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jmke 23rd October 2006 14:04

Most efficient L2 cache usage: Intel shared or AMD dedicated?
It's known that Shared L2 Cache makes a significant microarchitectural difference between modern dual-core processors from Intel, based on the improved P6+ microarchitecture and the new Intel Core microarchitecture, and competing solutions (i.e. AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors). And dual-core processors from AMD are notable for individual L2 Cache of a fixed size for each core.
We can assume that the shared L2 Cache architecture can sometimes be less advantageous than the traditional architecture of L2 Caches dedicated to each core (given the same total cache size) due to the shared data bus and Shared L2 Cache access system. If it's true, the most efficient way to detect this will be to provide maximum load on L2 Cache (from both cores).

In order to check the above assumption and to compare efficiency of shared access of two cores to Dedicated (AMD) and Shared (Intel) L2 Cache, we did just so. We used a recently developed utility RightMark Multi-Threaded Memory Test that is included into the latest official version (3.70) of RightMark Memory Analyzer.

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