.5/149.1

149.3/144.4

-2.1/-3.2%

3DM2500 800x600x16

8632

8510

-1.4%

3DM2500 800x600x32

6796

6754

-0.6%

Pi Solver 1M

140 sec

142 sec

1.4%

Content Creation

36.8

34.8

-5.4%

The biggest difference shows up in SiSandra memory scores, with the impact varying across the benches; worst case, expect about a 5% performance hit. In many instances, I doubt you will perceive a difference on the screen. The hit is not too severe and if stability is an issue in your particular app, running at 100 FSB is an OK compromise.

Bottom Line: AMD makes a very impressive CPU, giving Intel a real run for the $, then decides to irreversibly multiplier lock them – effectively thumbing its nose at the “performance market”.

The issue confronting us is the viability of FSB overclocking Socket A CPUs; right now, Socket A motherboards are running “crippled” – none seem capable of getting beyond 120 FSB. Makes you wonder what’s at work here – something we plan to look into more closely.

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