Intel Skulltrail Unleashed: Core 2 Extreme QX9775 x 2

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Our Test Systems and SANDRA



How we configured our test systems: 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 - 1600 with 7,7,7,20 timings (Intel), or DDR2-800 5-5-5-15 (Skulltrail). 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, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.
 

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and AMD - Head To Head 

System 1:
Core 2 Extreme QX9775
(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)

Intel D5400XS
(5400 Series Chipset)

2 x 2GB Micron FBDIMM
CL 5-5-5 - DDR2-800

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 8.3.1.1009
NVIDIA Forceware 169.28

System 2:
Core 2 Extreme QX9770
(3.2GHz - Quad-Core)
Core 2 Extreme QX9650
(3.0GHz - Quad-Core)
Core 2 Quad Q6600
(2.4GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P5E3 Deluxe
(X38 Chipset)

4 x 1GB Corsair DDR3-1800
CL 7-7-7 - DDR3-1333/1600

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 8.3.1.1009
NVIDIA Forceware 169.28

System 3:
AMD Phenom 9700
(2.4GHz)
AMD Phenom 9600
(3.0GHz) 
AMD Athlon X2 6400+
(3.2GHz)

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

4 x 1GB Corsair PC2-8500
CL 5-5-5-15 - DDR2-1066

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA Forceware 169.28

System 4:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-74
(3.0GHz x 2)

Asus L1N64-SLI WS
(nForce 680a SLI)

4 x 1GB Corsair PC2-6400
CL 4-4-4-12 - DDR2-800

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
nForce Drivers v15.08
NVIDIA Forceware 169.28

 Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA XII
 Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA XII, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran six of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA XII suite on the Skulltrail system (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Multi-Core Efficiency, Memory, Cache, and Memory Latency).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processors running at their default clock speed of 3.2GHz with DDR2-800 FB-DIMMs.



Skulltrail
QX9775 x 2 @ 3.2GHz
CPU Arithmetic


Skulltrail
QX9775 x 2 @ 3.2GHz
Multimedia


Skulltrail
QX9775 x 2 @ 3.2GHz
Multi-Core Efficiency

 
 

Skulltrail
QX9775 x 2 @ 3.2GHz
Memory Bandwidth
 

 


Skulltrail
QX9775 x 2 @ 3.2GHz

Cache and Memory
 

 


Skulltrail
QX9775 x 2 @ 3.2GHz
Memory Latency
 

SANDRA's various benchmark results are a mixed bag.  In the processor intensive tests, the Skulltrail rig crushes everything else available in SANDRA's reference database.  The system's eight execution cores and high clock speed give it an obvious advantage over any other system where multi-threaded CPU performance is concerned.  The cache and memory, and multi-core efficiency benhcmarks also paint Skulltrail in a good light, as the system performs at, or near, the top of the charts in those tests as well.  It's in the memory bandwidth and latency tests that the Skulltrail system faulters, however.  In the memory bandwidth test, Skulltrail barely breaks the 7GB/s barrier and it has a somewhat high memory latency rating of 107ns.


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