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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles March 26, 2009

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    Intel Core i7-965 XE & Core i7-920 Review
    By Vince Freeman :  November 3, 2008

    Company of Heroes Performance

    Company of Heroes is another part of our CPU benchmark suite, and it offers a very demanding benchmark environment. CoH is a WW2 real-time strategy game, which again provides us with a nice change of pace from the usual FPS benchmark. We use the game's built-in performance test for all of our benchmarking. To give our AMD and Intel processors a viable test, we've increased the physics load, while dropping many of the graphics settings. This will help provide a more CPU-specific benchmark test, while ensuring that the graphics card is not the limiting factor.

    Due to the much higher physics load, Company of Heroes is one of the few benchmarks that shows a definite advantage for the improved processor architectures and easily scales to higher clock speeds. This game clearly likes the Intel design, and even the Phenom 9950 gets left in the figurative dust. The entire Core i7 family does extremely well in this game test, and even the 2.66 GHz Core i7-920 easily outpaces the top-end Core 2 Extreme QX9770. This is a very impressive result, and is another clear victory for the flagship Core i7-965 XE.

    Unreal Tournament 3 Flyby Performance

    Our Unreal Tournament 3 benchmarking consists of a Flyby run in the WAR-MarketDistrict map, which was chosen due to its heavy in-game battles and sprawling indoor and outdoor locations. This provides a reliable score, and is repeatable through subsequent runs. The test resolutions remain at 1024x768, while game details have been set at 3.

    Although the 3.2 GHz Core i7-965 XE proves to be the fastest performer, the same-speed Core 2 Extreme QX9770 remains a tough challenger in the Unreal Tournament 3 arena.

    World in Conflict Performance

    World in Conflict is another real-time tactical war game, complete with eye-dropping visuals that are demanding enough to drop a mainstream video card in its tracks. It's a bit different from traditional RTS games, in that the war and strategy parts are put to the forefront, while the resource gathering and base construction tasks are taken out of the equation. In this test, we've used the in-game benchmarking tool, and used a standard 1024x768 resolution at Medium detail settings.

    World in Conflict is another impressive victory for the new Core i7 family, with these posting the top three benchmark results, and easily outperforming even the Core 2 Extreme QX9770.

    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Performance

    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is the latest iteration of the id Software/Quake gaming line, and is set in the same basic Quake world. This is a very popular multi-player game, and makes a very consistent benchmark platform. We have used the latest 1.5 game update at 1024x768 high details, and tested with a game demo on the Canyon map.

    It's a bit tighter race in the ET: Quake Wars benchmarking, but the Core i7-965 XE and -940 processors remain the cream of the gaming crop, with only the Core i7-920 falling slightly back of the Core 2 Extreme QX9770.

    Page 1 The Core i7 Architecture
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 PCMark Vantage Performance
    Page 5 SiSoft SANDRA 2009 Performance
    Page 6 Everest Ultimate Edition Memory Performance
    Page 7 CINEBENCH 9.5/10 and WinRAR Performance
    Page 8 MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, and High-Def Video Encoding Performance
    Page 9 3DMark06 Pro, 3DMark Vantage and Crysis Performance
  • Page 10 Company of Heroes, UT3, World in Conflict, & ET: Quake Wars Performance
    Page 11 Benchmark Analysis, Overclocking and System Power Consumption
    Page 12 Value and Conclusion

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