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Analysis--Triple-Channel Memory Does Not Impact Performance

UPDATE: Core i7: Blazing Fast, O/C Changes
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Analysis: Triple-Channel vs. Dual-Channel and Single-Channel

We ran the entire benchmark suite once with each of the memory configurations. Our conclusion? It doesn’t matter much to the Core i7, with its 1 MB L2 cache and 8 MB L3 cache, whether it is running its memory in a triple-, dual-, or single-channel configuration. In everyday tasks, there is absolutely no tangible performance difference: the performance delta between a tri-channel and a single-channel configuration is only 2% on average. If you already own a dual-channel DDR3 memory kit and are planning to switch to the Core i7, you don’t need to spend the extra money on a third module to run your system in tri-channel mode.

Intel Core i7 920 (Tri-Channel)
BenchmarkDual-ChannelSingle-Channel
Crysis-1.0%-2.4%
Unreal Tournament 3-0.2%-0.9%
World in Conflict-4.6%-9.2%
Supreme Commander-0.3%-1.9%
AVG Anti-Virus 80.0%-1.4%
Winrar 3.800.0%-7.2%
Winzip 110.9%0.0%
Acrobat 9 Professional1.0%1.0%
Photoshop CS 30.0%0.0%
iTunes-1.6%-1.6%
Lame MP30.0%0.0%
Studio 12-1.8%-5.5%
DivX-2.9%-3.5%
XviD-0.7%-2.6%
MainConcept H.2641.2%0.0%
Premiere Pro CS3 HDTV-2.1%-5.3%
Cinema 4D Release 100.0%0.0%
3D Studio Max 90.0%0.0%
Fritz 11-0.1%0.0%
Nero 8 Recode-0.4%-0.8%
Overall:-0.6%-2.1%

Analysis: Overclocking to 3.60 GHz and 3.84 GHz

Overclocking the Core i7 is very well worth the effort: boosting our CPU from 3.20 GHz to 3.60 GHz yielded a performance increase of 8.1%; running it at 3.80 GHz sped it up by 12.4%. Depending on the memory configurations, higher clock speeds are also possible, but we assumed a "worst case" scenario based on DDR3-1333.

Intel Core i7 965 Extreme (3.20 GHz)
Benchmark3.84 GHz3.60 GHz
Crysis4.4%3.1%
Unreal Tournament 32.8%4.0%
World in Conflict4.6%3.7%
Supreme Commander3.3%1.5%
AVG Anti-Virus 815.5%9.9%
Winrar 3.808.7%4.3%
Winzip 1115.1%9.4%
Acrobat 9 Professional18.4%11.2%
Photoshop CS 317.2%10.8%
iTunes13.1%9.8%
Lame MP316.7%11.4%
Studio 121.8%1.8%
DivX14.0%8.1%
XviD15.1%9.2%
Mainconcept H.26414.1%10.6%
Premiere Pro CS3 HDTV14.9%9.6%
Cinema 4D Release 1016.3%10.5%
3D Studio Max 919.2%11.5%
Fritz 1119.1%11.5%
Nero 8 Recode14.1%9.2%
Overall:12.4%8.1%

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