Data Prefetch Logic – What is it Worth?

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System Configurations

Something you will see in this, and subsequent, lab reports is that I have essentially standardized on a number of components. This allows me to do comparisons between processors, chipsets and memory with a minimum of component differences. What I have is a 4-station workbench where each station has the same power supply, hard drive and video card. Each hard drive is partitioned and formatted in exactly the same way, and has exactly the same data. Operating System, driver and benchmark configurations are also standardized as much as possible.

In addition, I have also standardized on AOpen motherboards for all testing, for one main reason – my experience as a component reseller several years ago. I sold products from almost every major manufacturer, including ASUS, AOpen, Gigabyte, and others. With very few exceptions, AOpen boards had the lowest return rates, which I equate to quality of design and construction. The benefit that this provides is that board layout, timings and BIOS settings are more likely to be consistent between products within a single manufacturer, which helps to minimize those types of issues when comparing chipsets or memory.

Hardware and software used in all configurations are:

  • Sparkle FSP300-60GT power supply
  • Matrox G550 AGP Video Card w/32MB DDR
  • Matrox Driver version
  • IBM DTLA-307045 75GXP UDMA-100 45GB HDD
  • Windows 2000 Professional, Service Pack 2
  • DirectX 8.1

For this specific set of tests, the following additional parts were used:

  • AOpen AX34-U Mainboard (VIA Apollo Pro133T chipset)
  • BIOS revision 1.03
  • VIA 4-in-1 chipset drivers v4.38
  • Crucial Technology 256MB PC133 SDRAM (2-2-2)

Processors used were as follows:

  • Intel Pentium III 1.2GHz (.13um Tualatin core) at 133MHz FSB
  • Intel Celeron 1.2GHz (.13um Tualatin core) at 100MHz FSB
  • Intel Pentium III engineering sample (.18um Coppermine core) – unlocked multiplier

Standard settings used for all tests were:

  • BIOS set to Turbo Defaults
  • CAS Latency set to 2
  • Video resolution at 1024 x 768 @ 75Hz and 16-bit color

Benchmarks used:

  • PCMark2002
  • Windows version of STREAM (wstream.exe)
  • ScienceMark v1.0
  • SYSmark 2002
  • Business Winstone 2001 v1.01
  • Content Creation Winstone 2002 v1.03

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