While researching CPUs for the ESXi Server, one of the sites I hit for information was the PassMark site. This site has a wealth of data comparing almost any CPU, video card or hard drive available… or previously available. They claim over 200,000 CPUs and 200,000 video cards benchmarked. It was very helpful when narrowing down the various CPU options to have this comparative data. My primary PC, sporting a Q6600, showed up with a score of 2,981. The AMD 630 I eventually chose was a slightly higher 3,180. This gave me a good sense that the new CPU would perform at least as well as the Intel chip I was so happy with.
This also made me curious as to how my other desktop processors compared. I have AMD’s XP 1800+ and XP1400+ in my other two machines, with scores of 335 and 290 respectively. These scores are about one-tenth of my new processors’. (Of course, the new chips also have four times the cores so it is not really a fair fight.)
Something that caught my eye on this chart was the Intel Atom processor (at the extreme bottom on the picture above). It shows a meager 316. It is amusing to me that the Netbooks are being powered by chips no more powerful than ones I purchased seven and eight years ago. But I certainly know you can squeeze plenty of performance out of these older chips, provided you understand their limitations.
If you are in the market for a new processor or video card, you might want to keep the PassMark site in mind.