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

File Compression & Encryption:

WinRAR

Website: WinRAR

Our file compression and decompression tests were split into two halves to cover a broad spectrum of performance. The first test we ran was to compress and encrypt the MPEG-2 source file from our video encoding test with the highest quality compression ratio. Secondly, we compressed and encrypted the folder of 400 photographs used in our Photoshop Elements test with the same compression settings.

Large File Compression & Encryption

WinRAR 3.71, Multithreaded, 276MB source file

  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 4.8GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz 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, Single Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT disabled)
  • 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 Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE (4x2.6GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE (4x2.5GHz, 2.0GHz HTT)
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • AMD Phenom X4 9750 (4x2.4GHz, 1.8GHz HTT)
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Time in Seconds (lower is better)
  • Seconds

Small File Compression & Encryption

WinRAR 3.71, Multithreaded, 400 2048x1536 Photos

  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 4.8GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Dual Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT disabled)
  • Core i7 940 (4x2.93GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (4x3.2GHz, 1,600MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Single Channel, SMT enabled)
  • 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 Q9450 (4x2.66GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • 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)
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Time in Seconds (lower is better)
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The Core i7 excels in WinRAR too. The new CPUs undercut even the fastest Penryn CPUs in compression time by between 16 and 34 percent in small and large file compression respectively on a clock to clock basis - that's a large gain in performance!

Both Turbo mode and lowering the QPI frequency have zero effect on WinRAR, and even dual and single channel memory is only a few seconds in large file compression. Small file compression takes a larger hit for single channel memory however.

Clock for clock the Q6700 is between 30 and 58 percent slower than the Core i7 920, and the Q9450 is 17 to 40 percent.

7-Zip

Website: 7-Zip

Our community requested the inclusion of 7-Zip, a free compression tool that is an alternative to WinRAR and we've obliged accordingly. Using the internal benchmark this measures compression and decompression performance in MIPS and provides an average result. It is multi-threaded so takes advantage of the latest multi-core and SMT enabled CPUs.

We left the benchmark to accumulate 10 runs using a 32MB Dictionary size in order to get a solid, average result.

7-Zip

Internal Benchmark

  • 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 i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT disabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Dual Channel, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Single Channel, 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, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
    • 18322.0
    • 17967.0
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MIPS (higher is better)
  • MIPS

The Core i7 processors obliterate the 7-Zip benchmark - and while yet again Turbo mode and a faster QPI bandwidth makes very little difference, Hyper Threading certainly does, providing a whopping 45 percent performance increase! Triple channel memory also seems to make a huge difference over dual and single channel, affording a near 50 percent performance increase.

Clock for clock compared to the previous generation a Core i7 965 is 50 percent faster and the i7 920 versus the Q6700 is 56 percent quicker.
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