Benchmark Results: Productivity
Again we see clock rate scaling, as WinZip only utilizes one of the Phenom II family’s cores. Despite a clock rate disadvantage, Core i7-920 bests Core 2 Quad—both processors turning in times faster than AMD’s best effort. Only after a 400 MHz overclock does the Phenom II X4 965 take a first place finish
In stark contrast, WinRAR is heavily optimized to not only take advantage of multiple cores, but also to these platforms’ 64-bit capabilities. The Phenom II X4s perform admirably, easily sliding past the triple-core X3. However, Intel’s Core i7-920 simply delivers a different level of performance here, even blowing past the Core 2 Quad.
We see the effects of turning off Hyper-Threading and pulling one memory channel in our previous simulated Core i5 tests, which complete 10 seconds slower than an i7-920. That’s still faster than a Core 2 Quad Q9550 or overclocked Phenom II X4 965.
Here’s another one well-optimized for multi-core processors. 3ds Max 2009 runs best on a Core i7, but the Phenom II is a powerful option as well, edging out the Core 2 Quad by three seconds. The triple-core Phenom II X3 720 loses significant speed due to its lower clock rate and core count.
AVG’s free anti-virus is another application with a real proclivity for Intel’s Core i7 architecture. And even with nothing else running, it’s clear that you really benefit from a quad-core CPU as AMD’s Phenom II X3 falls way behind.
Meanwhile, the Phenom II X4 965 goes head-to-head against Intel’s Core 2 Quad, but needs to be overclocked in order to overtake it.
Our threaded Photoshop benchmark favors quad-core CPUs, and as clock rate increases, the Phenom II X4s shed time from the workload.
Though it runs at a slower frequency than the Core 2 Quad Q9550, Intel’s Core i7-920 is the fastest solution in CS4. The new Phenom II trails by a significant margin.