Sucking Less

That’s the most accurate (if not politically correct) description of the performance of AMD’s Deneb processor from the one benchmark we now have.

There is now a a benchmark available for the upcoming AMD Deneb 45nm processor: Super Pi.

I do have to say, they do look better than today’s Phenoms. They seem to be about 10% faster clock-for-clock than Phenom (though that’s probably due mostly to Deneb’s increased cache, Super Pi likes cache). More impressively, at least the one tested was able to be overclocked (pretty overvolted) to 3.4GHz, certainly well above typical Phenom overclocks.

Unfortunately, a this overclocked Deneb running at over 3.4GHz can crunch a 1M SuperPi run in 20.515 seconds, which is:


  • about 4% slower than a Conroe running at 2.67GHz,
  • about 20% slower than a Penryn running at 2.83GHz
  • about 25% slower than highly overclocked (and overvolted) Allendales approaching 4Ghz (look at pages 12-14).
  • 30%+ slower than highly O&Od Conroes approaching 4GHz
  • 50% slower than highly O&O’d 4.5GHz Penryns, and, last but not least,
  • about 30% slower than an unoverclocked Nehalem running at 2.93GHz

    It is probably very safe to say that an overclocked Nehalem running at around 4GHz will pull sub-10 seconds scores, which would make the Deneb over 50% slower than that.

    Yes, Super Pi uses just one processor, but that same limitation applies to the Intel processors, too. SuperPi is a good indicator of raw processing power. It’s also true that raw processing power isn’t everything, but that’s usually the case when other components (most notably the video card) caps performance.

    Maybe production Denebs will overclock more, but then maybe the Deneb was cherry-picked, too. Even if they overclock to 4GHz, that would just get them up to around the overclocked 65nm C2D level. Penryns would still be better, and Nehalems a good deal better still.

    We’ve said repeatedly in the past that Denebs weren’t at all likely to do much catching up with Intel’s latest, indeed, we thought the gap vs. Nehalems would widen a bit, and these numbers seem to indicate just that.

    To be fair, Deneb really shouldn’t be considered a next-generation processor, but rather a pretty desperate stop-gap replacement for Phenom. By those lowered standards, Deneb is pretty good.

    Unfortunately, the standard AMD is judged (and priced) by isn’t Phenom, but Intel’s processors, and by that standard, Denebs will just suck less.


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