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Intel Core i7 CPU & DX58SO X58 Platform E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors
Written by Miles Cheatham - Edited by Olin Coles   
Monday, 03 November 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i7 CPU & DX58SO X58 Platform
Intel Core i7: Platform Information
Nehalem Architecture
Intel DX58SO Motherboard
DX58SO 'Smackover' Features
Testing Methodology
3DMark System Tests
SANDRA 2009 System Tests
EVEREST Ultimate System Tests
POV Ray, SuperPi and WinRar Tests
Crysis and World in Conflict Tests
Intel Core i7 Final Thoughts

Testing Methodology

After all the equipment for this article was sorted out we had four distinct systems to test. Three of the four systems we tested were supplied by Intel. We chose our fastest quad core system for comparison purposes. We overclocked the X3350 to 3.2 GHz to emulate the fastest Core i7 processor in the mix and used the standard components that we use with this system on a daily basis. Intel supplied both the Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition and the Intel Core i7-920. They asked if we'd down-clock the i7-965 to 2.93 GHz to emulate the performance of the Intel Core i7-940, and we were more than happy to oblige.

Unfortunately when testing systems of this type there is not set of "grass roots" tests that will completely speak to the to the system's overall performance. It is therefore necessary to comparatively test the performance of the CPU, Memory, Hard Drive(s) and Graphical Rendering and then draw your assumptions from the results of these tests. We chose an array of benchmarking tools (captioned below) that we felt would give our readers a complete of a picture of each system's performance. Each benchmark test program begins after a system restart, and the very first result for every test will be ignored since it often only caches the test. We then ran each of the tests a minimum of three times and them reported an average of each test's results.

Test Systems

System #1

  • Motherboard: Intel Extreme Motherboard DX58SO
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition [3.20 GHz clock speed]
  • Processor Cooling: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme RT
  • System Memory: QIMONDA 3 x 1GB DDR3 1067 CL7 non-ECC UDIMM
  • Disk Drive: Intel High Performance SATA SSD X25-M 80GB MLC

System #2

  • Motherboard: Intel Extreme Motherboard DX58SO
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition [2.93 GHz clock speed]
  • Processor Cooling: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme RT
  • System Memory: QIMONDA 3 x 1GB DDR3 1067 CL7 non-ECC UDIMM
  • Disk Drive: Intel High Performance SATA SSD X25-M 80GB MLC,

System #3

  • Motherboard: Intel Extreme Motherboard DX58SO
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-920 [2.66 GHz clock speed]
  • Processor Cooling: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme RT
  • System Memory: QIMONDA 3 x 1GB DDR3 1067 CL7 non-ECC UDIMM
  • Disk Drive: Intel High Performance SATA SSD X25-M 80GB MLC,

System #4

  • Motherboard: ASUS P5E3 Premium WIFI-AP @n, BIOS 0503
  • Processor: Intel X3350 Core 2 Quad 2.66 GHz [Overclocked to 3.2 GHz]
  • Processor Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P
  • System Memory: 2GB Patriot Viking DDR3 PC3-1500, running at 8-7-7-24
  • Disk Drive: Seagate 1 TB Barracuda ES.2 SATA Drives

Common Components

  • Graphics Card: Zotac GTX 260 Amp2!
  • Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-2014L1T SATA Optical Drive
  • Enclosure: Lian Li PC-A7010B Black Aluminum Full-Tower ATX Case
  • PSU: Thermaltake W0132 Toughpower Cable Management 1000 Watt
  • Monitor: Dell 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor 2407FPW
  • KVM Switch: ATEN CS1782 USB 2.0 DVI KVM Switch
  • Operating System: Windows Vista 32-bit Ultimate SP-1 with all current updates

Benchmark Applications

  • PCMark Vantage (Default settings)
  • 3DMark Vantage v1.01 (Performance Mode/1920 x 1200 No AA/AF)
  • 3DMark06 v1.1.0 (1920 x 1200 No AA/AF)
  • SANDRA 2009 (CPU, Memory & Storage System Tests)
  • EVEREST Ultimate v4.60.1500(CPU & Memory Tests)
  • HDTach RW v3.0.1.0 (Storage System Tests)
  • POV RAY v3.7 Beta 29 (Single & Quad Core Rendering Tests)
  • WinRar v3.71 (File Compression Tests)
  • World In Conflict (4 x AA/16 x AF)
  • Crysis v1.21 Benchmark (DX9 High Settings, No AA/AF)



 

Comments 

 
# Retired computer builderCarl Stough 2010-07-01 15:04
This i7 is the most remarkable cpu I have had in my 30 plus year in computer building. It is very fast and seams to be flawles with many applications open at one time.
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