Results: Synthetics, Media Transcoding, Rendering And Productivity
We begin our benchmark analysis with a handful of synthetic tests designed to emphasize differences between the various subsystems that changed between the third quarter of last year and today's setup. I made significant changes to my host processor (Core i5-4690K to Core i7-4790K) and graphics card (GeForce GTX 770 to GeForce GTX 970), so we should see differences in multi-threaded and gaming benchmarks. Single-threaded tests dependent on clock rate may exhibit little to no difference.
3DMark exposes platform and graphics card performance; the new build excels in both regards, nearly doubling the scores.
PCMark mutes the graphics card's influence. However, this quarter's Core i7 has Hyper-Threading, which exerts a notable influence.
Hyper-Threading also has an impact on SiSoftware Sandra's Arithmetic module.
The Cryptography metric is affected by AES-NI, so performance is determined by the rate at which system memory can feed instructions into the CPU. Both PCs feature similar stock memory clocks and bandwidth, so there are no discernible differences between them.
As you can see, both systems sport similar peak memory bandwidth at 1600 MT/s (CAS 11) and 2133 MT/s (CAS 9).
The following audio- and video-oriented transcoding benchmarks are tied to processor performance. There are definitely differences in how they utilize CPUs with multiple cores, though. Our iTunes and LAME tests employ a single thread, giving us a good look at the per-core performance of each CPU. Meanwhile, TotalCode Studio and HandBrake leverage as many cores as they can get.
HandBrake and TotalCode Studio are highly responsive to the addition of Hyper-Threading support, so that's where we see the biggest differences. On the other hand, iTunes and LAME are single-threaded tests, which don't benefit as much from the Core i7's advantages. In fact, the Core i5's 100MHz overclocked advantage allows it to complete our workload one second faster.
Rendering And Productivity
All of the tests on this page are fully optimized to utilize multi-core (and even multi-processor) configurations. When comparing the Core i5 and Core i7, we expect to see significant differences in the ABBYY and Blender results.
Our Adobe Acrobat workload runs on a single thread, while 3ds Max utilizes as many cores as we can throw at it.
Indeed, the Core i7 demonstrates huge advantages in ABBYY FineReader and Blender, while there's almost no difference in the Acrobat result. 3ds Max surprisingly doesn't favor the Core i7 by as much as we'd anticipate.