Intel core i7 leaps over core 2 duo and quad core

Remember how the energy efficient core 2 duo ran rings around its predecessors coreduo and centrino and centrino M?

Well, Intel now has a new chip, which is codenamed Intel Core i7 Nehalem Processor.  This wafer is said to be generally 40% faster than the fastest quad core, and over 50% faster than the fastest most expensive core 2 duo processor!

Available model numbers are :

Core i7 (large) vs. Core 2 – Socket LGA1366 vs. LGA775. The new Core i7 processors come with integrated memory controllers, which requires more pins for outside connection.Core i7 965 Extreme : 3.20GHz ($1100)
Core i7 940 : 2.93GH ($600)
Core i7 920 : 2.66GHz ($300)
Intel X58 Express
based motherboards will be available from launch from Intel, MSI, GIGABYTE, ASUS and EVGA.

The Motherboard for the i7 will require a new socket base form the current available boards in the market, hence and upgrade would mean virtually a total replacement.

APCmag and Tchspot spent a few days with latest and greatest processor architecture to date, as well as the new compatible motherboard chipset the[ X58 Express, codenamed Tylersburg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Processors

Processor

Fab
Process

Cores

L1 Cache

L2 Cache

FSB
Speed

Multiplier

Clock
Frequency

Core 2 Extreme QX9650

45 nm

4

32 KB x 4

6 MB x 2

1333 MHz

9x

3.0 GHz

Core 2 Quad Q9550

45 nm

4

32 KB x 4

6 MB x 2

1333 MHz

8.5x

2.83 GHz

Core 2 Quad Q9450

45 nm

4

32 KB x 4

6 MB x 2

1333 MHz

8x

2.67 GHz

Core 2 Duo E8500

45 nm

2

32 KB x 2

6 MB

1333 MHz

9.5x

3.16 GHz

Core 2 Duo E8400

45 nm

2

32 KB x 2

6 MB

1333 MHz

9x

3.0 GHz

Core 2 Duo E8300

45 nm

2

32 KB x 2

6 MB

1333 MHz

8.5x

2.83 GHz

Core 2 Duo E8200/E8190

45 nm

2

32 KB x 2

6 MB

1333 MHz

8x

2.67 GHz

Core 2 Duo E7200

45 nm

2

32 KB x 2

3 MB

1066 MHz

9.5x

2.53 GHz

Core 2 Extreme QX6850

65 nm

4

32 KB x 4

4 MB x 2

1333 MHz

9x

3.0 GHz

Core 2 Extreme QX6800

65 nm

4

32 KB x 4

4 MB x 2

1066 MHz

11x

2.93 GHz

Core 2 Extreme QX6700

65 nm

4

32 KB x 4

4 MB x 2

1066 MHz

10x

2.67 GHz

Core 2 Quad Q6700

65 nm

4

32 KB x 4

4 MB x 2

1066 MHz

10x

2.67 GHz

Core 2 Quad Q6600

65 nm

4

32 KB x 4

4 MB x 2

1066 MHz

9x

2.4 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6850

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

1333 MHz

9x

3.0 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6750

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

1333 MHz

8x

2.67 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6600

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

1066 MHz

9x

2.4 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6550/E6540

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

1333 MHz

7x

2.33 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6420

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

1066 MHz

8x

2.13 GHz

Core 2 Duo E6320

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

4 MB

1066 MHz

7x

1.86 GHz

Celeron Dual-Core E1200

65 nm

2

32 KB x 2

512 KB

800 MHz

8x

1.6 GHz

For more specifications, take a look at our Desktop CPU Comparison Guide.

 

 

 Other tests on the game "Lost Planet"

Test System Specifications:

 

Intel Core i7 965EE (3.2GHz – 24*133MHz), Core i7 940 (2.93 – 22*133MHz), Core i7 920 (2.66 – 20*133MHz)
ASUS P6T Deluxe X58 Motherboard
Corsair 3 x 2GB TRGX6G11600C8S @ 8-8-8-24-1.65v

 

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (3.2GHz – 16*200MHz), Core 2 Duo E8500 (3.16GHz – 9.5*167)
Kingston 2 x 1GB KHX1600D3K3 @ 8-8-8-24 @ 1.91v

 

Shared Components:

 

 

 

Lost Planet and Multithreading

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing you will notice about the above performance is that the 3.2GHz Core 2 QX9770 outperforms the 3.2GHz Core i7 pretty much across the board when “Very High” quality is used in the game. This is not true for low quality settings, but we don’t think that our readers are going to be playing FarCry 2 without they eye candy turned on. The simple fact of the matter is that our readers do not buy these expensive hardware setups to run at low resolutions and low graphical settings. That said, we scaled our results all the way down to 640×480 so you could see the entire scaling path for yourself and make up your own mind.

 

What is more interesting to me than our quadcore performance is how well the dual core E8500 stacked up against both the quadcore processors. We can clearly see where FarCry 2 was dual core CPU limited until we hit the 1600×1200 mark with AA turned on. From 1600×1200 with 2xAA up in FarCry 2 I think it is safe to say the game is GPU limited in our GeForce GTX 280 configuration. There is room to argue about 1920×1400 0xAA still being CPU limited, but not much. From our results here we can say that the Core i7 at 3.2GHz is not as good a performer as the Core 2 at 3.2GHz in FarCry 2 and once you cross the 1600×1200 0xAA mark, you are going to have a hard time discerning the 965EE from the QX9770 and even the E8500 with this graphics card configuration.

