Skip to main content

Intel Core i7-975 Extreme And i7-950 Reviewed

Power Consumption

We benchmarked all of these systems with their related power-saving and performance-affecting features enabled: Cool’n’Quiet, SpeedStep, Turbo Mode, C1E. At idle, we let each configuration sit for 30 minutes before taking a measurement from the wall for the entire platform. Under load, we fired up Prime95 with the maximum number of threads per processor (eight for the i7s, four for the Core 2 and Phenom II) and FurMark to tax graphics.

At idle, AMD’s Phenom II X4 955, which scales all the way back to 800 MHz, uses the least amount of power. If you look back to our Phenom II X4 955 review, where we were forced to test with all of those extras turned off, the 955 actually used more idle power than Intel’s Core i7 920. Now AMD has a measurable advantage, besting all of the i7s and Intel’s Core 2 Extreme.

With load applied the 955 matches Intel’s Core i7-920. And, as you can see from another comparison to our last Phenom II review, using FurMark instead of the Vantage Perlin noise test taxes these platforms even harder. Not surprisingly, the Core i7-975 Extreme we’re testing today is the highest power consumer, though it doesn’t use much more juice than the Core 2 Extreme. The i7-950 falls right between the Core i7-920 and i7-965 Extreme, as expected.

  • smithereen
    I've never seen anyone saying that the Phenom II is faster than any Core i7...
    Reply
  • cruiseoveride
    Doesn't make any difference with games
    Reply
  • cangelini
    The i7's disadvantage in Far Cry 2 is well-known. That it gets beat in HAWX is something we only discovered this time around. In everything else, it's the faster CPU.
    Reply
  • Tindytim
    Are we going to see a price reduction in the 940 or the 965 that gives me any reason to purchase them over the 920?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Not enough to warrant spending an extra $200 or more, in my opinion.
    Reply
  • burnley14
    Good thing I didn't shell out for the 965 yesterday.

    Oh wait, I don't have unlimited cash, so I won't be shelling out for the 975 any time soon either . . .
    Reply
  • Dustpuppy
    Those game results look like you ran into serious GPU limits. As a result I think you may have been showing a difference in motherboards rather than processors on some of those tests. That does make it an interesting result in other ways though. It looks like the i7 boards have room to mature a little bit more relative to the older tech.
    Reply
  • Summer Leigh Castle
    Who said that AMD holds the crown in performance? I think any half witted enthusiast who hasn't been hiding underneath a rock for the past year knows that the i7 (and even the core 2 duo in some test) is king. I would hope that people who visit tomshardware or rather any tech website knows that in terms of highend power, AMD doesn't come close to Intel at all.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    DustpuppyThose game results look like you ran into serious GPU limits. As a result I think you may have been showing a difference in motherboards rather than processors on some of those tests. That does make it an interesting result in other ways though. It looks like the i7 boards have room to mature a little bit more relative to the older tech.
    Likely, yes. If you look back to this doozy of a benchmark-fest, you'll see it isn't under you add a second or third GTX 280 that i7 starts putting on some distance. Up until then, though, it's worth noting that the other two platforms (Core 2 and Phenom) are actually faster!
    Reply
  • doomtomb
    Really, any of the i7 processors besides the 920 seems like a waste because of the marginal performance increases for exponential price hikes. I was especially alarmed by the DDR3 memory results. There is the synthetic benchmark advantage of higher bandwidth at higher speeds but absolutely no difference across the board ranging from 1066 to 2133 in real world encoding or what not.

    Pretty absurd, I think I'd just stick with the 920 @ 3.8GHz and some affordable DDR3 1600MHz memory.
    Reply