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The Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition Processor Review

Benchmark Results: Productivity

ABBYY’s FineReader 10, an optical character recognition app, was another requested benchmark. We’ve automated the scanning of a 111-page document for testing—a task that apparently really appreciates parallelism.

Both Core i7 Extreme Editions cruise past the Core i7-2600K in our OCR workload. The difference isn’t earth-shattering or anything. But when you consider the fastest chip in our Sandy Bridge launch coverage was the -2600K, two faster CPUs are definitely newsworthy.

Lame is a single-threaded test, which means the Core 7-2600K accelerates up to 3.8 GHz. Add to that significant per-clock improvements in Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture and you have an explanation for the chip’s dominance here, in WinZip, and in iTunes.

Core i7-990X spins up to 3.73 GHz with a single core active. That’s good enough to earn it a second-place finish.

WinZip remains the only single-threaded title in our benchmark suite, making it the least likely program we’d use on a modern multi-core platform (that sure helps explain the 3:00+ compression times).

Naturally, the Core i7-2600K takes another victory, followed by the Core i7-990X running as fast as 3.73 GHz in poorly-optimized apps like this one.

You get a lot more utilization out of the latest version of WinRAR. Using all six cores, Intel’s Core i7-990X scores a first-place finish, ducking in under the one-minute mark. The Core i7-980X comes in second, while the Core i7-960 places third. Despite its per-clock and raw frequency advantage, the Core i7-2600K falls into fourth place, suggesting a bottleneck elsewhere.

Our results in 7-Zip are right where we’d expect them given this (free) app’s threaded nature. The Core i7-990X takes first, followed by the Core i7-980X. Intel’s newer Sandy Bridge-based chip comes in third, trailed by the Core i7-960.

  • kikireeki
    Chris, I think your first conclusion still valid.
    Reply
  • binoyski
    Darn, the contest should be open to all Tom's Hardware registered users even from a different country!
    Reply
  • Saljen
    My friend just built a new gaming rig with the 980x as the processor... He plays Age of Conan. I busted up laughing when he said he spent $1k on a processor that he'll only use to 1/10th of its potential. Told him he should have gotten an i5, now I'll send him this article as further proof.
    Reply
  • HansVonOhain
    This is just a ripoff by intel on those who are not knowledgeable enough that more expensive does not always mean better.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    kikireekiChris, I think your first conclusion still valid.
    Which one was that? :)
    Reply
  • adamboy64
    Well, some people just want the best when they buy a PC, regardless of cost efficiency, can't blame 'em. There'll always be that market.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    binoyskiDarn, the contest should be open to all Tom's Hardware registered users even from a different country!
    Really wish it could be binoyski. We have specific tax laws, unfortunately, that prevent it. Same reason the folks in RI can't enter :-/
    Reply
  • joytech22
    Wow AMD's CPU is just getting plain-ol decimated in this review.

    Still, it does hold it's ground even though the architecture is like 4 years old, using the same technology that was around back when the C2Q's we're the high-end (the same as the original phenoms on a die shrink).

    Because of this, I can almost guarantee AMD's success with their future CPU's, just like I predicted the 2600K would be faster in most cases than the 980X.

    That doesn't mean I'm saying that Bulldozer will outperform the i7's or upcoming 8-core Intel CPU's I'm just saying that there's going to be some serious decisions for upgraders this year.

    I mean look at Magny corus 12 core (2.2GHz) vs i7 980x, it's almost as fast and 1GHz slower (but 12 physical cores) and cost's the same.
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    joytech22Wow AMD's CPU is just getting plain-ol decimated in this review.i wouldnt say decimated, and its cheaper also. That benchmark of metro 2033 is interesting, particularly the better lowfps the AMD chip managed. But i agree they have flogged this horse as far as it will go and they need bulldozer ASAP to be competitive.
    Reply
  • haplo602
    HansVonOhainThis is just a ripoff by intel on those who are not knowledgeable enough that more expensive does not always mean better.
    I thought that's what Intel is doing with all of their CPUs :-)
    Reply