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

Crysis

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Crysis is seen by many as the poster boy for DirectX 10 and it will make your system quite literally fall over crying if it's not up to – it’s a monster of an engine! It doesn’t come as much of a surprise then, that the graphics are something special – they’re above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen in a PC game even still. We used the latest 1.21 patch and range the game in 64-bit and DirectX 10 mode in a custom level run through.

Crysis

1680x1050 0AA 0AF, All High Settings

  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 965 (4x3.2GHz, Turbo disabled, 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, 4.8GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core i7 940 (4x2.93GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, 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 i7 920 (4x2.66GHz, 6.4GHz QPI, SMT enabled)
  • Core 2 Quad Q9650 (4x3.0GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 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 Quad Q9550 (4x2.83GHz, 1,333MHz FSB, DDR2)
  • Core 2 Duo E8500 (2x3.16GHz, 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 Quad Q6700 (4x2.66GHz, 1,066MHz FSB, DDR3)
  • 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)
    • 41.7
    • 41.5
    • 41.4
    • 41.3
    • 41.2
    • 40.8
    • 40.7
    • 39.8
    • 39.3
    • 39.0
    • 38.9
    • 38.7
    • 38.4
    • 38.3
    • 38.2
    • 38.0
    • 37.9
    • 37.8
    • 36.7
    • 35.5
    • 30.9
    • 30.7
    • 29.4
0
10
20
30
40
Frames Per Second - higher is better
  • FPS

Crysis sees the frame rate jump by a few fps with the all featuring Core i7 965 inevitably topping the table. Despite being a graphics behemoth, Crysis requires a fast CPU as well and there's a little extra performance available from the new architecture. This appears to be down to out and out CPU performance more than memory performance, as even with single channel memory, the Core i7 965 is about two percent faster than the QX9770 and two percent slower than the i7 965 with triple channel memory.

Breaking it down we can see that Turbo Mode and even SMT do little for the Core i7's performance here - both are within 0.2 and 0.3 frames per second on average to the 'all-on' i7 965. Even dual channel memory is 0.4 frames per second slower, meaning that if you can't afford a nice, spangly triple-channel kit for your new Bloomfield platform it's not the end of the world. The "biggest" difference of the i7 965 options is turning down the QPI bandwidth from 6.4GT/s to 4.8GT/s - this is 0.5 frames per second and hardly a game changing difference.

Without knowing the UK price, for ~$300 the i7 920 is less than a frame per second faster than the Q9550 and the same clocked Q9450.
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