Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E CPU Review
LAME MT and SunSpider
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 MP3 audio encoder that is used widely in a multitude of third party applications.
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 both single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.
Our custom LAME MT benchmark uses only one or two threads. As a result, the Core i7-4960X's ability to Turbo to higher frequencies than the other processors, in addition to the slight IPC enhancements of the architecture, allow it to outpace all of our older reference systems. It trailed only the Haswell-based processor in the MT test.
Balanced - This test is balanced between different areas of the language and different types of code. It's not all math, all string processing, or all timing simple loops. In addition to having tests in many categories, the individual tests were balanced to take similar amounts of time on currently shipping versions of popular browsers.
Statistically Sound - One of the challenges of benchmarking is knowing how much noise you have in your measurements. This benchmark runs each test multiple times and determines an error range (technically, a 95% confidence interval). In addition, in comparison mode it tells you if you have enough data to determine if the difference is statistically significant.
All of the systems were tested using the latest version of Internet Explorer 9, with default browser settings, on a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
The Core i7-4960X performed right about on par with the Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-3770K in the SunSpider benchmark, but trailed the Haswell-based processors, due to the latter's architectural enhancements which help single-thread / per core performance.