Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 965: Not Just A Speed Bump

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Our Test Systems & SiSoft SANDRA

How we configured our test systems: When configuring the test systems for this review, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High-Performance Defaults."  The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows XP Professional (SP2) was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed the drivers necessary for our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system.  Auto-Updating and System Restore were then disabled, and we set up a 768MB permanent page file on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

Test System Specifications
"Intel & AMD Inside!"
SYSTEM 1:
Pentium Extreme Edition 965
(3.73GHz)
Pentium Extreme Edition 955
(3.46GHz)
Pentium Extreme Edition 840
(3.2GHz)
3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Edition

Asus P5WDG2-WS Motherboard

Intel DX975XBX Motherboard
(i975x Chipset)

2x512MB Corsair DDR2-667
CL 3-2-2-8

GeForce 7800 GTX
On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows XP Pro SP2
Intel INF 7.2.2.1006

NVIDIA Forceware v81.98
DirectX 9.0c
SYSTEM 2:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 FX-60
(2.6GHz)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
(2.4GHz)

Asus AN832-SLI
(NVIDIA nForce 4 SLIX16)

2x512MB Corsair PC3200
CL 2-2-2-5

GeForce 7800 GTX
On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows XP Pro SP2
nForce 4 Drivers v6.82
NVIDIA Forceware v81.98
DirectX 9.0c

 

Preliminary Benchmarks with SiSoft SANDRA 2005
Synthetic Testing

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. SANDRA consists of a set of information and diagnostic utilities that can provide a host of useful information about your hardware and operating system. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2005 suite (CPU, Multimedia, Cache, and Memory) with the Pentium Extreme Edition 965 installed into our test rig.  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default clock speeds of 3.73GHz.


CPU Arithmetic Benchmark
Pentium Extreme Edition 965
3.73GHz

Multimedia Benchmark
Pentium Extreme Edition 965
3.73GHz

CPU Cache Benchmark
Pentium Extreme Edition 965
3.73GHz (DDR2 667)

Memory Benchmark
Pentium Extreme Edition 965
3.73GHz (DDR2 667)

The Pentium Extreme Edition 965 tore right through the assortment of synthetic SiSoft SANDRA benchmarks we ran. It was clearly the fastest processor in the CPU Arithmetic and Multi-Media benchmarks, besting the other systems in SANDRA's database by decent margins. The 965XE also performed well in the Cache & Memory test, where it was the best performer with 8K-32K and 512K-4MB block sizes. And in the memory benchmark, the 965XE coupled with some fast Corsair RAM posted peak bandwidth scores in the 6.3GB/s range.


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