 

Our gaming tests were performed using a single GeForce GTX 280 graphics card which is almost maxed out at 100% of its capacity when coupled with the Core 2 Quad Q9650 or Core 2 Duo E8600 and running the latest games at 1920×1200 and best visual in-game settings.

With this in mind, we are not expecting the Core i7 processors to perform any miracles here but display the more substantial gains CPU vs. CPU in our low-quality gaming settings tests (see next page) where the GPU doesn't present itself as the performance bottleneck.

The Core 2 Quad Q9650 managed to edge out the Core i7 920 and Core i7 940 processors in this test though just marginally. The Core i7 965 EE remained on top averaging 151fps, which was still just 4% faster than the Q9650. Overclocking allowed for a little more performance for a mere 3fps gain. 

Despite the GeForce GTX 280 being somewhat of a bottleneck in the previous games, it would seem that Far Cry 2 is in need of some more processing performance. Although the Core i7 920 was found to be the slowest processor tested, the Core i7 940 was able to match the performance of the Core 2 Duo E8600 and Core 2 Quad Q9650 processors. The Core i7 965 Extreme Edition, on the other hand, raced ahead averaging an impressive 62fps or 13% faster than the Core 2 Quad Q9650. 

Benchmarks: Gaming (Low Quality)

The GeForce GTX 280 was clearly a limitation in the previous gaming tests, so we have run through all the same games again at a low resolution using low quality visuals. Although no one will ever play these games using these settings with this much computing power, the test removes the GPU bottleneck, which should give you some idea where these processors may stand when tested with future more powerful graphics cards.

 

 

As you can see, the Core i7 processors are now clearly faster in Unreal Tournament with the Core i7 920 beating the Core 2 Quad Q9650 by a small margin. The Core i7 940 delivers another 3.5% more performance, while the Core i7 965 EE is another 8% faster again. The overclocked Core i7 965 EE seems to hit a brick wall at around 320fps.

As we saw when testing Far Cry 2 using high visual quality settings, this game seems to rely more heavily on processing power to deliver the best performance. While the Core i7 processors are considerably faster than the competition, they are not too much faster than each other.

The Core i7 965 EE was 24% faster than the Core 2 Quad Q9650, but just 7% faster than the Core i7 920.

 

Notice that the processors above have been listed in order according to their load result, but the idle results are often quite different and paint a different overall picture in power consumption.

Although the overclocked Core i7 965 Extreme Edition CPU was the most power hungry processor when under load, it used less power at idle than the Phenom X4 9950, Core 2 Quad Q9650, Core 2 Duo E8600, and E6700 processors. In fact, at idle the Core i7 processors were very efficient, while under load the standard Core i7 965 EE configuration used roughly the same amount of power as the Phenom X4 9950.

The conclusion we take out of this is rather evident. Despite of consuming a lot of power when fully used, at idle the Core i7 processors can throttle down and become very efficient.

 

Pricing and Final Thoughts
 
There is no doubt in our minds that the Core i7 is a worthy successor of what was one of Intel’s greatest processor series yet. Already the Core i7 has proven to be extremely powerful, as it easily put away the Core 2 Quad Q9650 in almost every test we ran.

The Core i7 processors were simply stunning when encoding with AutoMKV, making otherwise impressive processors such as the Phenom X4 9950 look a decade old. The same level of outstanding performance was displayed in Adobe Premier and After Effects, while those that rely on Microsoft Excel for forecasting and complex calculations will also enjoy what the Core i7 has to offer.

We were pleased to see that the slowest processor in the Core i7 range (920) was able to defeat over and over the Core 2 Quad Q9650 which runs at a higher clock speed (3GHz) and before this day was one of the best CPUs money could buy.

Helping to make all this amazing performance possible is the on-die memory controller, along with Intel’s new QPI technology. While we have been unable to test the triple-channel performance of DDR3-1333 or faster memory, this is certainly something we are very keen to test in the near future.

Initially building a new Core i7 system is not going to be a cheap affair, though the Core i7 920 processor itself should only cost around $284 (quoted batch price per 1000 units). Still, if this is the case, the Core i7 920 will be coming in cheaper than the Core 2 Duo E6600 when it was first released. The Core i7 940 is expected to cost considerably more at $562, while the Core i7 965 Extreme Edition will set you back a smooth $999, which was the release price of the Core 2 Extreme X6800.

 

While the Core i7 920 might not be too bad with its sub-$300 price tag, we don't expect X58-based motherboards to be all that affordable. DDR3 pricing has fallen considerably over the past few months, and we expect triple-channel kits to come in at around $100. So all up it should be possible to buy the guts of a Core i7 920 system for around $600, which is quite good given the insane level of performance it offers.

Overall the new Core i7 architecture has certainly impressed us, living up to all expectations. The future continues to look bright for Intel as we expect many more processors based on the Bloomfield core to be released, while the prospect of 32nm Westmere processors by 2010 has got us licking our lips. If we can make one prediction is that you won't regret investing money in the new Intel LGA1366 platform.

Sources: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTU4MCwyLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==
http://www.techspot.com/review/124-intel-core-i7-920-940-965/page11.html

 

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