Intel Core i7 Processors: Nehalem and X58 Have Arrived

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Our Test Systems and SANDRA

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board 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) with 5,5,5,15 timings, DDR3-1333 with 7,7,7,20 timings (Intel Core 2), or DDR3-1066 with 7,7,7,20 timings (Intel Core i7). 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, performed a disk clean-up, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and AMD - Head To Head 
System 1:
Core i7 Extreme 965

(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7 940
(2.93GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7 920
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Intel DX58SO
Asus P6T Deluxe
Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme

(X58 Express Chipset)

3x1GB Qimonda DDR3-1066
CL 7-7-7-20 - DDR3-1066

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v180.43
DirectX Redist (August 2008)
System 2:
Core 2 Extreme QX9770

(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)
Core 2 Quad Q9400
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P5E3 Premium
(X48 Express Chipset)

4x1GB Corsair DDR3-1800
CL 7-7-7-20 - DDR3-1333

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v180.43
DirectX Redist (August 2008)

System 3:
AMD Phenom X4 9950

(2.6GHz Quad-Core)

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

2x2GB Corsair PC2-8500
CL 5-5-5-15 - DDR2-1066

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware v180.43
DirectX Redist (August 2008)

 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2009 SP1
 Synthetic Benchmarks


We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2009 SP1, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran six of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2009 SP1 suite with Intel's new Core i7 Extreme 965 processor (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Multi-Core Efficiency, Memory Bandwidth, Memory Latency, and Cache and Memory).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default clock speeds of 3.2GHz with 3GB of DDR3-1066 RAM running in triple-channel mode on the Intel DX58SO motherboard.



Processor Arithmetic
Core i7 Extreme 965


Multimedia
Core i7 Extreme 965


Multi-Core Efficiency
Core i7 Extreme 965




Memory Bandwidth
Core i7 Extreme 965




Memory Latency
Core i7 Extreme 965




Cache and Memory
Core i7 Extreme 965

In all of the SANDRA tests we ran, the new Core i7 platform significantly outperformed all of the other systems in SiSoft's reference database.  In the CPU Arithmetic and Multi-Media benchmarks the Core i7 finished way out in front of the competition.  The same held true in the Multi-Core efficiency benchmark, where the Core i7 blew everything away until hitting the 4x128kb block size, at which point the graphs leveled out.

The Core i7 also shined in all of the various memory-related benchmarks.  In its stock form using a DDR3-1066 triple-channel configuration, the Core i7 Extreme 965 put up an impressive 18.33GB/s of memory bandwidth, with a latency score of 76ns, and over 66GB/s of combined cache / memory bandwidth.  All three results were superior to every non-Core i7 based system in the database by a wide margin.

Tags:  Intel, core i7, X58, Processors, Nehalem, Core, processor, CES, i7, HAL, process, Intel Core i7, AV, x5, arrive, Ive, pro, SSO, AR, and

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