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Core i7-3970X Extreme Review: Can It Stomp An Eight-Core Xeon?

Benchmark Results: Compression Apps

Corel’s recent introduction of WinZip 17 fixes much of what plagued the application’s performance in the past. Finally, it’s able to fully utilize all available processing cores. Moreover, OpenCL support accelerates the compression of files larger than 8 MB. Unfortunately, as it stands, our 1.35 GB test folder includes very few files that large, so turning OpenCL on doesn’t have much of an impact.

The Xeon finishes in first place, confirming that WinZip is now able to completely utilize the resources available to it. Intel’s new Core i7-3970X places second, followed by its predecessor, the -3960X.

Perhaps we’ve been unfairly critical of WinRAR in the past, downplaying the extent to which it’s able to utilize available cores. The fact that we again see Intel’s Xeon E5 finish first, followed by three Sandy Bridge-E-based Core i7s, illustrates that this application does scale beyond four cores.

7-Zip does as well. Even the Xeon E5’s two extra cores clearly make a really big difference. The two-core advantage that a 3.5 GHz Core i7-3970X holds over the Core i7-3770K is equally significant, despite the Ivy Bridge architecture’s superior efficiency.

We remain big fans of the Core i7-3570K for its value. But, at least in this metric, you’ll wait almost a minute more for 1.35 GB to compress on a system with that CPU compared to Intel’s newest Core i7.

  • amuffin
    100mhz faster than the 3960X, not worth the extra premium.

    Same thing goes for the 3960X compared to the 3930K....not worth the extra 100mhz for $400....
    Reply
  • jaquith
    Boo on Intel for not enabling all 8-cores especially at that price!
    Reply
  • tumetsu
    I've recently started facepalming every time I see BF3 in CPU benchmarks. "Boy oh boy, this hasn't been confirmed like a hundred times already but the single player is decidedly graphics-bound, so here, have these charts with identical results anyway."
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    jaquithBoo on Intel for not enabling all 8-cores especially at that price!They don't have much of a choice when it comes to the i7's. With the 32nm Sandy Bridge-E Intel has to make a choice between prioritizing clocks or core count within a 150W TDP, based on the target workload for a particular processor. For Xeon's the choice is easy, more cores. For desktop applications the choice isn't as clear, but I think most users would still benefit more from a higher clocked 6-core than a lower claocked 8-core. That's slowly changing though.

    Intel also doesn't want a situation where their LGA 1155 processors outperform their $1000 extreme edition in lightly threaded workloads, which is yet another reason to favor 6-core for now.

    I'd personally like to see an 8-core i7, even if it means lower clocks, but I don't think that'll happen until Ivy Bridge-E. At 22nm Intel probably won't have to make a choice, we'll get the best of both worlds.
    Reply
  • samuelspark
    So much money...
    Reply
  • nebun
    jaquithBoo on Intel for not enabling all 8-cores especially at that price!why would they....they don't need to do it at this time....amd's top cpu is still very slow when compared with even intels mid rannge cpus
    Reply
  • unknown9122
    Why do people still benchmark on itunes 10.4? 10.7 is out... as for the 8 cores as said above^, there is no need to have more than 6. Because if it had 8, then xeons would not sell to pros.
    Reply
  • dark_wizzie
    Why are we not manually overclocking this expensive CPU? Why do we do benchmarks against stock ig 2500k?
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    You also forgot something when comparing against Xeon:

    Stability test.

    Run the i7 for one month under Prime95. It will crash. Run the Xeon for one month under Prime95. If it crashes, then you got a defective Xeon because they're not suppose to crash under 24/7 workload.
    Reply
  • anthonyorr
    nebunwhy would they....they don't need to do it at this time....amd's top cpu is still very slow when compared with even intels mid rannge cpus
    Why would you even include the 8350? It is 1/6th the price of this CPU. I couldn't imagine what a modern AMD desktop CPU would consist of at the $1000+ price range.
    Reply