Intel's Core i7 920, 940 & 965 processors

November 3, 2008 | 08:30

Tags: #2 #920 #945 #965 #benchmark #comparison #core #cpu #i7 #mode #nehalem #penryn #performance #phenom #quad #result #review #smt #testing #turbo

Companies: #amd #intel

SiSoftware Sandra Lite 2009.SP1 Beta (15.42)

Website: Sisoftware

Sisoft Sandra Unbuffered Memory Test

  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 4.8GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT disabled)
  • Core i7 940 (4x2.93GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Dual Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE (4x2.6GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE (4x2.5GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9750 (4x2.4GHz, 1.8GHz HTT)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Single Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR3)
    • 17493.5
    • 17433.0
    • 17421.5
    • 17411.0
    • 17409.5
    • 17206.0
    • 11642.0
    • 8994.0
    • 8775.0
    • 8752.5
    • 8340.0
    • 7958.5
    • 7547.0
    • 7536.5
    • 7503.0
    • 7209.0
    • 7126.0
    • 7068.5
    • 7040.0
    • 6992.5
    • 6602.0
    • 6588.5
    • 5544.0
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
MB/s (higher is better)
  • MB/s

Raw bandwidth numbers are through the roof! In conjunction with some overclocking we've done before we started working on this article, we've had Sandra reporting over 29,000 MB/s on an Asus P6T Deluxe, and we know Asus' Swedish overclocking Guru has had ~32,000 MB/s out of the same board! 1,066MHz triple channel DDR3 leaves plenty of overhead, and with 1,600-2,000MHz triple-channel kits announced already we should see some incredible memory performance numbers.

Even dual channel DDR3 at 1,066MHz is over twice as fast as 1,066MHz DDR3 on the older Front Side Bus model! Compared to 1,600MHz DDR3 on the QX9770 though, there's still a 30 percent performance improvement - nothing stands close.

But does the extra manwidth make a difference in real world performance?

Sisoft Sandra Random Memory Latency Test

  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Single Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Dual Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 4.8GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 940 (4x2.93GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT disabled)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE (4x2.6GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE (4x2.5GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9750 (4x2.4GHz, 1.8GHz HTT)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR3)
    • 66.0
    • 71.0
    • 72.0
    • 72.0
    • 72.0
    • 72.0
    • 74.0
    • 76.0
    • 76.0
    • 76.0
    • 76.0
    • 77.0
    • 78.0
    • 80.0
    • 81.0
    • 83.0
    • 84.0
    • 84.0
    • 84.0
    • 84.0
    • 85.0
    • 88.0
    • 94.0
0
25
50
75
100
Nanoseconds (lower is better)
  • Nanoseconds

Core i7's memory access latency is really very low, considering the only other 1,066MHz DDR3 at 7-7-7-20 latencies is the Q6700 at the bottom of the table. If we compare dual channel Core i7 to dual channel Q6700, Intel's new chip has about a 30 percent faster memory access time.

When compared to previous generations that run faster DDR3 though - 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz at 7-7-7-20 - the Core i7 fits consistently in the upper niche, with only the lack of SMT and running lower clock speeds (which affect the northbridge frequency) influencing the performance. Interestingly, single and dual channel access are on the faster end - so while these lack the extra bandwidth, they are still efficiently accessed.
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