Our new 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.
Final 3D rendering
We thought SB-E would've outperformed Gulftown more, but didn't consider the difference in clock rates. But even the extra 300 MHz do not let Core i7-990X at least do on par with Core i7-3930K. And Core i7-3960X is even faster. Such a small step forward.
The capability of 7-Zip to share workload between any number of threads (at least 16) and its love of cache memory helped Core i7-990X outperform Core i7-2600 before. But this is over, because Core i7-3930K has the same number of cores and L3 cache. Core i7-3960X is even faster, with its extra 100 MHz and 3MB L3.
These purely multi-threading benchmarks don't favor Sandy Bridge improvements much. But those are still enough to outperform Gulftown working at a higher clock rate.
As we have repeatedly mentioned, compilers generally do well with older architectures, so the performance gain is even smaller in this case. But it does exist.
Mathematical and engineering computations
These benchmarks do not require a lot of threads, but we have found out that SPEC Maya's processor part does favor large cache. Hence the results.
Raster graphics processing
Some of these benchmarks are optimized for multi-threading (in a different way though), some are not. But this hasn't let old hexacore models outperform new quad-core ones before. Well, it does now.
Vector graphics processing
There are no considerable performance gains compared to Core i7-2600. Core i7-3930K is even slower and Core i7-3960X is just on par with the LGA 1155 processor that isn't even the highest-end. On the other hand, we've never expected otherwise, because these applications are single-thread, do not need much cache or RAM. The question was: "To what degree do novelties outperform Core i7-990X?" By about as much as it loses to Core i7-2600. Fine.
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