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Benchmark Results: WinRAR

Second-Generation Ultrabooks: Faster And Cheaper With Ivy Bridge

WinRAR is one of three archival apps normally included in our processor reviews. Historically, it took far better advantage of multi-core CPUs than WinZip, though Corel's recent 16.5 release improves that app's threading. WinRAR doesn't always scale as well as 7-Zip, though.

This title isn't without its quirks, though. For instance, the system built around Intel's 17 W Core i5-3427U predictably trails the 45 W Core i7-3720QM by 30% (~23 seconds). However, the Core i5-2467M, also a 17 W chip, surprisingly beats the Core i7-2820QM. In every way specification the i7 outclasses the i5, suggesting something wrong on our end. But we repeated the test several times to the same result.

We've never seen WinRAR achieve high processor utilization numbers. It's tempting to suggest a storage bottleneck, but even when we run this test from a RAM disk, CPUs tend to flounder about in the 50% range. Regardless, the outcome in WinRAR is similar to our Photoshop metric, with the quad-core chips tending to hover between 20 and 30% duty cycles, as the dual-core models are forced to work harder.

Both of the 17 W parts behave as we'd expect when we turn to power consumption, sipping energy until their respective workloads are finished. The 45 W models exhibit vastly different tendencies, though. The Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 platform spikes up, hurries through its task, and dips back down. Meanwhile, the chip employing Sandy Bridge maintains more conservative power use. It's punished for its moderation by a far worse performance result.

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