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Intel Core i7-975 Extreme And i7-950 Reviewed

Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding

Our MainConcept rendering test responds to both the threading and clock rate. The Core i7-975 Extreme doesn’t perform much faster than the 965 before it, but there is a marked benefit to adding 133 MHz.

Optimized for just two threads, the quad-core i7s with Hyper-Threading enabled don’t realize their full potential and are matched by Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX9770. AMD’s 3.2 GHz Phenom II 955 trails behind the Intel chips.

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DivX, fully threaded

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Xvid, not scaling as well

Our results with DivX and Xvid are similar, but by different margins. DivX is able to take advantage of Core i7s four physical cores and the four virtual cores enabled by Hyper-Threading, thus allowing even the i7-920 to outperform the higher-clocked Core 2 Extreme and Phenom II. The Xvid test only taxes about half of the processor’s resources. So, while you still see the i7s dominating, Intel’s Core 2 Extreme and AMD’s Phenom II X4 are much closer to the rest of the pack.

Lame runs on a single thread, scaling according to clock frequency. Intel’s Nehalem micro-architecture gives is a significant advantage here, enabling the 3.06 GHz i7-950 to outperform the 3.2 GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and 3.2 GHz Phenom II X4 955.

  • 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