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Total And Average Power, Efficiency Workload Runtime

Core i7-980X: Dialing In Efficiency With The Right Overclock
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The total power used for our efficiency workload, consisting of all the benchmarks shown on the results page, is lowest when the processor runs at 3.86 GHz without voltage tweaking.

Average power may be higher on the overclocked system, but since the workload terminates quicker, the system can return to an idle state much faster—and idle requires the least power.

We calculate efficiency as runtime per power used (performance per watt). Obviously, runtime scales with clock speed.

The power diagram allows us to visualize performance differences and check how much power each configuration required.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    babybeluga , April 9, 2010 6:51 AM
    Not worth the time and money!


    ...yet
  • 10 Hide
    Sihastru , April 9, 2010 7:32 AM
    Looks like 32nm will be a gamechanger for Intel CPUs. What I'm missing though is temperature readings. It would be interesting to see how much higher they are when overclocking "efficiently".

    Still at ~$1000 a pop, most of us can just take this CPU as a hint of "things to come" and not really consider one for purchase any time soon.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    babybeluga , April 9, 2010 6:51 AM
    Not worth the time and money!


    ...yet
  • 3 Hide
    dlochinski , April 9, 2010 7:11 AM
    What a beast
  • 0 Hide
    Lmeow , April 9, 2010 7:15 AM
    Just wondering, if Turbo Boost is enabled when you have overclocked your CPU, does TB add to your overclock? E.g., if you have an i7 900 @ 4Ghz, does it go to 4.133GHz w/TB?
  • 10 Hide
    Sihastru , April 9, 2010 7:32 AM
    Looks like 32nm will be a gamechanger for Intel CPUs. What I'm missing though is temperature readings. It would be interesting to see how much higher they are when overclocking "efficiently".

    Still at ~$1000 a pop, most of us can just take this CPU as a hint of "things to come" and not really consider one for purchase any time soon.
  • -2 Hide
    victomofreality , April 9, 2010 7:35 AM
    if cash wasn't an issue I would totally get one for bragging rights but not worth the cash.
  • -1 Hide
    jsowoc , April 9, 2010 7:38 AM
    After the intro mentioned the Core i5-670, I almost expected it to be part of the benchmark. With less cores, you should be able to push it further, and it might perform faster than the i7-980X on the single- or dual- core benchmarks. We need to know what (if any) is the difference between the $1000 beast and the $300 beauty.

    Is a Core i5-670 overclock article in the works?
  • -2 Hide
    evolve60 , April 9, 2010 8:01 AM
    http://www.juns.jp/980X.html

    They managed to get the 980X up to 5GHz with 1.688volts, but at that voltage the chip is bound to get fried sooner or later, but I just thought that this was worth mentioning seeing as how Toms emphasized on how Intel skimped out on the Turbo boost feature.
  • -6 Hide
    starralazn , April 9, 2010 8:38 AM
    LmeowJust wondering, if Turbo Boost is enabled when you have overclocked your CPU, does TB add to your overclock? E.g., if you have an i7 900 @ 4Ghz, does it go to 4.133GHz w/TB?

    you obviously have never overclocked a CPU with turbo boost.
    Once you reach a stable oc setting with turbo boost off, and try to turn it on, your setup probably won't make it past startup because that part will throttle up your CPU past the limit capable of your CPU
  • 1 Hide
    fusionlance , April 9, 2010 8:59 AM
    I so wanted this for Maya, 12 threads ought to cut 60% of the rendering time compared to the system I'm currently using.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2010 9:41 AM
    Motherboard
    (Socket LGA 1156)

    I believe that is not right ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Reynod , April 9, 2010 10:20 AM
    The tables were useful.

    I'd run one of these at 3.73 ... that seems the sweet spot and no worries about electromigration as long as you have a quality aftermarket cooler.

    Frying one od these would surely make the toughest overclocker weep real tears.

    Putting the stats in for an i5 and i7 reference cpu would also have been nice guys.

    Good work.
  • -2 Hide
    RazberyBandit , April 9, 2010 10:34 AM
    Aww. With those initial comments about an OC'd i5 potentially outperforming this thing in a single-threaded, I was hoping to actually see it happen.

    Very interesting how well it can OC at it's stock voltage, and how well it scales while doing so.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2010 10:44 AM
    How did you test stability? Did you use Linpack? I ask because there is a significant difference between what is stable in Linpack and what is stable for example in orthos. My i5 750 runs orthos small fft test just fine at 4.1GHz for 12h and crashes in Linpack at that frequency after 5 minutes. I can only achieve 24h stability in Linpack at 3.77GHz. As for dual core i5, you have to take into account that dual core i5 do not have IMC, thus they have much lower performance per clock then "true" Nehalems.
  • -3 Hide
    anamaniac , April 9, 2010 10:50 AM
    Cool, using the reference cooler and keeping HT/Turbo on, nice.

    Now, how about a better motherboard, a high end liquid setup, and turn HT and Turbo Boost off (HT is useless unless you actually need it, which most of us don't).

    You know you wanna. :D 
    For the sake of all Tom's devotees... RUN THAT MOTHA TILL IT BURSTS IN FLAMES!
  • 3 Hide
    Luscious , April 9, 2010 11:58 AM
    Very nice article, but some folks with dough to buy a $1000 CPU to OC will be running high-end water or phase-change.

    Time to do a follow-up article and get a Swiftech h2o kit in your labs alongside a phase-change unit. You guys do, after all, want to see how far this processor can go, right?
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2010 12:28 PM
    Anyone know how this chip compares to the i7-920XM (Extreme Calpella Clarksfield Processor 2.0-3.2GHz)? I mean if Turbo Boost will get this ship to 3.2 and the Gulftown to 3.6... on single cores would the 920 be competitive?
  • -1 Hide
    flyhiloone , April 9, 2010 1:28 PM
    I really appreciated this article. Just last week I picked up one of these bad boys for my business (video editing) and have really noticed a difference in the amount of time it takes to process/edit my work. I can't wait to go home and try some of these overclock settings.
  • 0 Hide
    whiz , April 9, 2010 1:34 PM
    Damn i like how old-school intel MBs always look like - i bet the guy responsible for the cooling solutions is a 60yr. old guy who's been working at intel since they opened =)
  • 1 Hide
    Ogdin , April 9, 2010 1:54 PM
    Worrying about power efficiency with a $1000.00 cpu.........that makes a lot of sense lol.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 9, 2010 2:53 PM
    Wow... 3.86 ghz..

    6 cores, 12 threads, HT on, TB one... all at stock voltage....

    I guess we can say that the 32 nano process is up and running, couple steppings and this thing will we deep into the 4 ghz range.

    Makes you wonder why Nehalem EX is still at 45 nano's. If ever their was a chip that cried of for all this 32 nano goodness that would be the one.
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