Intel Core i5-661: Clarkdale Rings The Death Knell Of Core 2

Benchmark Results: Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead is much more contingent on processor performance, but that dependency is only really prominent at low resolutions and without anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering. At 1680x1050, we see the Lynnfield-based Core i5-750 delivering the highest frame rates, followed by AMD’s Phenom II X4 965. Those two are on even footing once you add AA and AF into the mix, though.

At 1920x1200 and then 2560x1600, it’s much harder to tell between the CPUs on our test bench. Only one thing remains consistent: the Core 2 Duo E8500 pulls up last place, making our past recommendations that you invest in a triple- or quad-core CPU all the more relevant.

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  • gkay09
    ^ Many more reasons to buy AMD Phenoms II X4 in the mid-range segment...
    Only drawback with the AMD CPUs is the power consumption, that I feel can be brought down with slight undervolting...
    14
  • dtemple
    I'm looking to upgrade from my Athlon X2 @ 2.7GHz because I do more with the computer now than I did before - sometimes I'll play a game while my TV tuner is recording from my cable signal, and having more cores would help these multiple tasks run more smoothly.
    I was waiting until the Clarkdale-based i5 launched, thinking it would be a quad-core that was more competitively priced against the Phenom II X4, but it looks like a Phenom II X4 is my only option to get more cores for less money.
    The only good news coming out of this launch is that LGA1156 is not changing for the Clarkdale chips, so it looks to be the most future-proof platform to upgrade to, if one was so inclined. I'm personally going with a Phenom II since I can get one without changing motherboards. This is one of the more disappointing launches in the last year or so.
    11
  • Zoonie
    Well... I think that takes care of the dreaded "But can it play Crysis?" question regarding its GMA :D :P :P
    10
  • Other Comments
  • Zoonie
    Well... I think that takes care of the dreaded "But can it play Crysis?" question regarding its GMA :D :P :P
    10
  • xc0mmiex
    Video on page 1 not working ... "This is a private video..."
    -1
  • eklipz330
    can i ask why you teased us at the end with the 4.5ghz OC but didn't include them in the benchmarks? =[ i'm guessing most of use at tom's like to OC... it could be the difference that gets us to buy the i5 661 over the phenom II
    0
  • cangelini
    xc0mmiexVideo on page 1 not working ... "This is a private video..."


    Fixed! Had to keep it private pre-launch :)
    1
  • Anonymous
    I really like the improvements Larrabee brought about....not! I do like the fact they are making progress but they really need to skip ahead a few generations or buy out some other company to design a GPU for themselves.
    -1
  • gkay09
    ^ Many more reasons to buy AMD Phenoms II X4 in the mid-range segment...
    Only drawback with the AMD CPUs is the power consumption, that I feel can be brought down with slight undervolting...
    14
  • dtemple
    I'm looking to upgrade from my Athlon X2 @ 2.7GHz because I do more with the computer now than I did before - sometimes I'll play a game while my TV tuner is recording from my cable signal, and having more cores would help these multiple tasks run more smoothly.
    I was waiting until the Clarkdale-based i5 launched, thinking it would be a quad-core that was more competitively priced against the Phenom II X4, but it looks like a Phenom II X4 is my only option to get more cores for less money.
    The only good news coming out of this launch is that LGA1156 is not changing for the Clarkdale chips, so it looks to be the most future-proof platform to upgrade to, if one was so inclined. I'm personally going with a Phenom II since I can get one without changing motherboards. This is one of the more disappointing launches in the last year or so.
    11
  • cangelini
    eklipz330can i ask why you teased us at the end with the 4.5ghz OC but didn't include them in the benchmarks? =[ i'm guessing most of use at tom's like to OC... it could be the difference that gets us to buy the i5 661 over the phenom II


    We have another overclocking piece planned--I wanted to get a Core i3, at least, to include :)
    4
  • Anonymous
    I would love to see what GTA IV would do do the dual cores in gaming! I do know that its a bear of a game on the CPU and it would truly show off if hyperthreading could actually make a major difference.
    3
  • maximus20895
    Great video once again! Thanks for this and the review itself. Very informative. I really liked the graph on the first page too :)
    0
  • WINTERLORD
    good touch on the world of warcraft fraps. although not very playable on high settings is good to know what speeds it actualy gets
    0
  • noob2222
    Would be nice to know if this thing can handle blue ray playback, as some of these would probably be sold as a HTPC. Ya, they put features for it, but does it play or not?

    Last preview I read showed it doing fine in windowed mode, but blowing chunks at full screen playback, dropping to 15fps and lower.
    2
  • dupaman
    Idle power in the 70s for an IGP-based system is a huge failure not a win, though using an 1100W PSU probably deserves a lot of the blame. Systems built on the 780G, 730i, G4x, etc. (similar to this test platform, but use a more appropriate PSU) idle in the 40s.
    3
  • shubham1401
    Nice dual....
    E8500 was beaten badly...

    Wud really like to see what these chips can do once overclocked.
    1
  • thejerk
    Where are the H55 and H57 motherboards priced? So what if the processor is $200 if the motherboard is going to be another $200 on top of it, like P55. I'm not an AMD fanboi, but for less than $300, you can get excellent computing power. Platform cost is where AMD rules, currently.
    6
  • Stardude82
    Very meh at their price points with disappointing idle consumption. Intel is just biding time until AMD's 32 nm process is ready. No reason why they couldn't have a 4 GHz stock chip, load power proves it.

    If you use a E8600 with integrated G45 graphics, I bet you that power consumption will be lower that the 661 (integrated). This GPU-on-package is all just a marketing ploy.

    I really wish you had benchmarks for the low end chips though I doubt IT managers will be running out to replace their fleets of E7500's.
    0
  • liquidsnake718
    same as the p55 but less room for Gpu's.... and newer h55,h57 onboard gpu.... well I guess if you really want to get over all the unneeded jargon and you dont really have a budget just skip this and go X58..... regardless.... even if you have a little extra money to spare and you ARE on a budget, save on the 2nd GPU,monitor, or RAM and get an X58 now!
    -6
  • mau1wurf1977
    I think there is a big mistake in the gaming benchmarks...

    Wolfdale is a awesome gaming chip. Its a first to me that the Core 2 Quad is faster in Crysis and all the other games vs. Wolfdale...

    Are you sure it was running at full speed?
    1
  • mau1wurf1977
    I think there is a big mistake in the gaming benchmarks...

    Wolfdale is a awesome gaming chip. Its a first to me that the Core 2 Quad is faster in Crysis and all the other games vs. Wolfdale...

    Are you sure it was running at full speed?
    -6
  • mau1wurf1977
    That Yorkfield is 2.66 GHz! No chance in hell it beats the E8500 in gaming...

    I hope this is just a mistake...

    E.g. in Crysis 1920 x 1200 with (breace yourself) 8x AA! No way in hell are these scores correct.

    Did you test the E8500 with a slower video card?
    -6