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How CPU Features Affect CPU Performance, Part 5

Intel Core i7, number of cores.

November 23, 2009



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Scientific calculations

Without Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading





  1 core 2 cores 3 cores 4 cores
Maya ↑ 7.1 8.89 25% 8.97 1% 9.49 6%
SolidWorks ↓ 40.06 35.39 13% 39.03 -9% 38.55 1%
Pro/ENGINEER ↓ 1632 1526 7% 1569 -3% 1554 1%
UGS NX ↓ 5.47 5.47 0% 5.34 -2% 5.41 1%
MAPLE ↑ 0.2185 0.2194 0% 0.2142 -2% 0.2197 3%
Mathematica ↑ 2.5295 2.9533 17% 2.9798 1% 3.2357 9%
MATLAB ↓ 0.071984 0.049676 45% 0.045571 9% 0.038867 17%
Group Score ↑ 117 134 15% 132 -1% 139 5%

There are two main differences from the AMD quad-core CPU: no negative response in any application, when the number of cores is increased from one to two, and an absolutely inadequate response, when the number of cores is increased from two to three. Note: it's already the second case with such response, demonstrated solely by Core i7 (this mode is not standard for this processor).

With Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading





  2 cores 4 cores 6 cores 8 cores
Maya ↑ 7.44 9.11 22% 9.05 -1% 10.24 13%
SolidWorks ↓ 40.2 36.71 10% 38.9 -6% 35.78 9%
Pro/ENGINEER ↓ 1622 1495 8% 1538 -3% 1491 3%
UGS NX ↓ 5.66 5.65 0% 5.43 -4% 5.72 5%
MAPLE ↑ 0.2193 0.2256 3% 0.2124 -6% 0.2227 5%
Mathematica ↑ 2.5555 2.9248 14% 2.8336 -3% 3.1403 11%
MATLAB ↓ 0.061414 0.04521 36% 0.042147 7% 0.03898 8%
Group Score ↑ 121 137 13% 134 -2% 144 7%

There is actually identical response to pure three cores or six cores with HT. As in case of Phenom II X4, MATLAB has the best optimizations for multithreading.

Compared to AMD Phenom II X4



Scalability curve of Phenom II X4 looks much more logical again, as Core i7 shows a significant drop at 3(6) cores. But even if we ignore this drop, performance growth curve is still much smoother.


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