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Benchmark Results: Productivity

Intel Core i7-975 Extreme And i7-950 Reviewed
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WinZip runs on a single thread, showing little benefit to the Core i7’s architecture versus Core 2. What’s clear is that both Intel designs are faster than AMD’s Phenom II. Then again, consider that the cheapest Intel chip represented here, the i7-920, is still $30 more expensive than AMD’s flagship.

WinRAR's latest beta running across eight coresWinRAR's latest beta running across eight cores

Many of you asked for new compression tests after our Phenom II X4 955 review. As we were looking into replacements, we noticed that Rarlab had released WinRAR 3.9 Beta 1, which added 64-bit support and performance improvements for multi-core processors. We gave it a shot, and are glad that we did. This new version finishes the same benchmark workload in a fraction of the time it took before. You clearly see the i7s cleaning house here, but even the Phenom II X4 955, which took 1:52 in build 3.80 now completes the test in 1:28.

This one also demonstrates the benefit of Core i7’s design, though the i7-975 doesn’t register a speed-up corresponding to its quicker frequency.

At long last, we’ve ditched the old Adobe Photoshop CS3 benchmark in favor of a very demanding CS4-based test. The test automates a handful of filters, including radial blur, shape blur, median, and polar coordinates (rectangular to polar) on a high-res .tif. The Core i7 processors scale fairly nicely as you add clock frequency, and the quad-core QX9770 hangs right alongside the Core i7-920. Meanwhile, AMD’s Phenom II X4 955 trails the pack.

In addition to resuscitating Photoshop, we were also able to get the latest version of AVG anti-virus 8.5 up, adding it back to our suite. The scores in this one clearly show a proclivity for Intel’s quad-core with Hyper-Threading design, though there isn’t much gain to be had from adding clock speed. The quad-core Core 2 Extreme and Phenom II X4 hang back from Intel’s i7 lineup.

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