Sisoftware's Response to Drystone Downturn

By Van Smith

Date: October 22, 2001

On October 19th, we published results from a popular benchmark program that showed a significant decline in scores for AMD processors on newer versions of the test. The results, provided by VHJ reader Gabriel, are summarized below.

Machine K6-2 400@400 (mobo Elpina TX PRO (Aladin IV chipset), aircooled, 6 X 66 Mhz)

Sandra 99  : Drystone Alu: 987 MIPS Drystone FPU: 473 MFLOPS
Sandra2k1se: Drystone Alu: 781 MIPS Drystone FPU: 478 MFLOPS
Sandra2k1te: Drystone Alu: 688 MIPS Drystone FPU: 486 MFLOPS

Machine K6-2 500 @ 600 (mobo Fic PA2013, aircooled, 2.9 V)

Sandra 99  : Drystone Alu: 1533 MIPS Drystone FPU: 725 MFLOPS
Sandra2k1se: Drystone Alu: 1397 MIPS Drystone FPU: 708 MFLOPS
Sandra2k1te: Drustone Alu: 1192 MIPS Drystone FPU: 724 MFLOPS

Machine Duron 700@700 (MSI K7TPro, aircooled 7 X 100 Mhz)

Sandra 99  : Drystone Alu: 2327 MIPS Drystone FPU: 962 MFLOPS
Sandra2k1se: Drystone Alu: 1963 MIPS Drystone FPU: 954 MFLOPS
Sandra2k1te: Drystone Alu: 1945 MIPS Drystone FPU: 960 MFLOPS

Before we published these results we contacted Sisoftware to find out their official explanation for the significantly worse performance of AMD K6-II and Duron scores on newer Sandra's Drystone tests.


With respect, Van, I don't see any anomaly. From the numbers, I think you'll agree that:

- Athlon/Duron
- 2001se & 2001te are within tolerance.
- 99 used different code, non SMP using VC++ 5.0 instead of VC++ 6 and is not Athlon/Duron compatible. I would just ignore those.

- K6-2/III
- 2001se & 2001te are compiled optimised for P6 core in VC++ which is recommended for Athlon/Duron as well. This has improved the FPU score but decreased a bit the ALU score. I think the change is acceptable.
- 99 seems P5 optimisations suits the K6 better.

Unlike the STREAM and Multi-Media tests that are written in assembler, Dhrystone/Whetstone are written in C++ which depends on the compiler and compiler flags. Obviously now we got to VC++ 6.0 SP5 and will soon move to
VC++ 7.0. Also compiler flags may change.



C. Adrian Silasi, B.Eng., M.Sc., AMIEE



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