Intel Core i7 920, 940 and 965 Processor Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fan, video card and hard drive model. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, POV-Ray 3.7 was run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load. All of the systems used identical hardware minus the motherboard and processor. It should be noted that the Core i7 processors used a Thermaltake BigWater 760i water cooler and the rest of the systems used a Corsair Nautilus 500 water cooler.

Power Consumption Results

Results: When it came to idle power consumption the Intel Core i7 series used more power than we expected, but for having such a large cache they didn’t do badly by any means. The entire system with a water cooler was still under 300 Watts, which is impressive for being the fastest quad-core processor in the world.

Intel Core i7 Retail Heatsink

Final Thoughts

This is just a quick look at the Intel Core i7 processor family performance on a number of respected benchmarks. Expect more deep dives in the weeks to come as we have numerous boards, cooling solutions and memory kits that we are still trying out on this new platform. 

The performance numbers speak for themselves as the Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition proved itself to be more than 35% faster than the equally clocked Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor in a number of benchmarks.  This is an impressive number and one that may be higher than many expected.  When overclocked the Core i7 965 was wickedly fast and ripped through performance tests faster than anything we have ever seen.  Nehalem offers obvious clock-for-clock performance improvements and that is something the community must see before making a platform change. Pricing for the three new Intel Core i7 processors is fairly aggressive and the Core i7 965 Extreme Edition comes in at $999, which is the price that the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 used to be. 

  • Core i7 965 Extreme Edition – 3.2GHz with 8MB Shared L3 cache and a 1×6.4GT/s QuickPath interconnect – $999
  • Core i7 940 – 2.93GHz with 8MB Shared L3 cache and a 1×4.8GT/s QuickPath interconnect – $562
  • Core i7 920 – 2.66GHz with 8MB Shared L3 cache and a 1×4.8GT/s QuickPath interconnect – $284

Intel has once again launched a great part that once again increases the performance gap between them and AMD.  With the Intel Core i7 pulling so far ahead of the AMD Phenom series of processors it almost makes you wonder if AMD will be able to ever catch up. 

Legit Reviews Editor's Choice

Legit Bottom Line: The performance benchmarks confirm that the Intel Core i7 series of processors are the real deal and the new platform is solid.

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