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Intel Core i7 920 Processor

Performance tests.

January 12, 2009



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Non-professional/home tests

Archivers




Performance per GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 Core 2 Duo E8200 Core 2 Duo E8500 Core 2 Quad Q9300 Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Core i7 920
7-Zip 38.76 44.40 40.92 42.25 42.61 45.11
WinRAR 37.56 41.77 40.18 42.67 44.64 45.57
Ultimate ZIP 41.59 41.74 41.46 41.59 41.35 47.81

Archivers are not as enthusiastic about the new architecture as some previous groups of tests. Interestingly, the biggest difference in efficiency between the leading Core i7 and its nearest competitor is demonstrated in Ultimate ZIP -- a single-threaded application. It suggests an idea that Turbo Boost might have something to do with it.

Encoding




Performance per GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 Core 2 Duo E8200 Core 2 Duo E8500 Core 2 Quad Q9300 Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Core i7 920
FLAC 40.94 41.77 41.02 41.79 41.27 43.86
LAME 41.67 45.62 45.47 45.45 45.42 45.62
Musepack 41.67 44.91 44.97 44.63 44.88 50.25
Vorbis 41.57 43.02 43.10 42.29 42.56 45.11
CanopusProCoder 40.80 43.82 42.90 43.06 42.20 54.60
DivX 36.36 38.12 37.97 41.74 41.67 49.21
x264 21.62 22.41 22.30 42.76 42.49 45.88
XviD 41.53 44.21 44.07 43.59 43.92 52.20

As we have already mentioned many times, the second place for Core i7 920 with its clock rate is almost a victory (from the architectural point of view), not just a very good result. Some of our predictions about uselessness of new features in Core i7 with the execution core remaining practically the same suddenly proved to be true in our LAME tests: all Yorkfields and the new Bloomfield demonstrate similar efficiency, and only the older Conroe (Core 2 Duo E6850) is less efficient. If we take a closer look at detailed test results, we'll see that Core i7 demonstrates the best results in Canopus ProCoder, DivX, and Musepack.

Games




Performance per GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 Core 2 Duo E8200 Core 2 Duo E8500 Core 2 Quad Q9300 Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Core i7 920
Call of Duty4 33.06 39.44 33.98 38.69 33.30 32.36
Company ofHeroes 33.33 37.59 31.65 40.00 31.25 37.59
Call ofJuarez 33.33 37.59 31.65 40.00 31.86 34.65
Crysis 40.02 43.13 38.02 43.20 39.00 46.47
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 34.72 39.16 33.49 40.67 33.33 38.22
UnrealTournament 3 30.19 35.47 34.63 42.64 42.75 49.30
World inConflict 38.78 42.96 40.04 44.08 41.45 42.96

Strange as it may seem, it's the only group of tests, where Core i7 is absolutely unimpressive, even in terms of its efficiency. It's too early to generalize, but the simplest explanation that comes to mind is the drivers, which are not optimized for the new architecture yet.

Non-professional photo processing




Performance per GHz Core 2 Duo E6850 Core 2 Duo E8200 Core 2 Duo E8500 Core 2 QuadQ9300 Core 2 ExtremeQX9770 Core i7 920
ACDSee 37.07 36.95 38.06 42.04 40.93 37.52
IrfanView 41.54 45.40 45.28 45.18 45.10 52.63
Paint.NET 21.24 22.85 22.67 43.87 43.50 62.27
xat.com ImageOptimizer 41.25 42.02 41.61 41.70 41.36 49.64
XnView 41.54 42.44 42.29 42.02 42.07 56.75

And the finishing touch: Core i7 is a champion of efficiency. Moreover, it keeps up with the top Core 2 in score. Familiar symptom -- three applications out of four, where Core i7 920 shoots forward in efficiency, are single-threaded programs. Perhaps it's Turbo Boost again...

Total non-professional score





This score does not require any comments. Just note that Core i7 even enlarges the efficiency gap.

Conclusions





Core i7 is apparently a good product. We insist that the main objective of this project was not to improve performance. It wouldn't have been a failure even if it had been less efficient than Core 2. As it is, it's 7% more efficient. What else there is to wish?


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