iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






3rd Generation Intel Core i5, i7 Processors

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Our test method is briefly described here). The scores on diagrams are relative to that of our reference testbed that always scores 100 points. As of 2011, it's based on the AMD Athlon II X4 620 CPU, 8GB of RAM and Palit's NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB. Detailed (absolute) results are traditionally provided in this summary.

3D Modeling

As we see, all 45-nm Intel processors perform similarly. Any possible differences may be caused by clock rates or cache sizes. Sandy Bridge CPUs, in turn, show a 20-25% increase further solidified by Ivy Bridge solutions. You can also see that for 3D modeling purposes it is still reasonable to buy a dual-core Core i3 LGA1155 or wait for Ivy Bridge counterparts. You won't need more than two threads for these tasks and you'll save some money.

Final 3D Rendering

The entry-level Core i5-3450 turns out to be slightly faster than a 3-4-year-old Core i7. And that despite significant boosts from Hyper-Threading that has always let Core i7's greatly outperform Core i5's of the same generation! The progress made since Core 2 is significant: Core i7-3770/3770K are almost twice as fast as Core 2 Quad Q9650. The results of Core 2 Duo E8600 need no comments; all demanding users have already moved on from these CPUs.

Data Compression/Decompression

Archivers do not gain much from multiple threads yet. Only one out of the four benchmarks can use those to the max, and the two need only a single thread. The only way to get a boost is to improve the architecture, raise clock rates, enlarge caches, and such. There is a certain advantage, of course, but it's not as outstanding as in the previous or the next test.

Audio Encoding

The situation here is similar to that in the rendering test but with one exception: Core i5-3450 only manages to outperform Core i7-920. However, since these benchmarks favor multithreading very much, the results are very good. Intel's first quadcore CPUs can not compete with modern processors, even if the latter don't support Hyper-Threading. With HT, the domination doubles.


As we said before, Intel lost many points in compiling tests, having cut the cache of 2nd Generation Core i5 CPUs. The story repeats itself in the 3rd Generation: only the best of the modern Core i5 processors can catch up with the slowest Core i7. And Core i7 solutions, keeping their 8-megabyte caches, win easily (it's the double domination again over one of the best Core 2 Quad CPUs).

Mathematical and Engineering Computations

Yet another few-thread group of benchmarks, though it clearly shows architechtural improvements of both bridges. So even Core i5-3450 leaves all the 'old-timers' behind, which is nice. However, the performance difference hasn't doubled, which isn't.

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