Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Performance Preview

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Our Test Systems and SANDRA

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How we configured our test systems:  When configuring our test systems for the upcoming series of benchmarks, we first entered each respective system's BIOS and set the motherboard to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set memory timings for either DDR2-1066 (AMD systems) with 5,5,5,15 timings or DDR3-1066 - 1600 with 7,7,7,20 timings (Intel systems). The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and AMD - Head To Head 

System 1:
Core 2 Extreme QX9770
(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)
Core 2 Extreme QX9650
(3.0GHz - Quad-Core)
Core 2 Quad Q6600
(2.40GHz - Quad-Core) 
Core 2 Duo E6850
(3.0GHz - Dual-Core)
Core 2 Duo E6600
(2.4GHz - Dual-Core) 

Asus P5E3 Deluxe
(X38 Chipset)

2x1GB Corsair DDR3-1800
CL 7-7-7-20 - DDR3-1600

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 8.3.1.1009
NVIDIA Forceware v163.75
DirectX Redist (November 2007)
 

System 2:
AMD Phenom 9700
(2.4GHz)
AMD Phenom 9600
(3.0GHz) 
AMD Athlon X2 6400+
(3.2GHz) 
AMD Athlon X2 4600+
(2.4GHz)

Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6
(AMD 790FX Chipset)

2x1GB Corsair PC2-8500
CL 5-5-5-15 - DDR2-1066

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v163.75
DirectX Redist (November 2007)
 

System 3:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-74
(3.0GHz x 2)

Asus L1N64-SLI WS
(NVIDIA nForce 680a SLI)

5x512M Corsair PC2-6400
CL 4-4-4-12 - DDR2-800

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
nForce Drivers v15.08
NVIDIA Forceware v163.75
DirectX Redist (November 2007)

 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA XII
 Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA XII, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran six of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA XII suite with the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Multi-Core Efficiency, Memory, Cache, and Memory Latency).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default clock speed of 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz FSB and 1600MHz DDR3 memory at CL7 timings.


 
C2E QX9770 @ 3.2GHz
CPU Arithmetic

 
C2E QX9770 @ 3.2GHz
Multimedia

 
C2E QX9770 @ 3.2GHz
Multi-Core Efficiency

 

C2E QX9770 @ 3.2GHz
Memory Bandwidth

 

C2E QX9770 @ 3.2GHz
Cache and Memory

 

C2E QX9770 @ 3.2GHz
Memory Latency


In terms of overall processing throughput (ALU, FPU and Multimedia SSE), the new Core 2 Extreme QX9770 is the fastest single-chip processor in SANDRA's reference table, only bested by the octal-core dual Xeon 5345 system.  Other than that, the QX9770 leaves all others in its wake.  Looking at the efficiency side of the equation, inter-core bandwidth and latency are also off the charts for the QX9770.  The only test that sort of put a wrinkle in our brow was the Memory Bandwidth test.  SANDRA's reference database shows the QX9770 and X38 chipset at 1600MHz FSB and memory speed, with slightly less bandwidth versus the P35 with 1GHz DDR3.  Don't let this mislead you however, as it did us.  It would seem, in order to hit that sort of memory speed, that the bus speed and multiplier of the CPU had to be altered, thus raising overall bandwidth.  This test can be dramatically influenced with a higher FSB.  Remember, the QX9770 is running at stock speeds and not overclocked in any of these tests.  Let's move on to more "real-world" testing.


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