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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles March 26, 2010





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

    Test Setup

    As the Intel Core i7 is expected to the fastest desktop processor on the planet, we need to take these new CPUs up against the very best on the current market. Our AMD and Intel processors include the fastest from both camps, and feature the Core 2 Extreme Q9770 (3.2 GHz) QX9650 (3.0 GHz) and QX6850 (3.0 GHz), along with the 3.16 GHz Core 2 Duo E8500. The AMD competition includes their two highest clocked quad cores, the 2.6 GHz Phenom 9950 and the 2.5 GHz 9850. There is really no need to go any further down the list, as these Core i7 processors are wicked fast.

    These high-end processors are matched with corresponding platforms and peripherals, while ensuring consistency with the overall reference system mix. The new Core i7 gets an Intel X58 motherboard, complete with a triple-channel DDR3 memory architecture. The Intel Core 2-based processors have been paired with a DDR3-based Intel X48 Express motherboard, while the Phenom processors utilize a high-end 790FX platform. The base memory capacity is set at 1GB modules, with the Intel X58 sporting 3x1GB DDR3-1066 (CL7), the X48 outfitted with 2x1GB DDR3-1600 (CL7), and 2x1GB of DDR2-800 (CL4) on the AMD 790FX.

    The default hard disk configuration is comprised of a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB SATA 3.0 Gb/s drive, which provides top-end disk performance and ensures consistent benchmarking. The video component is also high-end, and we have used a dual-GPU PNY GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB, which will provide more than enough graphics power for our gaming tests. We have also moved to Windows Vista Ultimate for our processor benchmarking, with recent updates applied.

    The benchmark list includes a wide range of system, CPU, memory, and gaming tests. These include PCMark05, PCMark Vantage, SiSoft SANDRA 2009, WinRAR, and CINEBENCH 9.5/10, along with TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress for MPEG-2, DivX, WMV and HDV encoding. We also utilize popular 3D game tests like ET: Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 3, World in Conflict, 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, and Crysis. Our default game benchmark setting is 1024x768, which is well suited for CPU comparisons but still realistic as an actual game play resolution.

    * Please note that unless otherwise stated, such as the media encoding times, all performance graph results equate to the standard "higher is better" routine.

    Test Systems:

    Intel X58 Reference System:
    Core 2 Processors: Core i7- 965 XE, -940 and -920
    Memory: 3 x 1GB DDR3-1066 (CL7)
    Motherboard: Intel DX58SO
    Motherboard chip set: Intel X58 Express
    Video Card: PNY GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB
    LCD: Dell 2407WFP 24"
    NVIDIA reference drivers: ForceWare 178.24
    Hard-Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200.11
    CD/DVD: Samsung DVD-R SH-S162
    Power Supply: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W
    Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate

    Intel X48 Reference System:
    Core 2 Processors: Core 2 Duo E8500, Core 2 Extreme QX9770, QX9650, and QX6850
    Memory 2 x 1GB Corsair DDR3-1600 (CL7)
    Motherboard: Intel DX48BT2
    Motherboard chip set: Intel X48 Express
    Video Card: PNY GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB
    LCD: Dell 2407WFP 24"
    NVIDIA reference drivers: ForceWare 178.24
    Hard-Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200.11
    CD/DVD: Samsung DVD-R SH-S162
    Power Supply: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W
    Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate

    AMD Socket AM2+ Reference System:
    Processors: Phenom 9950 and 9850
    Memory: 2 x 1GB Ultra DDDR2-800 (CAS4)
    Motherboard: ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe
    Motherboard chip set: AMD 790FX
    Video Card: PNY GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB
    LCD: Dell 2407WFP 24"
    NVIDIA reference drivers: ForceWare 178.24
    Hard-Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200.11
    CD/DVD: Samsung DVD-R SH-S162
    Power Supply: Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W
    Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate

    General Settings:
    Desktop Resolution: 1920x1200
    Color Depth: 32-bit
    V-Sync: Disabled


    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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