Intel Core i7-970 Processor Review, Lower Cost 6-Core

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Test Systems and SiSoft 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 DDR3-1333 with 8,8,8,24 timings. The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 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, finally, 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 970
(3.2GHz - Six-Core)
Core i7 980X
(3.33GHz - Six-Core)

Gigabyte GA-EX58 Extreme
(X58 Express Chipset)

3x2GB Kingston DDR3-1333
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64
System 2:
Core i7 Extreme 975
(3.33GHz - Quad-Core)

Gigabyte EX58-UD5
(X58 Express Chipset)

3x2GB OCZ DDR3-1333
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64
System 3:
Core i7 870
(2.93GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i5 750
(2.66GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus Maximus III Formula
(P55 Express Chipset) 

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows 7 x64
System 4:
AMD Phenom II X4 965
(3.4GHz Quad-Core)

Asus M4A79T Deluxe
(AMD 790FX Chipset) 

2x2GB Kingston DDR3-1600
(@ 1333MHz, CAS 8)


GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD150 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA 

Windows 7 x64



On the bench and ready for action...

 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA
 Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2010, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran three of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2010 suite with Intel's new Core i7-970  (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, and Memory Bandwidth).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processors running at its default clock speeds of 3.2GHz with 6GB of DDR3-1333 RAM running in triple-channel mode on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme motherboard with Intel Turbo Boost technology enabled on in the BIOS.


Processor Arithmetic
Core i7-970


Multimedia
Core i7-970


 Memory Bandwidth
Core i7-970

With the exception of the memory bandwidth test, where our test system's stock 1333MHz, fell somewhat short of some of the overclocked memory kits in SANDRA's database, the new Core i7 970 fell in right where we expected it to, just under the Core i7 980X score but dominating the rest of the pack in both the CPU Arithmatic and Multimedia benchmarks.


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