06 Getting straight to it without further ado, here are the seven processors we have lined up for your delectation.
|System||Intel Core i7 system||Intel LGA775 system||AMD AM2+ system|
|Processors||Intel Core i7 965
Extreme Edition (3.20GHz, 1MB L2, 8MB L3 cache, LGA1366, quad-core)
Intel Core i7 940 (2.93GHz, 1MB L2, 8MB L3 cache, LGA1366, quad-core)
Intel Core i7 920 (2.66GHz, 1MB L2, 8MB L3 cache, LGA1366, quad-core)
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (3.20GHz, 12MB L2 cache, LGA775, quad-core)
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 (2.93GHz, 8MB L2 cache, LGA775, quad-core)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 (2.67GHz, 12MB L2 cache, LGA775, quad-core)
|AMD Phenom X4 9950
BE (2.6GHz, 2MB L2, 2MB L3 cache, AM2+, quad-core)
|Motherboard||Intel X58 Smackover (retail)||MSI X48 Platinum||Sapphire PC-AM2RD790 (790FX + SB600)|
|Mainboard software||Intel Inf 126.96.36.1997||Intel Inf 188.8.131.528||Vista SP1 default driver|
6GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3-1,333
|4GB (2 x 2GB) Corsair XMS DDR3-1,600||4GB (2 x 2GB) Corsair XMS DDR2-1,066|
|Memory timings and speed||
9-9-9-24-2T @ 1,333MHz (1,066MHz for '920 and '940)
9-9-9-24-2T @ 1,333MHz
4-4-4-12 @ 800MHz
|Graphics card(s)||Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 512MB|
|Graphics driver||AMD CATALYST 8.10|
|Disk drive(s)||Seagate 500GB SATAII (ST3160812AS)|
|Optical drive(s)||Sony DW-Q30A|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Business 64-bit with SP1|
|PSU||OCZ Game Extreme 1,000W||OCZ Game Extreme 700W||OCZ Game Extreme 700W|
|Benchmarks||Sandra Lite XII SP2c Win64 memory bandwidth
ScienceMark 2.0 32-bit build 21MAR05 memory latency
LAME multi-threaded benchmark - 701.5MB file - encoded into 128kbps stereo.
DivX 6.8.3 (1.2GB HD source-file, home-theatre profile, 1,700Kbps, insane-quality video, 40Kbps, stereo, 16KHz Audio)
CINEBENCH R10, 64-bit
POV-Ray 32-bit 3.7.0 beta 25a, 64-bit
WinRAR 3.71 compression of 1.2GB file
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts: 1,024x768 - low-detail settings
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars: 1,024x768 low-detail and 1,680x1,050 high-detail settings
Quake 4 netdemo test - 1,024x768 low-detail settings
We have three speed grades of Core i7 processors, all formally 'announced' today but not available to buy until later on this month. They operate at 3.20GHz, 2.93GHz, and 2.67GHz for the 965 Extreme Edition, 940, and 920 models, respectively. They've been matched to equivalent-speed Core 2 quad-core processors, and we've deliberately included the 65nm (Kentsfield) QX6800 because it natively operates at 2.93GHz, which no 45nm desktop CPU does, and to see how generation differences are manifested in our results.
AMD's sole representative is the Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition, operating at 2.6GHz and the fastest currently available. As such, this is not a price-to-price comparison, because AMD has no desktop part retailing for more than £125 right now. Indeed, the table on the following pagesheds light on current pricing.
The Core i7 940 has been re-benchmarked with the memory running at 1,066MHz rather than 1,333MHz, as originally published.