Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition Processor Review

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LAME MT and Kribibench Performance

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely in a multitude of third party audio conversion and editing applications and software suites.

Audio Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

The new Core i7 975 processor offered the quickest encoding time according to our custom LAME MT benchmarks. The Core i7 Extreme 975 was 3 seconds faster than the Core i7 965 in the multi-threaded test (about 12%).  It's also interesting to note that the Core i7 920 at 2.66GHz is as fast as a Core 2 Extreme QX9770 in this test.  Unfortunately, AMD's fastest Phenom II is only able to hang with Intel's 3GHz Core 2 chip and is surpassed by the entire Core i7 family of CPUs. Our time for the Core i7 975 overclocked to 4.1GHz offers a glimpse of things to come as well.

Kribibench v1.1
CPU-Bound 3D Rendering

For this next batch of tests, we ran Kribibench v1.1, a 3D rendering benchmark produced by the folks at Adept Development.  Kribibench is an SSE aware software renderer where a 3D model is rendered and animated by the host CPU and the average frame rate is reported.  We used two of the included models with this benchmark: a "Sponge Explode" model consisting of over 19.2 million polygons and the test suite's "Ultra" model which is comprised of over 16 billion polys.

Intel's new Core i7 processors--regardless of their clock speed--were also the fastest of the bunch in the Kribibench rendering test and the Core i7 975 Extreme punched out about a 10% performance gain over its Core i7 965 counterpart.  And of course 4.1GHz the numbers pretty much speak for themselves.

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