Legit Processor Reviews
Intel Core i5-661 Clarkdale Processor Review
|Date:||Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - 09:00 PM|
|Written By:||Brian Wallace -|
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Clarkdale spells the end of the road for the high end, and much loved Core 2 Duo line (E8xxx, Penryn) and the Core 2 Quad (Q9xxx, Yorkfield). With the process shrink to 32nm, Intel has brought a significant CPU performance increase to the mainstream markets. When coupled with the capable Intel HD Graphics processor, this is a very effective combination.
While it isn't ideal for gaming, the Intel HD Graphics passes itself off nicely. It runs Windows 7 in Aero mode flawlessly. As entry level graphics go Intel has made a nice improvement, just don't expect to play the latest blockbuster game titles with all the bells and whistles turned on.
As far as the media performance if the Intel Core i5-600 line, it is going to be tough to beat. If you are looking to build a HTPC to playback your favorite movies and expect it to last a few years, I can't say that I would recommend anything else. Until AMD gets their ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics technology onto a motherboard, there is nothing else on the market that is this plug in and play easy. Out of the box HD audio bit-streaming, HDMI & DVI outputs, and the lowest power consumption we have seen in quite some time. Don't forget that it offers Flash acceleration, as well as Silverlight support. This is a very effective package for a great HTPC.
When it comes to overclocking the i5-661, it scales well with voltage, but you must be willing to put the voltage to it in order to reach 4.5GHz and higher.
Power consumption numbers were great. The i5-750 already offers incredible performance per watt, but Intel has really scaled back with the i5-600 series. Just for fun we threw an Intel SSD into the mix with the i5-661 and the DH55TC motherboard and saw a large difference both in performance and power consumption. Our idle numbers dropped to 36W, with full load at 81W. This is great for anyone in need of a system upgrade that would also like to to drop their power consumption.
Legit Bottom Line: Intel has once again raised the bar for the mainstream market with the Core i3-500 and i5-600 processors. Nehalem performance for under $125 and "power on demand" is great news anyone feeling that their PC is just not up to par anymore.
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Page 1 - Intel Core i5 661 Benchmarking
Page 2 - Clarkdale: A Closer Look
Page 3 - Intel 5 Series Chipsets
Page 4 - Media and Blu-ray
Page 5 - Intel DH55TC and Test System
Page 6 - SiSoftware Sandra 2010c
Page 7 - iTunes 9
Page 8 - Cinebench R10
Page 9 - x264 HD Encoding
Page 10 - PC Mark Vantage
Page 11 - Stalker: Call of Pripyat
Page 12 - Colin McRae: Dirt 2
Page 13 - 3D Mark Vantage
Page 14 - Overclocking & Power Consumption
Page 15 - Conclusion