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

TMPEG DivX 6.8 Encoding

Website: DivX and TMPEG

We used the latest version of TMPEG 4.5.2.255 and DivX 6.8, and encoded a 980MB 720x480px 4-8k VBR MPEG-2 video with 48KHz PCM stereo sound into a 320x240px DivX under the "Mobile" profile with a single pass, with 112kbps LAME .MP3 joint stereo sound. This included setting multi-threading and SSE2/4 where possible in the DivX settings.

TMPEG 4.0 Xpress

Source File: 980MB 4-8k VBR MPEG-2 PCM Stereo. Encoding: Divx 6.8 Mobile Profile, 720x480 to 320x240

  • 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 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Dual Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Single Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 940 (4x2.93GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE (4x2.5GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE (4x2.6GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9750 (4x2.4GHz, 1.8GHz HTT)
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Again the Core i7s burn through video encoding and in a clock for clock race they are 18 percent faster than Penryn with SMT enabled. Without Hyper Threading on there's only a very little three percent loss of performance. Turning down the QPI bus does very little here, as does disabling SMT, Turbo mode and dropping down to dual channel memory - all of which perform within a few seconds of each other and are between three to four percent slower than the all-on i7 965.

With the Core i7 965 limited to single channel DDR3, it still manages to outperform the i7 940 surprisingly, but both are 12-to-13 percent slower than the i7 965. Between the Q9550 and the i7 920 which carry a loosely similar price, the latter is ten percent faster for a lower price tag, while clock for clock the Q9450 is 13 percent slower.

Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 8

Website: Sony Creative Software

Sony Vegas Movie Studio is an industry leading movie making application that offers support for a large variety of video formats. It can handle the latest multi-channel audio and high-definition content, even including AVCHD and HDV. Further features include mixing and editing, video composite creating and video restoration among others. As a highly threaded application it makes great use of multi-core processors.

Here we use the free version: Platinum 8, to transcode a 720x480px 945MB raw .MTS with PCM audio into a 720x480px WMV9 at VBR90, with 5.1 channel 44.1KHz 64Kbps WMA audio.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 8

720x480 945MB .mts to 720x480 VBR90 WMV9, 5.1 44.1KHz 64Kbps WMA

  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 4.8GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Dual Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 940 (4x2.93GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT disabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Single Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • 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 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
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Yet again the Core i7 turns out to be an encoding behemoth, with them all stretching out a significant performance lead over even the fastest Penryn CPUs by at least 40 seconds.

Clock for clock there's a 22 percent performance advantage for the Core i7 965 versus the QX9770, while the 920 has a 17 percent advantage over the similarly priced Q9550 and a 21 percent advantage over a clock to clock matched Q9450.

Again Turbo mode and QPI do little for Sony Vegas - there's just a one or two percent difference in performance. However, disabling SMT drops the performance considerable seven percent or a whole minute in round terms. Dual channel memory again provides a solid performance but single channel causes a 12 percent performance drop, although this single channel DDR3 1,066MHz is still faster than the same clocked QX9770 with dual channel DDR3 at 1,600MHz.
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