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In the past, Photoshop has shown itself to be unaffected by more than two cores. Let's see if i7's microarchitecture makes much of a difference here, or if the higher-clocked Core 2 still has the moves.
And the answer is, not really. Photoshop is definitely clock-speed dependent more than anything else, which is somewhat disappointing for a workstation-centric productivity program.
On the flip side, 3dsMAX has always loved multiple cores, so it's likely going to favor the i7:
No surprise here, as 3dsMAX shows us a 100% increase in speed when using the quad-core i7 over the dual-core E8500.
Up to this point, what we're seeing is that the i7 can hang with the much-higher clocked E8500 in applications that don't take advantage of quad cores, but when they do, the i7 pummels the E8500 for the win. Now let's look at regular productivity tasks.