iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Intel Core i7-950 Processor

Original, but not surprising.

June 3, 2009

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It's a fiasco. Archivers have always been sensitive to memory bandwidth and timings, often preferring these improvements to higher clock rates and other optimizations. As a result, a higher-clocked processor is defeated by a CPU with the same core operating at a lower clock rate.


These applications are almost indifferent to the memory system, it's the CPU clock rate that matters here. So all processors rank by their clock rates here, like in the compile test.


As we said many times, our graphics card is rather weak for these days. Games are not bleeding-edge either, but modern processors are powerful enough, so games are often limited by graphics performance even in relatively low resolutions. So differences between all contenders are very small.

Non-professional photo processing

This group of applications prefers higher CPU clock rates, but it's not indifferent to memory either. To a smaller degree, of course, so the 'desktop' Core i7 has nothing to be ashamed of.

Total non-professional score


Nothing interesting, we just found another proof that any memory technology gets more or less interesting from 133MHz on (e.g. DDR-266, DDR2-533, DDR3-1066). But its active usage starts from 166MHz on (DDR-333, DDR2-667 and, finally, DDR3-1333). That's when it starts to push other technologies out of the market. But temporary solutions, such as Core i7, are not supposed to support DDR3 in its mature form. Hence all the consequences. On the other hand, there's no hurry -- the only rival does not compete with top models, and own previous family has reached a stalemate already. Xeon is not an alternative -- X5560 is twice as expensive as Core i7-950, and it's slower in most cases. So it's not interesting for single-CPU systems.

If we take into account only real competition, the situation is peachy: we get extra 133MHz for the same money (the recommended price is $562 in large shipments), because the same offer is made to those people, who are ready to pay $999. It's a typical marketing price cut: we do not let you pay less, but you will get more for the same amount of money.

We express gratitude to Corsair Memory for contribution to our testbeds.

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