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

Test System And Software

Though Intel shipped us its H55-based Tom Cove board for this launch, we went with Asus' P7H57D-Evo for our test platform, as the Asus board is loaded with overclocking options. Its dual PCI Express x16 slots also proved useful for confirming that H57 does, in fact, support multi-card configurations with a Lynnfield-based CPU installed.

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i5-661 (Clarkdale) 3.33 GHz, LGA 1156, 4MB L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core i5-750 (Lynnfield) 2.66 GHz, LGA 1156, 8MB L3, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400S (Yorkfield) 2.66 GHz, LGA 775, 1,333 MT/s FSB, 6MB L2, Power-savings enabled
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (Wolfdale) 3.16 GHz, LGA 775, 1,333 MT/s FSB, 6MB L2, Power-savings enabled
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE (Deneb) 3.4 GHz, Socket AM3, 4 GT/s HyperTransport, 6MB L3, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardsAsus P7H57D-V Evo (LGA 1156) H57, BIOS 0401
Gigabyte EP45-UD3P (LGA 775) P45/ICH10R, BIOS F9
Asus M4A79T Deluxe (Socket AM3) 790FX/SB750, BIOS 2304
MemoryCorsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333
Corsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-1066 5-5-5-15 @ DDR2-1066
Hard DriveIntel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160GB SATA 3 Gb/s
Intel SSDSA2MH080G1GN 80GB SATA 3 Gb/s
GraphicsGigabyte Radeon HD 5850 1GB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP 1100W
HeatsinkThermalright MUX-120
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Platform DriverIntel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.1.1015
Graphics DriverCatalyst 9.12
Benchmarks and Settings
Audio Encoding
iTunesVersion: 9.0.2.25 (64-bit), Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Default format AAC
Video Encoding
TMPEG 4.7Version: 4.7.3.292, Import File: "Terminator II" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-Threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status=off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
HandBrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai to .mp4, High Profile
Applications
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 (64-bit)Version: 2009 Service Pack 1, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
WinRAR 3.90Version 3.90 (64-bit), Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65, Built-in Benchmark
Adobe Photoshop CS4Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates filters
AVG Anti-Virus 9Virus scan of 334MB of compressed files
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memories, TV and Movies, and Productivity benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoftware Sandra 2010CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/Multimedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark, Cryptography
Games
CrysisVery High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1900x1200, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable
Left 4 Dead 2High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 8xAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Tomshardware Demo, Steam Version
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, The Gulag, 60 second sequence, Fraps
DiRT2Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 8xAA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, In-Game Benchmark, Steam Version
  • Zoonie
    Well... I think that takes care of the dreaded "But can it play Crysis?" question regarding its GMA :D :P :P
    Reply
  • xc0mmiex
    Video on page 1 not working ... "This is a private video..."
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    can i ask why you teased us at the end with the 4.5ghz OC but didn't include them in the benchmarks? =
    Reply
  • cangelini
    xc0mmiexVideo on page 1 not working ... "This is a private video..."
    Fixed! Had to keep it private pre-launch :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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 :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • maximus20895
    Great video once again! Thanks for this and the review itself. Very informative. I really liked the graph on the first page too :)
    Reply