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Benchmark Results: Productivity

Intel Core i5 And Core i7: Intel’s Mainstream Magnum Opus

We would have thought Turbo Boost would give the 2.66 GHz Core i5 a larger lead over the i7-920. More surprising is the Core 2 Extreme’s first-place finish ahead of even the Core i7-870—capable of hitting 3.6 GHz with one active thread.

The latest version of WinRAR, 3.90, is optimized for 64-bit environments and threading—evident in the massive advantage held by both Core i7 chips. Core i5 takes a third-place finish, followed by Core 2 Extreme and Phenom II X4.

Also able to take advantage of Hyper-Threading, 3ds Max 2009 best handles its rendering workload using either of our two Core i7s. The Core i5 follows pretty close behind, though, and the rest of the pack is right on its tail.

Again we see Hyper-Threading take a massive chunk out of one of our benchmarks—in this case, it’s AVG’s latest anti-virus app. The $199 Core i5 and $1,000 Core 2 Extreme place similarly, but both are edged out by AMD’s Phenom II X4 965 BE.

Our Photoshop CS4 test runs through a series of thread-aware filters, though the Core i7-870’s clock rate advantage seems to propel it through the metric faster than any of the other CPUs. The Core i5-750 and Core i7-920 turn back comparable scores, though both are narrowly edged out by Intel’s Core 2 Extreme.

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