Intel’s Core i7-975 & 950: Preparing for Lynnfieldby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 3, 2009 12:00 AM EST
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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.
Whoever said there's no room for CPU performance improvements anymore would be very wrong. While the Pentium E5300 is more than sufficient for most tasks, there's nearly a 60% difference between its performance and the class leading Core i7-975. Even the Phenom II X4 955 takes 55% longer to complete this test.
The performance advantage is there, but it's one that you definitely pay for. The i7-975 is around 4x the price of the Phenom II X4 955.
DivX 8.5.3 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:
x264 HD Video Encoding Performance
Graysky's x264 HD test uses the publicly available x264 codec (open source alternative to H.264) 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.
The i7-975 is over 70% faster than AMD's fastest in our x264 encode test, and 3.85x the speed of the old Pentium EE 955. Even compared to the Core i7-920, the 975 is ~24% faster.
Windows Media Encoder 9 x64 Advanced Profile
In order to be codec agnostic we've got a Windows Media Encoder benchmark looking at the same sort of thing we've been doing in the DivX and x264 tests, but using WME instead.