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Analysis: CPU Frequency and Its Impact on GPU Performance and Scaling - In Progress

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
ThreadBanner.jpg
Many thanks to Lutro0 for the banner.

Project Statis

Currently installing benchmarks and cleaning system. Benchmarking/testing due to begin during the evening of May 1st.

Introduction

The motivations for forming and executing this project come from numerous sources. First of all many enthusiasts, including those here on OCN, are interested in where the bottleneck is in their system so that they can attempt to minimize its impact on their applications, games and other components. Occasionally this is a very simple matter and can be identified within seconds of looking over a list of components within a given computer. However there are many other occasions where it is rather difficult to accurately identify which of them is producing the bottleneck and to what degree.

Second, due to a general lack of information, reviews, analyses and benchmarks it is hard for anyone to quantify how large a bottleneck is and how, if at all, it can be minimized. This is often an issue on OCN when people make a claim how much more performance(typically Frames per Second or FPS) could be gained through small tweaks such as CPU frequency relative to the number of GPU's, which is the principal focus of this analysis.

Third, when I mentioned the idea of this project to many of the members of the OCN Folding@Home community I found that there was a considerable amount of interest in such a project and consequently I chose to pursue its planning and execution. I would particularly like to thank Codejunki whom I first spoke with about this project during a marathon session of Battlefield:Bad Company 2, Captain_Cannonfodder for his help reviewing and suggesting changes to my format and materials, PioneerisLoud for his invaluable suggestion of core/thread variations and CPU configurations and consequently greatly increasing the scope of the project, Deeeebs and Erick_Silver for their opinions and reviewing, lutro0 for his amazing work with the banner for this project and technical expertise, and many other OCN F@H Team members who made contributions since this projects inception.

Test System Configuration

ASUS Rampage III Extreme Motherboard
Intel i7 930 - Variable Multiplier/195 BCLK
6 GB Corsair Dominator GT DDR3-1600 RAM @ 7-7-7-20
Intel X-25M 80 GB SSD / 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Black in Raid 0
EVGA GTX 470 1280 MB DDR5 in Tri-SLI @ 750/1500/1950
Corsair HX1000 1000w Modular Power Supply
ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
Cooler Master HAF-X Full Tower Case
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Operating System

Drivers Used

Nvidia Forceware 270.61 WHQL

Hardware Configuration and Testing Methodology

To determine what effect CPU frequency has on single and multiple GPU performance in a variety of games and benchmarks the following testing regimen will be performed:

CPU Configurations

I will take my CPU, an i7 930, and enabled/disabled the appropriate number of cores/threads to reach the following configurations:

2 cores / 2 threads
2 cores / 4 threads
4 cores / 4 threads
4 cores / 8 threads

I should note that even though I am changing the number cores and threads available for use by the games and benchmarks used in this analysis the underlying architecture of the chip is not changing. Consequently when I disable hyperthreading and change the configuration of my chip to 4 cores / 4 threads it does not have the same computational abilities as a chip with similar features such as a Q6600 or an i7 2500k.

CPU Frequencies

Each of these CPU configurations will be clocked at the following frequencies, starting from the low end and moving upward as testing progresses:

2.8 GHz
3.3 GHz
3.7 GHz
4.1 GHz

Because BLCK and Memory can affect the testing process I will only be changing the multiplier to reach the desired frequency. However, this will result in slight deviations from the frequencies indicated but not in any degree that the results should be significantly impacted.

GPU Configurations

Every CPU configuration/Frequency combination will be combined with one, two and finally three EVGA GTX 470 GPU's @ 750/1500/1950. Like the CPU frequency we will begin with a single GPU with each combination and then increase to two and three as each testing stage is completed.

I've included these charts to provide a visual reference for hardware combinations in each testing phase:

TestingStages.png

Benchmarks Used

3D Mark Vantage Benchmark (Click to show)
3DMarkVantagePicture.jpg
3D Mark11 Benchmark (Click to show)
3DMark11.jpg
Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
AvPPicture.jpg
Cryostasis Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
CryostasisPicture.jpg
Crysis Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
CrysisPicture.jpg
Call of Juarez Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
CallofJuarezPicture.jpg
Far Cry II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
FarCryPicture.jpg
F.E.A.R. II - Project Origin - Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
FEAR.jpg
H.A.W.X. II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
HAWX2Picture.jpg
Just Cause II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
JustCause2Picture.jpg
Left 4 Dead II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
Left4Dead2.jpg
Lost Planet II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
LostPlanet2Picture.jpg
Mafia II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
MafiaII.jpg
Metro 2033 Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
Metro2033Picture.jpg
Resident Evil V Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
ResidentEvil5Picture.jpg
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
Stalker-CallofPripyat.jpg
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
Stalker-ClearSky.jpg
Stone Giant Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
StoneGiantPicture.jpg
Supreme Commander II Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
SupremeCommander2Picture.jpg
Unigine Heaven 2.5 Benchmark (Click to show)
UniginePicture.jpg
World in Conflict Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
WorldinConflict.jpg
X3: Terran Conflict Benchmark Tool (Click to show)
X3TerranConflictPicture.jpg


