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UPDATE: Core i7: Blazing Fast, O/C Changes

Analysis--Core i7 16% Faster Than Core 2

Clocked at 3.20 GHz, the Core i7 Extreme is currently Intel’s fastest processor: in our benchmark suite, this new performance heavyweight is an incredible 65% faster on average than AMD’s flagship model. It also pulls ahead of its own predecessor, the Core 2 Extreme QX9770, by 16%.

Analysis: Core i7 965 Extreme vs. Phenom X4 9950 BE vs. Core 2 Extreme QX9770

BenchmarkPhenom X4 9950 Black 2.6 GHzCore 2 Extreme QX9770 3.20 GHz
Crysis33.7% slower12.1% slower
Unreal Tournament 330.9% slower2.6% slower
World in Conflict52.8% slower28.0% slower
Supreme Commander12.6% slower3.8% slower
AVG Anti-Virus 834.3% slower14.5% slower
Winrar 3.8047.3% slower35.5% slower
Winzip 1134.2% slower2.9% faster
Acrobat 9 Professional36% slower1.0% faster
Photoshop CS 331.6% slower1.1% faster
iTunes35.1% slower4.7% slower
Lame MP337% slower5% slower
Studio 1222.1% slower11.4% slower
DivX48% slower34.8% slower
XviD41.3% slower16.5% slower
MainConcept H.26445.9% slower32% slower
Premiere Pro CS3 HDTV49.7% slower26% slower
Cinema 4D Release 1041.9% slower21.1% slower
3D Studio Max 944.7% slower23.5% slower
Fritz 1147.8% slower22.9% slower
Nero 8 Recode56.3% slower24.5% slower
Overall:39.2% slower15.7% slower

Analysis: Core i7 965 Extreme vs. Core i7 940 vs. Core i7 920)

The Core i7 965 Extreme is clocked at 3.20 GHz. Running 266 MHz less, the Core i7 940 is around 8% slower, while the 2.66 GHz Core i7 920, performs about 16% slower than the Core i7 flagship on average across our benchmark suite.

BenchmarkCore i7 940 2.93 GHzCore i7 920 2.66 GHz
Crysis7.4% slower13.4% slower
Unreal Tournament 34.9% slower11.4% slower
World in Conflict10.1% slower21.1% slower
Supreme Commander4.0% slower7.5% slower
AVG Anti-Virus 87.8% slower16.5% slower
Winrar 3.8011.5% slower18.8% slower
Winzip 119.4% slower17.2% slower
Acrobat 9 Professional7.5% slower16.2% slower
Photoshop CS 37.9% slower16.2% slower
iTunes7.6% slower17.6% slower
Lame MP38.1% slower16.8% slower
Studio 125.2% slower10.7% slower
DivX10.9% slower19.2% slower
XviD9.5% slower17.8% slower
MainConcept H.2648.6% slower16.7% slower
Premiere Pro CS3 HDTV7.8% slower16.1% slower
Cinema 4D Release 109.5% slower17.3% slower
3D Studio Max 97.1% slower16.1% slower
Fritz 118.6% slower17.5% slower
Nero 8 Recode9% slower16.6% slower
Overall:8.1% slower 16% slower
  • joseph85
    Good article, and may I say Keep up the good work.
    Reply
  • pullmyfoot
    AMD’s HyperTransport protocol can transmit up to 25.6 GB/s at 3.20 GHz.
    You mean Intel don't you? Other than that little mistake, good article
    Reply
  • wh3resmycar
    hmm, question. once this nehalems come out. will we ever see a dieshrunk c2q again after the penryns? im expecting the price of this procs along with the mobo and ram to be too far off from my budget. or
    Reply
  • skywalker9952
    One of the first side effects of Intel's domination of the CPU market is beginning to show. Since they don't have to compete with AMD in any market segment the i7 occupies, they have limited (significant) overclocking to only extreme models.

    RIP AMD.
    May Abu Dhabi restore you to life soon so we don't have to suffer through more Intel ripoffs.
    Reply
  • sonar610
    "The fastest Core i7, the 965 Extreme, is more than 2.6 times as fast as AMD’s current flagship CPU, the Phenom X4 9550 BE."
    This seems like an editing mistake maybe it should be 9950BE.
    Reply
  • cryogenic
    Core i7 is a great CPU, the article is not. I can't believe after all this time you still stack overclocked CPUs with unoverclocked ones. It's great to find out the overclocking potential of Nehalem but, at least include some overclocked Penryns in there too, to see how overclocked Nehalem stacks agains OTHER overclocked CPUs, because it's fairly evident that and overclocked new gen CPU will stack well with older non overclocked ones.

    Reply
  • joseph85
    CryogenicCore i7 is a great CPU, the article is not. I can't believe after all this time you still stack overclocked CPUs with unoverclocked ones. It's great to find out the overclocking potential of Nehalem but, at least include some overclocked Penryns in there too, to see how overclocked Nehalem stacks agains OTHER overclocked CPUs, because it's fairly evident that and overclocked new gen CPU will stack well with older non overclocked ones.If it's evident then who cares?
    Reply
  • fender22
    skywalker9952One of the first side effects of Intel's domination of the CPU market is beginning to show. Since they don't have to compete with AMD in any market segment the i7 occupies, they have limited (significant) overclocking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overclocking to only extreme models.RIP AMD. May Abu Dhabi restore you to life soon so we don't have to suffer through more Intel ripoffs.
    My thoughts exactly... I wonder if there will be some sort of resistance to this sort of thing... It's like buying a car, you can do whatever you want to it (within the limits of the law) to make it as fast as you want. Sure, you may void your factory warranty, but it's your deal. You don't see car companies making it impossible for you to do what you want to their cars so you have to buy their expensive high end just to get your kicks... (not a perfect comparison, but it works)

    I dunno, it's just pretty weak. And they are just taking advantage of the situation...
    Reply
  • cangelini
    sonar610"The fastest Core i7, the 965 Extreme, is more than 2.6 times as fast as AMD’s current flagship CPU, the Phenom X4 9550 BE." This seems like an editing mistake maybe it should be 9950BE.
    Fixed, thanks!
    Reply
  • onearmedscissorb
    Aside from the all too prevalent and potentially misleading typos, which someone needed to get a handle on as of months ago, I must say that the overall quality of this article is MUCH better than pretty much anything I can remember of the last few months. It's actually informative and thought out, rather than being a mess of assumptions that many people reading already know better than.

    Keep it up, and maybe I'll pay attention to this site like I used to.

    But just for the record, I don't believe that it's particularly appropriate to use the overall average performance percentages as a basis for comparison between the "speed" of Core 2 vs. Core i7. Obviously, most people are going to be interested in the difference with games, where it's likely to be pretty minimal. But here and there, you have something like the 55% WinRAR difference pretty much skewing what otherwise would have been an accurate depiction of average expectations across the board.
    Reply