Saturday, November 19, 2011

Computer System Speed Comparison

Computer Speed Tests for the Average Person

This section is my attempt at showing the differences between processors and how their performance ranks.

Computer Speed Analysis:

CPU Descrip. CPU Speed CPU Cores CPU FSB CPU Cache 64 Bit Mobo FSB Sys RAM Video CPU Rank Benchmark
AMD Athlon X3 3.2 GHz 3 2 GHz 1 mb Yes 1 GHz 4 GB ATI 5450 2715 4.09 sec.
AMD Athlon X2 2.4 GHz 2 1 GHz 1 mb Yes 1 GHz 2 GB ATI X600 1050 9.15 sec.
Intel Dual E2140 1.6 GHz 2 800 MHz 1 mb Yes 1 GHz 1 GB TBD 907 10.75 sec.
AMD Athlon64 3800 2.4 GHz 1 1 GHz 512 mb Yes 1 GHz 2 GB On Board 610 14.99 sec.
AMD Athlon64 3500 2.2 GHz 1 1 GHz 512 mb Yes 1 GHz 2 GB Nvidia 6600 GT 567 16.15 sec.
AMD Sempron 3100 1.8 GHz 1 256 MHz 256 KB No 533 MHz 768 MB ATI X300 450 19.20 sec.
Pentium 4 2.8 GHz 1 533 MHz 512 kb Yes 533 MHz 768 MB ATI X300 415 20.98 sec.
Celeron 2.6 GHz 1 400 MHz 256 kb No 400 MHz 768 MB On Board 295 20.98 sec.

Take a look at the above chart and see how your computer stacks up. All of the machines shown above will get on the internet and surf the web. If you need a budget gaming machine I would stick with machine with CPU ranks above 550. What does this mean for you? Do not overpay for older Pentium 4 machines and before you shell out your hard earned dough on a computer make sure you check your CPU's performance rating.

So What Does this List Mean?

In layman's terms I would never buy a used or refurbished computer slower than a Pentium 4 2.8GHz and even then I would not pay more than $40 -$50 for it and only if it came with a decent amount of memory and good hard drive. My most surprising budget build was the AMD Athlon 64 3500. It was fast enough of a machine to play Nexuiz, a 3D fast paced FPS for Linux. I am sure the 2GB of RAM and Nvidia 6600GT video card helped.

Data Sources: CPU rankings were obtained from, an excellent source of CPU data. The benchmark numbers are actual measurements that I received from performing the CNC Blowfish test on the Linux Mint 11 operating system.

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