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
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  • dragunover - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    This CPU is a joke until it's getting sold for under four hundred dollars....
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    Why just not take i5-750 and overclock the heck out of it and beat the "crab" out of the i7-970?
  • Taft12 - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    Does overclocking net you additional cores now?

    (Sarcasm aside, you CAN net additional cores on an AMD CPU!)
  • afkrotch - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    Cause then you can overlock the i7-970 and beat the "crab" out of anything else, minus the 980X.
  • medi01 - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    Which still won't justify 5 times higher price.
  • afkrotch - Monday, August 2, 2010 - link

    Never said it did. I can't see why anyone would ever pay $500 or more for a processor you'll be using at home. I'd say it's a different story if it's a work related business expense.

    Me, I will never buy a proc that costs more than $350. I always stay within that budget. I find that the sweet spot. You can get a fast processor and you can usually overclock it to match the $1000 ones.
  • swaaye - Friday, August 13, 2010 - link

    Intel's pricing strategy seems to pay off in the end, historically. :)
  • Will Robinson - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    It's pricey but very quick at pretty much everything.
    Thanks for the look anyway.
    Could AT consider an article highlighting the need for software that really shines on this hardware?
    Who's coding 6 core +HT stuff anyway?
    Give them a push Anand :)
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    "If you're doing a lot of 3D rendering, video encoding or other heavily threaded tasks it makes sense. Otherwise, despite the class leading performance, it's not a good value. "

    Read the review!!! .... damn it
  • Taft12 - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    Server workloads and animation professionals.

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