iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Intel Core i5, Core i7 LGA1156 Processors

For the well-to-do and thrifty.

September 15, 2009

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Scientific and engineering analysis

Some applications from this group are even hampered by HT (so Core i7 920 is again defeated by the equally-clocked Core i5 750), although the situation hasn't changed much in general: Core i5 750 is an excellent processor for its price (it can compete even with more expensive devices), the 860 and 870 follow the lead of the 950, letting representatives of LGA1366 processors compete for their life, but pushing the 920 out of the market.

Raster graphics

Adobe Photoshop and Paint.Net answer all questions about relative positioning of the i5 and i7. And if we leave only desktop Nehalems on the diagram, we'll see a well-knit situation spoiled only by the Core i7 920. And it's quite clear what must be done to stop it from marring the beauty of Intel's macrocosm.

Data compression

Our archivers do not need more than two processor cores, but they are very sensitive to various memory characteristics, all of them -- including L3 Cache speed (so that Xeon X5560 almost catches up with Core i7 950). Core i5 750 does not show any miracles, not it's not required of this processor -- it's enough for this inexpensive CPU to keep on a par with some more expensive models. The other couple is also in its proper place -- the 860 is again much faster than the 920, while the 870 politely lets the 950 forward to justify the high status of the latter.

Compilation (VC++)

It's another triumph of processors with Hyper-Threading, and probably the best result of Core i7 870 in all our tests (one of two best results, to be more exact). Besides, we cannot grumble about the Core i5 750: even if it's the slowest processor here, it's the cheapest as well. And its price justifies the small difference in performance, for example versus the top Core 2 Quad. By the way, the Q9550 is slower in this test than the 750, but it's still more expensive than the latter.


Our Java test demonstrates a similar situation, only Core i5 750 is not the slowest processor here.

Audio encoding

It is the slowest in audio encoding though. However, considering absolute performance values reached by modern High-End processors, we may just ignore it: it's only a statement of fact. Also note how accurate the 860-870-950-975 processors line up and how the 920 stands out of it.

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