Benchmark Results: Productivity
Photoshop again shows the $1200 machine’s so-called six-core processor performing as though it had only three cores, which it does if you classify a module as a core instead of an integer pipeline. Either way, its six cores perform less work per cycle than the $600 build’s mid-priced Core i5.
Utilizing the same architecture as the $600 PC, but without overclocking limits or disabled features, the $2400 machine is still left with nothing more than raw frequency to beat its low-cost rival.
3ds Max and WinZip punish Don Woligroski for placing an FX processor in the $1200 machine. Ironically, he probably would have been better served by a Phenom II.
With lower per-clock performance and no advantage favoring its two extra integer cores, the $1200 machine is stuck competing against the $600 PC in ABBYY FineReader. With a modest clock speed advantage over its $600 rival, this type of application appears to be the raison d'être for the added features of the $2400 machine’s Core i7 CPU.