Benchmark Settings

Each benchmark will be performed with two different settings profiles, "Performance" and "Extreme". Within the bounds of this analysis Performance will generally refer to the halfway point of any given value offered by a benchmark while Extreme will always be the maximum. In addition to two settings profiles each benchmark will be be run at three different resolutions: 1280x1024, 1650x1080, and 1920x1200.

Data Collected

Three principal pieces of data will be collected from each benchmark: Minimum FPS, Maximum FPS, and Average FPS. These data points will be used to calculate the Increase in Minimum FPS, Increase in Maximum FPS, and Increase in Average FPS as the CPU frequency is raised from a stock frequency of 2.8 GHz to 3.3 GHz, 3.7 GHz and 4.1 GHz while the number of GPU's in any particular testing phase remain constant. In order to properly evaluate all principal data several other pieces of data will also be recorded: GPU Load, GPU Memory Usage, and CPU Core/Thread Usage.

Conclusions

After all data is collected, examined and charted an analysis of its significance, if any, will be posted to accompany it in each benchmark section as well as a final conclusion on the entire topic.
Edited by Lampen - 4/29/11 at 12:51pm
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post #2 of 53
Thread Starter 
3D Mark Vantage

3DMarkVantagePicture.jpg

3D Mark Vantage Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


3D Mark 11

3DMark11.jpg

3D Mark 11 Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Aliens vs. Predator

AvPPicture.jpg

Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! Check back soon! biggrin.gif


Cryostatis

CryostasisPicture.jpg

Cryostasis Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! Check back soon! biggrin.gif


Crysis

CrysisPicture.jpg

Crysis Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! Check back soon! biggrin.gif

Edited by Lampen - 4/29/11 at 12:00pm
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post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Call of Juarez

CallofJuarezPicture.jpg

Call of Juarez Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Far Cry II

FarCryPicture.jpg

Far Cry II Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


F.E.A.R. II - Project Origin

FEAR.jpg

F.E.A.R. II - Project Origin Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


H.A.W.X. II

HAWX2Picture.jpg

H.A.W.X.II - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Just Cause II

JustCause2Picture.jpg

Just Cause II - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!

Edited by Lampen - 4/29/11 at 12:01pm
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post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 
Left For Dead II

Left4Dead2.jpg

Left For Dead II - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Lost Planet II

LostPlanet2Picture.jpg

Lost Planet II - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Mafia II

MafiaII.jpg

Mafia II - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Metro 2033

Metro2033Picture.jpg

Metro 2033 - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!

Edited by Lampen - 4/29/11 at 12:01pm
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post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
Resident Evil V

ResidentEvil5Picture.jpg

Resident Evil V - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Stalker-CallofPripyat.jpg

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

Stalker-ClearSky.jpg

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Stone Giant

StoneGiantPicture.jpg

Stone Giant - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!

Edited by Lampen - 4/29/11 at 12:02pm
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post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Supreme Commander II

SupremeCommander2Picture.jpg

Supreme Commander II - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


Unigine Heaven 2.5

UniginePicture.jpg

Unigine Heaven 2.5 - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


World in Conflict

WorldinConflict.jpg

World in Conflict - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!


X3: Terran Conflict

X3TerranConflictPicture.jpg

X3: Terran Conflict - Benchmark Results (Click to show)
f3_pleasestandby_1920x1280.jpg
Results due in early May! biggrin.gif Check back soon!

Edited by Lampen - 4/29/11 at 12:03pm
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post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Reserved VI - Conclusions.
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post #8 of 53
Hopefully the conclusions is the final reserved or I am going to have mud on my face.

Can't wait to see the results of this test, looks to be well thought out and nothing but thorough.

Subbed
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post #9 of 53
Good Job Man! Cant wait to see it finished.
post #10 of 53
So subbed... smile.gif
 
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Cheap beige DVD ROM Koolance full copper GX2 block Vista 32bit LG W2486L 
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