|Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition CPU|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 14 November 2011|
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PCMark Vantage Tests
PCMark Vantage is an objective hardware performance benchmark tool for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7. It's well suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista/7 PC: from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops, to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Benchmark Reviews has decided to use a few select tests from the suite to simulate real-world processor usage in this article. Our tests were conducted on 64-bit Windows 7, with results displayed in the chart below.
TV and Movies Suite
* EDITOR'S NOTE: Hopefully our readers will carefully consider how relevant PCMark Vantage is as a "real-world" benchmark, since many of the tests rely on unrelated hardware components. For example, per the FutureMark PCMark Vantage White Paper document, Gaming test #2 weighs the storage device for 100% of the test score. In fact, according to PCMark Vantage the video card only impacts 23% of the total gaming score, but the CPU represents 37% of the final score. As our tests in this article (and many others) have already proven, gaming performance has a lot more to do with the GPU than the CPU, and especially more than the hard drive or SSD (which is worth 38% of the final gaming performance score).
The TV and Movies suite concentrates on video playback and transcoding, but only uses two threads at a maximum, so performance here is based more on clock speed and IPC (instructions per clock) than anything else. Here we see one of the closest performance clusters of this review, with the overclocked 3960X only 38% faster than the FX-8150 and 8% faster than the 2600K.
The Gaming benchmark relies on the hard disk and video card for over 50% of its score (see the Editor's Note above), and we're using the same HDD and video card for all platforms, so the Intel decisive win in this test simply means that Vantage's gaming code is more optimized for Intel processors. Bear in mind, however, that most "real world" games will not show this difference; generally, in games, your video card matters most, followed by the clock speed (not number of cores) of your processor. The PCMark Vantage gaming test can use up to 16 threads, so it's very strange that the eight core FX-8150 turns in markedly lower scores than the four-core Intel processors, even considering Hyper-Threading.
Unlike the Gaming test, the Music test results have more real-world relevance, since multi-threading is much more common in music transcoding applications than it is in games. Even so, the advanced Sandy Bridge cores mean that the four-core i7-2600K beats the six-core i7-980X. The 3960X wins again, albeit not by much.
The wins are piling up in the Intel column. Let's move on to CINEBENCH.