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Editor: Jose Vilches

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Application Performance

Microsoft Excel 2007 is another program that traditionally favors Intel processors and it shows with these affordable sub-$100 offerings. The Pentium E6600 and G6950 processors delivered roughly the same performance, while the Athlon II X4 630 was a close third. The slowest Intel CPU was the Celeron E3300, which matched the Athlon II X3 435 in the MonteCarlo test and took a few seconds longer to finish the BigNumberCrunch test.

While many of the AMD processors struggled with the MonteCarlo test, they performed rather well in the BigNumberCrunch test. The Sempron 140 bummed out completely providing very poor performance in both ocassions.

Using WinRAR we conducted our own real-world testing, with two different test samples. The Phenom II X2 555 did very well delivering by far our best results, followed by the Athlon II X4 630. The Pentium G9650 was the fastest Intel processor when compressing the larger 700MB single file. The Athlon II X3 435 delivered similar performance to the Pentium E6600, while the Athlon II X2 250 was slightly slower.

The Celeron E3300 was by far the slowest processor tested when measuring the compression time of the single 700MB file. However, it was faster than the Sempron 140 when compressing multiple smaller files. The Sempron 140 and Celeron E3300 once again stood out as the weakest performers.

When testing with Adobe Photoshop CS4 we used two popular tests, HardwareHeaven and Retouchartists. The graphs are sorted by the longer HardwareHeaven test data which sees the Pentium E6600 and G6950 at the top. However, in Retouchartists their performance was comparable to the Phenom II X2 555, Athlon II X3 435 and Athlon II X4 630 CPUs.

The Sempron 140 was especially slow when looking at the Retouchartists performance. Those looking for the optimal Photoshop performance on a budget will likely want to pick up either the Phenom II X2 555 or Pentium G6950 processor.