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All of the 95 W and 77W CPUs perform fairly similarly in Photoshop. The only drop-offs happen at 65 W and 45 W, where lower thermal ceilings keep Turbo Boost from doing as much for performance, since our test is fully-threaded.
Hyper-Threading and cache play much more of a role in Premiere Pro, where the two Core i7s get their work done in less than 10 minutes. Three of the Core i5s appear to serve up similar performance, while the 45 W model’s restrictive TDP again keeps that chip from accelerating as fast as it’d need to in order to keep up.
Remember that we’re using integrated graphics, so Adobe’s Mercury Playback Engine isn’t enjoying hardware acceleration. Finally, with CS 6, we’ll see OpenCL support start speeding up certain models from AMD, too.
Our After Effects test doesn’t really do a whole heck of a lot with Hyper-Threading, so the Core i7-2700K drops behind a couple of 77 W Core i5s, as Ivy Bridge’s architectural improvements play more of a role than the former flagship’s eight threads or larger cache.
Again, the only time performance really suffers is when the 45 W chip’s thermal envelope holds it back.
The two Core i7s rule in 3ds Max, which does utilize all of the cores we throw at it. The i5s lag back a little bit. And as you start putting the squeeze on TDP, the 65 W and 45 W Core i5s just can’t be pushed as hard.
Demonstrating similar behavior as 3ds Max, SolidWorks’ PhotoView 360 also exploits all eight of the Core i7’s threads, translating into a quantifiable performance advantage. The two 77 W i5s aren’t far behind, though. Only as you start limiting TDP does the workload take longer to finish.