Here is a list of the applications we've used for our testing - most of them are available for public consumption. In all cases, the benchmarks were run at least three times and the data presented here are averages of those results.
Sisoft Sandra XII 2008
World in Conflict 1.007
PCMark Vantage x64
Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8
LAME MT 3.97
Cinebench 10 x64
This time for our CPU testing, we have updated Paint.NET to the current latest 3.20, DivX to 6.8, World in Conflict to 1.007 and replaced Windows Media Encoder x64 with Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8. Sony Vegas - a very popular movie editing application that offers more features, including multi-threading and better video transcoding compatibility. We also introduced Crysis 1.21 as well.
Additionally, following on from our look at Windows Vista SP1 performance in both applications and games, we have rolled this out onto our CPU testing machines as most of our 64-bit users in our community have upgraded to use it as well.
The only problem with this is that we found it affected the Phenom systems quite considerably under x64 SP1 - it requires running AMD's Overdrive utility (2.0.17) and setting the right hand "Turbo" button to red (TLB enabled, CPU power management "disabled") with the current B2 Phenoms; we will go into more detail on this in our Phenom B3 stepping article which will be published shortly.
Likewise, Intel's EIST and power management facilities were disabled so as to obtain accurate and reproducible results.
Thanks to Yoyotech for providing the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ and Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 for the review.