Benchmark Results: Sandra 2011
There are obvious reasons to want a six-core CPU over a quad-core model, but the IPC-oriented improvements made to Sandy Bridge keep Intel’s latest architecture competitive in Sandra’s Arithmetic benchmark. Sandy Bridge-E combines them, though, yielding significant gains.
The Multimedia test is a little less telling. However, Sandy Bridge-E again scores another win over Gulftown.
We were already impressed by improvements made to AES-NI moving from the Nehalem to Sandy Bridge architectures. However, Sandy Bridge-E takes this metric to another level entirely, turning a 50% increase in core count to a more than 100% boost to AES256 hashing bandwidth.
Memory bandwidth also shoots up, as expected. Why doesn’t the Gulftown-based Core i7-990X perform more aggressively? Its triple-channel memory controller is officially limited to DDR3-1066, capping peak throughput at 25.6 GB/s. The dual-channel Core i7-2600K supports DDR3-1333, so its ceiling is 21.3 GB/s. Meanwhile, our 32 GB memory kit runs with no issues at the Core i7-3960X’s purported DDR3-1600 data rate, topping out with a 51.2 GB/s maximum.
Of course, none of these configurations hit their theoretical limits. But we do see tremendous memory bandwidth from Sandy Bridge-E anyway, which will become more important in the enterprise workloads that multi-processor Xeon E5s wind up addressing.