Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Test Setup

Time To Upgrade: Should You Dump Your 2007 PC?
By
System I
Motherboard (LGA 775)MSI P35 Platinum (Rev. 1.0), Chipset: Intel P35, BIOS: 1.C (30/12/2009)
CPUIntel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (65 nm, 2.66 GHz, 8 MB L2 cache, TDP 130 W)
RAM4 x 1 GB DDR2-800 (Corsair CM2C1024-6400C4 5-5-5-15)
GraphicsZotac GeForce 8800 GTS, GPU: G80 (570 MHz), Graphics Memory: 320 MB GDDR3 (900 MHz), Stream Processors: 96
Hard DriveWestern Digital Raptor, 150 GB (WD1500ADFD), 10 000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16 MB cache
Power SupplyPC Power & Cooling, Silencer 750EPS12V 750 W
System II
Motherboard (LGA 1156)MSI P55A Fuzion (Rev. 1.0), Chipset: Intel P55, BIOS: 1.0 (07/12/2010)
CPUIntel Core i7-870 (45 nm, 2.93 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 and 8 MB L3 cache, TDP 95 W, Rev. B1)
RAM2 x 2 GB DDR-1333 (OCZ3G2000LV4GK)
GraphicsMSI R5870 Lightning TwinFrozr II, GPU: Cypress (900 MHz), Graphics RAM: 1024 MB GDDR5 (2400 MHz), Stream Processors: 1600
Hard DriveG.Skill Phoenix 100 GB SSD (FM-25S2S-100GBP1), SandForce SF-1200 controller, SATA 3Gb/s
Power SupplyPC Power & Cooling, Silencer 750EPS12V 750 W
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate x64 fully updated on 07/29/2010 using Windows Update
Drivers and Settings
ATI Radeon DriverATI Catalyst 10.7 for Windows 7
Nvidia Geforce DriverGeForce Driver Release 258.96
Intel Chipset DriversChipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.1.1.1025
Intel Storage DriversMatrix Storage Drivers Ver. 8.​9.​0.​1023


Benchmarks and Settings

3D-Games Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
GTA IVVersion: 1.0.3
Video Mode:
- 1680x1050
- Aspect Ratio: Auto
- All options: Low
- View Distance: 10
- Detail Distance: 100
- Vehicle Density: 100
- Shadow Density: 16
- Definition: On
- Vsync: Off
In-game Benchmark
Left 4 DeadVersion: 1.0.0.5
Video Mode: 1680x1050
Game Settings
- Anti Aliasing none
- Filtering Trilinear
- Wait for vertical sync disabled
- Shader Detail Medium
- Effect Detail Medium
- Model/Texture Detail Medium
Demo: THG Demo 1
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
iTunesVersion: 9.0.3.15
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min.
Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min.
Convert WAV to MP3 audio format
Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kbps)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
Handbrake CLIVersion: 0.94
Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 min.
Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-channel
Video: AVC1 Audio1: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2Version: 2.0.0.1555
MPEG-2 to H.264
MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec. HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2)
Audio:
MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2-channel, 16-bit, 224 Kbps)
Codec: H.264 Pro
Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS)
Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Application Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
7-ZipVersion 9.1 beta
LZMA2
Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinRARVersion 3.92
RAR
Syntax "winrar a -r -m3"
Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinZip 14Version 14.0 Pro (8652)
WinZip Commandline Version 3
ZIPX
Syntax "-a -ez -p -r"
Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 10 x64
Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9)
Frame: 248
Resolution: 1440 x 1080
CineBench 11.5Version 11.5 Build CB25720DEMO
CPU Test single- and multi-threaded
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-Bit)Version: 11
Filtering a 16 MB TIF (15000x7266)
Filters:
Radial Blur (Amount: 10; Method: zoom; Quality: good)
Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol)
Median (Radius: 1px)
Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
Adobe Acrobat 9 ProfessionalVersion: 9.0.0 (Extended)
== Printing Preferenced Menu ==
Default Settings: Standard
== Adobe PDF Security - Edit Menu ==
Encrypt all documents (128-bit RC4)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007Version: 2007 SP2
PPT to PDF
PowerPoint Document (115 Pages)
Adobe PDF-Printer
FritzFritz Chess Benchmark Version 4.3.2
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02 Patch 1901, Options: Performance, Graphics Test 1, Graphics Test 2, CPU Test 1, CPU Test 2
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.2.0 Patch 1901, PCMark Benchmark, Memories Benchmark
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version: 2010.1.16.10, Processor Arithmetic, Cryptography, Memory Bandwith
Display all 81 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:12 PM
    sorry, this comparison is near useless as you guys fail to break down what affected the performance more. perhaps it is the CPU. or was that SSD? your article does not answer that question. to bad...
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:30 PM
    The question for those who are making a "gradual upgrade/switch" is:
    What component to buy next? Will the new HD5870 give me a bigger boost than an SSD? These components can be used in both systems and don't require full mobo/cpu/ram upgrade... Kind of like that power supply you guys used for both systems.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 9:34 PM
    Who upgrades an entire computer anymore? At least give a comparison benchmark using the same video card.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    ern88 , August 23, 2010 7:53 PM
    I hope to get another year out of my E8400 O/C 3.6. Want to wait for the next offering from AMD and Intel. Should be interesting.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:12 PM
    sorry, this comparison is near useless as you guys fail to break down what affected the performance more. perhaps it is the CPU. or was that SSD? your article does not answer that question. to bad...
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 8:30 PM
    The question for those who are making a "gradual upgrade/switch" is:
    What component to buy next? Will the new HD5870 give me a bigger boost than an SSD? These components can be used in both systems and don't require full mobo/cpu/ram upgrade... Kind of like that power supply you guys used for both systems.
  • 3 Hide
    tomasz , August 23, 2010 8:30 PM
    q9650 on p35 board + gtx280, gaming @1680x1050, dont see any reason for upgrade. Not even upcomming radeon 6xxx... maybe someting after that. Pcie 1.1 does not seem to be a bottleneck either.
    All that becaue of current console generation I guess...
  • 4 Hide
    jasperjones , August 23, 2010 8:53 PM
    We see Moore's Law fails to hold in the comparison. 774 mil transistors in the i7-870 vs. 582 mil in the QX6700. CPU performance also clearly less than doubled over those 3 years...
  • 7 Hide
    warhammerkid , August 23, 2010 9:21 PM
    I had a Core 2 Duo E6750 OC 3.2 and an Nvidia 8800 GTX that I built back in early August 2007. This year I finally started having performance issues with Mass Effect 2 (I'm just going to ignore Crysis), and decided to upgrade the GPU for a GTX 460. Maybe next year I'll upgrade my CPU, but with the cost of a new motherboard, 4-6GB of memory, and an i7, it just isn't worth it yet.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2010 9:34 PM
    Who upgrades an entire computer anymore? At least give a comparison benchmark using the same video card.
  • -6 Hide
    asus x48 , August 23, 2010 10:11 PM
    No way e8600 ddr3 1333 cl.8 8gb's x48 full 16x on both vid/cards two wd/vr's two 4850 1gb ea. 256bit ea.gddr3 dx10.1 wei of 7.3 why?
  • 5 Hide
    sulsa76 , August 24, 2010 12:38 AM
    corequad273987239832You're comparing quad to dual core CPUs? Seems a bit unfair...

