Digital Storm's Core i5 System Reviewed

Article Index

Test Systems

We tested the Digital Storm as configured below. Relevant 3D performance data was gathered with the video cards in the shipped configuration (x16/x4) and in the correct, optimal configuration (x8, x8). Specific configuration details are noted in each test, should you care to duplicate them. One thing to note as you check the benchmarks is that at $1896, Digital Storm is fighting well above its weight class when it takes on the iBuyPower and Alienware systems. The CyberPower system is a more direct competitor.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Performance Comparisons

System 1:

Digital Storm i750

Intel Core i5 750 @ 3.8GHz
4GB Mushkin DDR3-1600
1TB WD Caviar Black
Vista Home Premium x64

Price: $ 1896.00 USD

System 2:

Alienware Aurora ALX

Intel Core i7 975 3.33GHz
Alienware X58 MicroATX
6GB Corsair DDR3-1600
ATI Radeon 5870 CrossFire
1TB Seagate HDD RAID 0
Vista Home Premium x64

Price: $ 4,074.00 USD

System 3:

CyberPower Gamer Extreme 3000

Intel Core i7 860 2.8GHz
Asus P7P55D Delux P55
4GB Kingston DDR3-1600
1.5TB Seagate HDD
Vista Home Premium x64

Price: $ 1,599.00 USD

System 4:
iBuyPower Gamer Paladin F970

Intel Core i7 965 3.2GHz
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 X58
12GB Corsair DDR3-1333
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Price: $ 3,111.00 USD

Multi-core Performance and Hyper-Threading:

One performance comparison our Digital Storm testbed unintentionally raises is the impact of Hyper-Threading. The other systems tested here are all quad-cores with Hyper-Threading enabled, which gives them the ability to execute up to eight simultaneous threads across four virtual cores and four real ones. The i750, while limited to four "real" cores and just two DDR3-1600 memory channels, is clocked 15 percent higher than its closest competitor in that regard, the Aurora ALX. What makes this comparison interesting is the fact that Hyper-Threading's ability to deliver additional performance is limited by the degree of parallelism that the CPU's scheduling unit can extract from a given application. Windows "sees" eight cores and reports the existence of such, but there's a distinct difference between a quad-core with HT enabled (4L+4V) and an actual octal-core processor.

Based on the characteristics of typical consumer-level applications, we expect the quad-core Lynnfield to match or even surpass the performance of the slower-but-wider Core i7s in some situations. This might not be the case if we focused on professional software that's been designed and optimized for parallel execution; apps that can significantly utilize >4 cores will likely buck the trend.

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