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Intel Core i7-975 Extreme And i7-950 Reviewed

Benchmark Results: Synthetics

All of our benchmarks were run on what we call our “daily use” configuration, with Turbo mode enabled and SpeedStep/C1E turned on (SpeedStep in the case of the Core 2 Extreme and Cool’n’Quiet in the case of the Phenom II).

Keep CPU-Z running alongside PCMark, and you’ll constantly see the Core i7-975 Extreme throttling down when it idles and up to 3.46 GHz when Turbo kicks in. The Core i7-965 Extreme exhibits similar behavior, as does the Core i7-920 (our retail chip). The i7 that wouldn’t kick up a notch was the 950 because we keyed in its multiplier ratio manually using the i7-975 engineering sample. It did, however, benefit from SpeedStep.

As a result, all of the i7s scale down gently, except the 950, in PCMark’s suite score. The Memories test demonstrates a more linear curve, even if the i7-975 Extreme doesn’t best its predecessor by much. TV and Movies strangely shows the i7-975 behind the i7-965. 

The i7s rule this test as well, scaling down very slightly as a result of processor performance (our GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 remains a constant throughout the testing). As expected, the GPU score remains fairly even, while the CPU score favors Intel’s newest micro-architecture.

SiSoftware’s Sandra 2009 tells the same general tale, though it’s interesting to note that the multi-media test shows the Core 2 Extreme and Phenom II delivering better integer performance than the i7-920. Of course, the Core i7’s integrated triple-channel memory controller serves up plenty of bandwidth, followed by the Phenom II’s dual-channel IMC, and finally the Core 2 Extreme’s dual-channel MCH-based controller.