Intel Core i5-661: Clarkdale Rings The Death Knell Of Core 2

Benchmark Results: Productivity

Our threaded filters favor the true quad-core chips, placing Intel’s Core i5-750, Core 2 Quad Q9400, and AMD’s Phenom II X4 965 first, second, and third, in that order. The Core i5-661 places fourth, followed by the dual-core Core 2 Duo.

As noted in our recent exploration into overclocking and Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, AVG 9 demonstrates interesting behavior in that it uses very little resources, but takes drastically different amounts of time to finish its task, depending on the logical core count of its host platform.

This is another app able to appreciate threading. Intel’s Core i5-750 takes first place by just one second, followed by AMD’s Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. The quad-core Core 2 Quad Q9400 comes in third, though the dual-core, Hyper-Threading-equipped Core i5-661 is right behind. The Core 2 Duo E8500 sticks out as the only processor really lagging here.

Also well-threaded, WinRAR puts Intel’s Core i5-750 in first place, with AMD’s Phenom II coming in 20 seconds behind. The Core 2 Quad Q9400 is just behind, and the Core 2 Duo interestingly takes fourth place here. Hyper-Threading seems to impede the Core i5-661, which brings up the rear.

AMD’s Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition pulls first place in 7-Zip’s built-in benchmark by achieving more than 10 MB/s in the compression test and a MIPS rating of more than 11,900. The Core i5-750 is just behind, followed by Intel’s Yorkfield-based Q9400. The Core i5-661s come in fourth, while the Core 2 Duo falls to last place.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • Zoonie
    Well... I think that takes care of the dreaded "But can it play Crysis?" question regarding its GMA :D :P :P
  • xc0mmiex
    Video on page 1 not working ... "This is a private video..."
  • eklipz330
    can i ask why you teased us at the end with the 4.5ghz OC but didn't include them in the benchmarks? =
  • cangelini
    xc0mmiexVideo on page 1 not working ... "This is a private video..."
    Fixed! Had to keep it private pre-launch :)
  • I really like the improvements Larrabee brought about....not! I do like the fact they are making progress but they really need to skip ahead a few generations or buy out some other company to design a GPU for themselves.
  • gkay09
    ^ Many more reasons to buy AMD Phenoms II X4 in the mid-range segment...
    Only drawback with the AMD CPUs is the power consumption, that I feel can be brought down with slight undervolting...
  • dtemple
    I'm looking to upgrade from my Athlon X2 @ 2.7GHz because I do more with the computer now than I did before - sometimes I'll play a game while my TV tuner is recording from my cable signal, and having more cores would help these multiple tasks run more smoothly.
    I was waiting until the Clarkdale-based i5 launched, thinking it would be a quad-core that was more competitively priced against the Phenom II X4, but it looks like a Phenom II X4 is my only option to get more cores for less money.
    The only good news coming out of this launch is that LGA1156 is not changing for the Clarkdale chips, so it looks to be the most future-proof platform to upgrade to, if one was so inclined. I'm personally going with a Phenom II since I can get one without changing motherboards. This is one of the more disappointing launches in the last year or so.
  • cangelini
    eklipz330can i ask why you teased us at the end with the 4.5ghz OC but didn't include them in the benchmarks? =
    We have another overclocking piece planned--I wanted to get a Core i3, at least, to include :)
  • I would love to see what GTA IV would do do the dual cores in gaming! I do know that its a bear of a game on the CPU and it would truly show off if hyperthreading could actually make a major difference.
  • maximus20895
    Great video once again! Thanks for this and the review itself. Very informative. I really liked the graph on the first page too :)