SYSMark 2007 Performance

Our journey starts with SYSMark 2007, the only all-encompassing performance suite in our review today. The idea here is simple: one benchmark to indicate the overall performance of your machine.

SYSMark is an example of what a mostly dual-core workload looks like. The 6-core advantage is nil, although the very large L3 cache makes up for it. In this case the Core i7 970 is just slightly slower than the quad-core 975.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Performance

To measure performance under Photoshop CS4 we turn to the Retouch Artists’ Speed Test. The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.

The whole process is timed and thanks to the use of Intel's X25-M SSD as our test bed hard drive, performance is far more predictable than back when we used to test on mechanical disks.

Time is reported in seconds and the lower numbers mean better performance. The test is multithreaded and can hit all four cores in a quad-core machine.

We loved the 980X for Photoshop use when it launched, and the 970 is no different. Photoshop can use the extra cores, although the performance difference isn't huge it's there.

DivX 6.8.5 with Xmpeg 5.0.3

Our DivX test is the same DivX / XMpeg 5.03 test we've run for the past few years now, the 1080p source file is encoded using the unconstrained DivX profile, quality/performance is set balanced at 5 and enhanced multithreading is enabled.

Video encoding is where it's at with the 6-core Gulftown processors. The 970 is hot on the heels of the 980X.

x264 HD Video Encoding Performance

Graysky's x264 HD test uses x264 to encode a 4Mbps 720p MPEG-2 source. The focus here is on quality rather than speed, thus the benchmark uses a 2-pass encode and reports the average frame rate in each pass.

There's no replacement for core count in these heavily threaded workloads. The 970 is over 40% faster than the Core i7 975 and gives you 96% of the performance of a Core i7 980X.

Introduction & The Test 3D Rendering Performance


View All Comments

  • cantpost - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    Good sample dunno.

    I've got mine at 4 gig with 1.2 vcore but with load line calibration enabled. Otherwise the vcore drops by 0.1v and bsod time.

    Reckon better overclockers than me could probably get 4.2 ghz out of it but I'm waiting for some hot weather too how it does when my room gets to 30C
  • jonny30 - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    - until Intel provides a better ratio when we talk about price/performance I will not be impressed.........and I will not buy, off-course...........
    - and I am an owner of Q6600............
    - SO, I am sorry Intel, but you do not impress ME, at least..........
    - only disappoint ME, to be frankly............
    - for the price of a single CPU that is shown-ed today, I can buy a WHOLE PC, when we talk about AMD X6...........
    - and that so call performance of you new CPU, is only effective in tests, and in to a VERY small amount of applications...........
    - in every day usage, not even the 920 - that belongs to a very good friend of mine - shows that is up to the price...........
    - not these new versions of CPU...........
    - so............what can I say more?
  • jlazzaro - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    ....................... ..... . .. what? .................................

    .................... ...........
  • ClagMaster - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    I agree.

    I too have a Q6600 that I bought for $200 using a DG965WH motherboard. It was excellent for its time.

    Unless Intel or AMD markets a replacement processor that is 2x as capable than the Q6600 for $200 - $250 then I am not interested in upgrading.

    Even the i7 920 or i5 760 does not provides that kind of cost/power normalized performance.

    If my Q6600/DG965WH were to drop dead tomorrow, I would purchase a 95W Phenom II X4 955 Black with an ASUS 890G/SB850 chipset (for the ECC memory) because this provides the best value and connectivity for the dollar. I do not have applications that really need six cores. However, I can fully utilize four cores with media encoding and MNPC analysis.

    AMD may not be first rate in processor performance, but this highly competent company and its partners offer excellent value parts.
  • bupkus - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    If you're like most people then you're busy pricing the hard drive and memory size you need first. From there you look for an affordable combination of cpu and motherboard. If you really could use a better cpu lets say for your work but the funds aren't available you compromise as best as you can.
    However, if you're not from Main Street but instead from Wall Street the chances are you buy the best available. It is for this class of customers that Intel offers their Gulftown series. If not for these customers Intel would not have a $1k desktop processor.
    I'm not saying Intel is involved with the progressive redistribution of wealth to the top 1%, but I feel confident that marketers will be targeting the customers with the most money first and let second tier builders like AMD pick up the rest of us where the less attractive profit margins are found.
    This is not a moral statement, just a practical one related to what is brought to the market. Don't get me wrong, I could get moral, but this is after all a technical site.
  • cauchy2k - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    If i get to buy an around $1000 cpu I'd go with the 980x,simply because it's the best and its next lower cpu is only $100 cheaper.When you get to spend around $1000 in a cpu $100 it's no big deal when you can get more advantadges. Reply
  • Mensinnylopard - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    That's good software and I suggest to you please read care fully and take more information... Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - link

    The rendering page intrigued me, 25505 for the 970. Just for reference, my i7 860 oc'd to
    4GHz gives 19140, enough to outpace a stock 1090T and come close to a 975. Of course,
    these can be oc'd aswell, but just thought I'd mention since people were commenting on
    how the lesser CPUs oc'd would compare.

    What is especially interesting though is the result for an i7 930 system I found while trawling
    for Cinebench data, namely 24972 at 4.3GHz - not that much less than the 970 (by comparison,
    a stock 930 gives about 17200).

    As the author says, as long as there's no competition from AMD, Intel can charge what it likes and
    that part of the market will happily pay. Heck, if money really wasn't an issue, I'd buy them. :D But
    then again, for rendering, if money really wasn't an issue I'd buy a 256-CPU Altix UV 1000, hehe...

  • bustermk2 - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    I do 3d for a living and this is actually a cost effective replacement for my aging xeon rig.

    It is the 6 cores that won me over plus the fact that there probably won't be anything better coming out until late next year.

    Having said that I wouldn't buy it for a home rig.

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