Is This Even Fair? Budget Ivy Bridge Takes On Core 2 Duo And Quad

Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

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System Test Configurations
LGA 1155 Platform
CPUIntel Celeron G1610 (Ivy Bridge), 22 nm, 2.6 GHz, 2 MB Shared L3
Row 2 - Cell 0 Intel Pentium G2020 (Ivy Bridge), 22 nm, 2.9 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3
Row 3 - Cell 0 Intel Core i3-3225 (Ivy Bridge), 22 nm, 3.3 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading technology
Row 4 - Cell 0 Intel Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge), 22 nm, 3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz maximum Turbo Boost), 6 MB Shared L3
CPU CoolerIntel Boxed Cooler
MotherboardIntel DZ77GA-70K, Intel Z77 Express, BIOS 0049  (07-13-2012)
RAM8 GB (2 x 4 GB) Crucial PC3-12800 kit Celeron / Pentium: DDR3-1333, CL 8-8-8-24 at 1.5 V Core i3 / Core i5: DDR3-1600, CL 8-8-8-24 at 1.5 V
LGA 775 Platform
Row 9 - Cell 0 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (Wolfdale), 45 nm, 3.0 GHz, 1,333 MT/s FSB, 6 MB L2 Cache Overclocked @ 4.0 GHz (445 x 9), 1,780 MT/s FSB, 1.272 V Idle/ 1.240 V Load Overclocked @ 4.5 GHz (500 x 9), 2,000 MT/s FSB, 1.416 V Idle, 1.384 V Load
Row 10 - Cell 0 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (Yorkfield), 45 nm, 2.83 GHz, 1,333 MT/s, 12 MB L2 Cache Overclocked @ 3.4 GHz (400 x 8.5), 1,600 MT/s, 1.240 V Idle/ 1.200 V Load Overclocked @ 3.7 GHz (435 x 8.5), 1,740 MT/s, 1.328 V Idle, 1.240 V Load
CPU CoolerXigmatek HDT-S1283 120 mm air cooler
MotherboardAsus Rampage Formula, Intel X48 Express, BIOS 0902 (04-28-09)
RAM4 GB (2 x 2 GB) Corsair PC2-8500 kit DDR2-1066, 5-5-5-15 at 2.1 V DDR2-890 & DDR2-1000 for E8400 Overclocking DDR2-1066 & DDR2-1045 tRD 07 for Q9550 Overclocking
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 7970, 950 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5700
System DriveSamsung 840 Pro 256 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerCorsair Professional Series HX1050, 1050 W, 80 PLUS Silver
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 13.2 Beta 7
Platform DriverIntel 7-series Inf v. 9.3.1026
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Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Borderlands 2Version, DirectX 9, Custom Run, Fraps Test Set 1: Medium Quality Settings, Low PhysX, 8x AF Test Set 2: Highest Quality Settings, Low PhysX,  FXAA,16x AF
Crysis 3Version, Direct X 11, Custom Run, 60-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: Lowest Quality Settings, No AA, 1X AF Test Set 2: Medium Quality Preset, FXAA, 8x AF Test Set 3: Very High Quality Preset, 2x SMAA, 16x AF
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimVersion, Custom Run, 25-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x AA
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 2x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Hitman: AbsolutionV. 1.0.446.0, DirectX 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No MSAA, 2x AF Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 2x MSAA, 16x AF
StarCraft II: Heart of the SwarmVersion, Custom Run "Harvest of Screams" Campaign Mission, 60-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
Tomb RaiderVersion 1.00.722.3, Direct X 11, Custom Runs, "Chasm Monastery", "Mountain Village", 45-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Quality Preset Test Set 2: Ultimate Quality Preset
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.98, Video: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version:, MPEG2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio:MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s) Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Abobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CS6Version x64: Create Video, Three Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6Version, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Adobe Acrobat X ProVersion Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encyption
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion 2.64a, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
7-ZipVersion 9.28, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
WinRARVersion 4.2, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro, Syntax "-a -ez -p -r" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Performance Suite
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2013Version: 2013.01.19.11, Processor  Arithmetic, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks
  • ASHISH65
    Wow! this is the review i am waiting from long time.Really good one for budget gamers.
  • amoralman
    God dammit! Now I feel like I need to change my C2D E8400. >:(
  • DarkSable
    Now this is cool stuff.

    Also, amoralman, did you read this? It's basically assuring you that your C2D is still awesome as a budget processor.
  • Steelwing
    Very nice review! I've got a C2D E6600 (2.4 GHz) and had been considering the Core i5-3570K (or possibly wait for a Haswell i5) and was wondering about the performance differences. My CPU is still good for a lot of apps, but I can definitely see a reason to upgrade.
  • AMD Radeon
    pentium dual core G2020 is the minimum i can recommend to budget gamers. i often listed it in sub 450 gaming PC
  • lpedraja2002
    Excellent article, I'm glad I have a more accurate idea on where I stand based on CPU performance, I'm still using my trusty Q6600, G0 @ 3.2ghz. Its good that Tom's still hasn't forgotten that a lot of enthusiast still are rocking Core 2 architecture lol. I think I can manage until Intel releases their next revolutionary CPU.
  • assasin32
    I been wanting to see one of these for a long time but never thought I get to see it. I just wish they had the good ol e2160, and q6600 thrown into the mix. I have the e2180 OC to 3ghz. It's still chugging along surprisingly enough, I just realized how old the thing was last night after thinking about how long I've had this build and looking up when the main components were produced. Safe to say I got my use out of that $70 cpu, did a 50% OC to it :) and it still had room to go but I wanted to keep the voltage very low.
  • jrharbort
    I've always been curious about how well my own Core 2 Duo P8800 (45nm & 2.66GHz) would stand up against modern ivy bridge offerings. And even though I'm talking about he mobile space, I'm guessing the gains would be comparable to those seen by their desktop counterparts. Each day I'm reminded more and more that I seriously need to move on to a newer system, especially since I work with a lot of media production software. Thanks for the article, it provided some interesting and useful insight.
  • smeezekitty
    Kind of interesting that the old Core 2s beat the I5 in tombrader with TressFX on.
    Also holy crap on 1.45 vcore on the C2D
  • Proximon
    I would not have predicted this. Not to this extent. I hope we can make these broader comparisons across years more frequently after this. I predict this will be a very popular article.