    Both the CPU's in the article are Quad Core.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 2:34 AM
    Thanks for the article, this question has been on my mind a lot lately. I have a Q6600/8GB RAM workstation that I've been debating upgrading for a while. I've done the video card and ssd thing and am now debating leaving it at that for a while or taking the plunge for an i7 platform (expensive with new MB/CPU/RAM).
  • 4 Hide
    Lutfij , August 24, 2010 2:41 AM
    I've been running my rig *E4300,DG965RY,2GB DDR2 800+ Mhz,xfx 7600GT* for just a lil' more than 3 years...upgrading to a maximus III formula w/ an i5... i made a dual core run for this long...i think its time for an upgrade plus CAD has become sluggish with the newer release. Its an upgrade ALRIGHT, just not trying to burn a hole in my wallet :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Fetal , August 24, 2010 6:31 AM
    lol, and i am making a new system around 2007 era. gts250, quad or c2d e7500 oc'd of course. xms rams. and i know for what i want, it will give me that, plus i can upgrade to gtx460 anytime. and i think this setup will last me 1 to 2 years easily and it costs near 500$ with lcd (300$=mobo,proc & gpu). So i am not moved by this article or the technology in forums. i don't need to game on 1080p resolutions.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 8:49 AM
    Why 8800GTS 320M?8800GTX 768M in a 2007's top gig makes more sense...
    And of course u can overclock the qx6700 to great clocks and narrow the performance diference ;) 
  • -1 Hide
    perzy , August 24, 2010 11:42 AM
    Great article, this is really what I appriciate with Tom's Hardware :-)
  • -1 Hide
    pschmid , August 24, 2010 1:45 PM
    @grass, Gradual Upgrade: This will be answered in a separate article.

    @yannigr: We didn't have too many suitable cards from 2007 available for this review. The 8800GTS isn't perfect, but representative.

    Thanks for your feedback!
    Patrick
  • 2 Hide
    lee3821 , August 24, 2010 2:13 PM
    I would have liked to see it broken down a bit more in the conclusion, as far as CPU/GPU balance, but what I pulled from it is that there's still no reason to upgrade my core2Quad Q9550 until I get more graphics horsepower than a single non-overclocked HD5850. Especially if I use ATI, which seems to be a little less dependent upon CPU.
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 5:09 PM
    I still own a Dell Dimension 8200 P4 3.06Ghz from 2001 and doing great with it. I'm waiting for Intel's next 2 o generations to see a wow effect.
  • 5 Hide
    wolfram23 , August 24, 2010 5:20 PM
    Firstly, not surprising although I suppose it's good to see a real comparison between CPUs

    However! Why wouldn't you switch the GPUs around to compare?? GPUs are easy replacements, whereas going from one CPU to another is a complete PC overhaul. Many people with the older system would definitely consider a simple GPU upgrade over a new PC if it's going to give good performance. I wish you had benched that in this article.
  • 4 Hide
    hangfirew8 , August 24, 2010 5:27 PM
    I was disappointed that the modern GPU wasn't tested in the old system. We all know good frame rates can be had with low-end AMD processors and a big video card.

    I have an early '08 era X-38 ($169 closeout when the X48 came out), Q9550 (1333FSB quad core, $169 at MicroCenter), and a GTX 275 ($179 at MicroCenter). While I have zero plans for an upgrade due to performance, I am always on the lookout for a good bargain.
Display more comments