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Intel Core i7-975 Extreme And i7-950 Reviewed

Benchmark Results: Productivity

WinZip runs on a single thread, showing little benefit to the Core i7’s architecture versus Core 2. What’s clear is that both Intel designs are faster than AMD’s Phenom II. Then again, consider that the cheapest Intel chip represented here, the i7-920, is still $30 more expensive than AMD’s flagship.

WinRAR's latest beta running across eight cores

Many of you asked for new compression tests after our Phenom II X4 955 review. As we were looking into replacements, we noticed that Rarlab had released WinRAR 3.9 Beta 1, which added 64-bit support and performance improvements for multi-core processors. We gave it a shot, and are glad that we did. This new version finishes the same benchmark workload in a fraction of the time it took before. You clearly see the i7s cleaning house here, but even the Phenom II X4 955, which took 1:52 in build 3.80 now completes the test in 1:28.

This one also demonstrates the benefit of Core i7’s design, though the i7-975 doesn’t register a speed-up corresponding to its quicker frequency.

At long last, we’ve ditched the old Adobe Photoshop CS3 benchmark in favor of a very demanding CS4-based test. The test automates a handful of filters, including radial blur, shape blur, median, and polar coordinates (rectangular to polar) on a high-res .tif. The Core i7 processors scale fairly nicely as you add clock frequency, and the quad-core QX9770 hangs right alongside the Core i7-920. Meanwhile, AMD’s Phenom II X4 955 trails the pack.

In addition to resuscitating Photoshop, we were also able to get the latest version of AVG anti-virus 8.5 up, adding it back to our suite. The scores in this one clearly show a proclivity for Intel’s quad-core with Hyper-Threading design, though there isn’t much gain to be had from adding clock speed. The quad-core Core 2 Extreme and Phenom II X4 hang back from Intel’s i7 lineup.

  • 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