Six-Core Analysis, Part 2: Intel Core i7-980X Scaling

Benchmark Results: Applications

3ds Max scales extremely well with each additional core.

Similar conclusions arise with 7-Zip, although you’re not getting a lot more performance beyond four or five cores.

Cinebench in its multi-threaded run shows that real life performance doesn't scale linearly with every processing core added. There is a bit of overhead incurred with each addition. Again, we’re seeing best results from the six-core configuration.

Adobe’s Acrobat 9 always takes at least a few seconds to generate a PDF document from a complex Word or PowerPoint file. Our benchmark uses a 115-page presentation, but the time savings on multiple cores versus a single core are embarassing for Adobe. It should be possible to parallelize this type of workload to a much greater extent. As things stand, all you really need is a fast, dual-core CPU.

Photoshop CS4 is a perfect example of how applications can take maximum advantage of modern multi-core processors.

WinRAR is thread-optimized and benefits from each CPU core enabled during testing, but benchmark variance is about as large as the performance gains witnessed once you exceed three cores.

WinZip needs a serious update. Variance is high and performance only scales if you boost clock speeds. What a disappointment for such a popular tool.