Testbed and methods
In order to find if Kal-El is really faster then a Core2 T7200 processor, we need to benchmark the Intel CPU with both NVIDIA-used GCC version: respectively, version 3.4.x and 4.4.x (the last number, replaced by a “x”, does not matter much).
I found that RedHat 4 and 6 provide us with very similar compiler versions: 3.4.6 (for the 3.4.x branch) and 4.4.4 (for the 4.4.x branch). In this manner, we are able to compare Core2 performance under CoreMark using two 3.4.x and 4.4.x branches installed in real world Linux systems.
The testing platform was a Dell D620 notebook, with these specifications:
CPU Core2 T7200 @ 2.0 GHz (with 4 MB of L2 cache)
RAM 4 GB of DDR2 @ 667 MHz
HD 80 GB Hitachi 7200 RPM
NVIDIA Quadro NVS110M (however, the notebook was used in text mode only)
O.S. X86-64 RHEL ES 4 for GCC 3.4.6 tests
O.S. X86-64 RHEL 6 for GCC 4.4.4 tests
Many thanks to Justin Clift at redhat.com and to RedHat itself to provide me with a free RHEL license. Thank you Justin!
OK, its time to give some numbers now...