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Intel Core Generations Comparison

Nehalem, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge in equal conditions.

August 30, 2012



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Today we're going to compare the perfomance of the three Intel Core architechtures—Nehalem, Sandy Bridge, and Ivy Bridge—in as equal conditions as possible.

Testbeds

For tests, we shall have only Intel Core i7 processors, since the 1st Gen Core i5 had larger L3 cache than those of the 2nd and 3rd generations. Also, in our tests, clock rate should not exceed 2.4 GHz, this being the uncore limit for the 1st Gen quad-core Intel Core processors for the LGA1156 platform (we're dealing with a lot of cores here, verily). Why do we need that? Becuase the memory configuration is the same as that in LGA1155: both platforms are designed for dual-channel controllers. The second 'iteration' of LGA1155 gained support for DDR3-1600, but it's obviously not needed for today's tests.

Platform Nehalem Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge
CPU Core i7-875K (HT on) Core i7-875K (HT off) Core i7-2600K (HT on) Core i7-2600K (HT off) Core i7-3770K (HT on) Core i7-3770K (HT off)
Process technology, nm 45 45 32 32 22 22
Core clock, GHz 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4
Cores/threads 4/8 4/4 4/8 4/4 4/8 4/4
L1 Cache, I/D 32/32 32/32 32/32 32/32 32/32 32/32
L2 cache, KB 4x256 4x256 4x256 4x256 4x256 4x256
L2 cache, KB 4x256 4x256 4x256 4x256 4x256 4x256
L3 cache, MB 8 8 8 8 8 8
Uncore clock, GHz 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4

As you see, here we have three processors tested both with and without Hyper-Threading. All the power-saving technologies are disabled, all the multipliers are set to 24. Microarchitecture is the only thing that matters now. You might say this testing is mainly theoretical like that spherical cow, and you'll be right. However, theoretical doesn't mean uninteresting for us (and we hope for you, too). The point is that we're going to take a look at performance improvements of Ivy Bridge. We'll also continue our study of how efficient Hyper-Threading really is.

Platform Motherboard RAM
LGA1155 Biostar TH67XE (H67) Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B (2x1333 MB; 9-9-9-24)
LGA1156 ASUS P7H55-M Pro (H55) Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B (2x1333 MB; 9-9-9-24

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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, testbeds

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: Tests cont'd, final thoughts



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