Hardware, Software Programs

SiSoft Sandra 2011 SP2b: Updates for AMD Fusion "Llano", FX "Bulldozer"

SiSoft Sandra just received yet another update. New version number is 17.59, i.e. SP2b and comes after the software maker received and tested the upcoming processors from AMD, as well as preliminary support for Intel’s 32nm Sandy Bridge-EN/EP/EX and 22nm Ivy Bridge processors.

The benchmark maker made some significant optimizations to the benchmark Scheduler, resulting in higher scores than in previous version. According to SiSoft:

"Optimized scheduler takes advantage of Compute Units<>Core mapping as well as Node<>Package mapping; from what we’ve seen, not even Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 scheduler knows about this (similar to the way pre-W7/W2K8 kernels handled Hyper-Threading).

By judiciously choosing how many threads to use and which cores they run on, greater performance can be achieved. Benchmarks that are not compute-bound (e.g. memory bandwidth, cache bandwidth, etc.) benefit from such optimizations, similar to hyper-threading."

SiSoft Sandra 2011 SP2b now achieves higher scores with the AMD’s Fusion processors, but they’re still some ways off before AMD’s expected scores are reached:

"Improvement: Multi-threaded Memory Bandwidth on Fusion*; score has doubled (~3.3GB/s) though short of what AMD "suggests". No better solution has been found yet."

Given that we know what AMD did with memory controllers in their Fusion A-Series (Llano) APU and FX-Series (Bulldozer) CPU processors (read: not a whole lot), we’re not surprised to hear that the memory benchmarks still have issues achieving theoretical maximums. Then again, updated scheduler should greatly aid the GPGPU benchmarks and help AMD keep their lead ahead of nVIDIA compute devices, just like ElcomSoft password-cracking benchmarks.

In any case, you can read more details and purchase SiSoft Sandra 2011 SP2b here. Here on Bright Side of News*, we’re going to continue to use SiSoft Sandra in all of applicable reviews.