Intel Core i7-980X Extreme 6-Core Processor Review

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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 980X
(3.33GHz - Six-Core)

Gigabyte EX58A-UD5
Asus P6X58D Premium
(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 
NVIDIA Forceware v190.62
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 
NVIDIA Forceware v190.62
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 
NVIDIA Forceware v190.62
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 
NVIDIA Forceware v190.62

 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2009 SP4
 Synthetic Benchmarks


We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2009 SP4, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2009 SP4 suite with Intel's new Core i7-980X Extreme (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, and Cache and Memory).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processors running at its default clock speeds of 3.33GHz with 6GB of DDR3-1333 RAM running in triple-channel mode on the Gigabyte EX58A-UD5 motherboard.


Processor Arithmetic
Core i7-980X


Multimedia
Core i7-980X


 Memory Bandwidth
Core i7-980X


Cache and Memory
Core i7-980X

With the exception of the memory bandwidth test, where the new Core i7-980X Extreme was essentially tied with a couple of other Core i7 quad-core-based systems, it simply dominated the rest of the pack according to SiSoft SANDRA. The Core i7-980X Extreme's Processor Arithmetic and Multimedia benchmark scored were well ahead of its closes competition. Finally, the Cache and Memory Bandwidth test showed the Core i7-980X Extreme's additional cache and high frequency offered significantly more bandwidth than any other platform, regardless of the test block size.


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