CPU bechmark test with Intel's latest Core i7

Intel Core i7-975 XE reviewed

Den Intel Core i7-975 XE stellt PC Games Hardware im Performance-Brief auf den Prüfstand - ein Kurztest der CPU mit Benchmarks und allen wichtigen Details.

Intel Core i7-975 XE reviewed: Introduction
Intel's Core i7-975 XE is, like all Core i7s up to now, based on a quad-core design with the codename Bloomfield, which is produced in 45 nanometers. Compared to the Core micro architecture those are native quad-core processors and not two combined dual-cores as it is the case in the Core 2 Quad series. The most important new features are the DDR3 memory controller that was relocated into the CPU, the eight MiByte big L3 cache, the L2 cache that has been reduced to 256 KiByte as well as the reintroduced Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) and the QPI connection that replaced the classical FSB.

With the release of the i7-975 XE Intel starts the phase out of the i7-965 XE and the i7-940. The frequency of the i7-975 XE is set to 3.33 GHz (25 x 133), so Intel increased the clock speed by only 133 MHz in comparison to the i7-965 XE - so huge performance benefits are not to be expected. As it is the case for all Extreme Editions the i7-975 XE has an open multiplier so you can overclock the processor by adjusting the QPI or the multiplier. More changes have not been made by Intel.

Below you can see the most important technical specifications:

Intel Core i7-975 XE reviewed: Benchmark Review
For our test we pit the i7-975 XE against AMD's fastest Phenom II X4, the 955 Black Edition with 3.2 GHz. For comparison we also add the Core 2 Quad Q9650 with 3.0 GHz - the fastest C2Q.

In the CPU challenging game Race Driver Grid the Core i7-975 XE is able beat the Core 2 Quad and the almost equally fast Phenom II X4. In World in Conflict the Extreme Edition is dominating, too, and in Crysis, which is limited by the graphics card, the advantage is about 6 percent compared to the Phenom II X4 and 8 percent compared to the Core 2 Quad. Call of Duty 4 on the other hand is not good for the Core i7-975 XE - it is far behind the other two processors.

Intel Core i7-975 XE reviewed: Overclocking
As already mentioned the Core i7-975 XE has an open multiplier and this makes overclocking easier in most cases. With a default frequency of 3.33 GHz the CPU is running at a high level already, but nevertheless we were able to reach 3,850 MHz (29 x 133) with a water cooling system while running at default voltage (1.2 volt) and 4,350 MHz (29 x 150) at 1.4 volt. With common air cooling 3.5 GHz (20 x 175) at 1.26 volt were possible already - this matches the settings of our graphics card test setup.

Intel Core i7-975 XE reviewed: Conclusion
It is quite unsurprising to see that the Core i7-975 XE is the fastest CPU currently available on the market, but the rather small performance advantage in games compared to a Core 2 Quad Q9650 or a Phenom II X4 955 BE doesn't justify the price of effort of changing the CPU. The Extreme Edition is, like all the others before, a prestige object for benchmark records and wealthy enthusiasts. Everyone else should be satisfied with the Core i7-920, the Core 2 Quad or the Phenom II X4 955 BE, which still offers the best price performance ratio I the upper class.

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Author: Henner Schröder (Jun 03, 2009)

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