Intel CPU Scaling on an AMD Radeon HD 7950 Video Card

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Intel LGA1155 CPU Scaling

AMD Radeon HD 7950 Performance Scaling

Like most review sites, Legit Reviews tends to use the latest and greatest components for our test systems. When we look at the graphics cards that we review, we use the latest Intel X79 motherboard and the Intel Core i7 3960X processor. One of the primary reasons that we do this is to remove as much of the CPU bottleneck that we can. Though not everyone has the funds available to buy a processor that retails $1049.99. I know it’s not in my budget. If you have one great, for those of us that don’t it can be tough to find a review of the latest graphics cards with the more mainstream and affordable hardware.

Instead of firing up the Intel X79 system for testing, we are going to set up one of our Intel Z68 platforms and take a look at the performance scaling between six different Intel LGA1155 processors when using a high end graphics card like the AMD Radeon HD 7950. What we are going to try to answer is can you game effectively on a budget processor like the Intel LGA1155 Pentium G620, or do you need to step up into the Intel Core series of processors? If we do step into the Intel Core series can you get away with a processor like the Intel Core i3 series or is gaming limited to the Core i5 series and Core i7 series? In order to answer the questions that are burning in the back of our minds, we grabbed several of our LGA1155 processors and fired them up. The processors that we are going to be testing with today can be found below.

Processor Frequency Turbo Frequency Cores/Threads Price
Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz N/A 2/2 $67.85
Intel Pentium G850 2.9GHz N/A 2/2 $87.99
Intel Core i3 2100 3.1GHz N/A 2/4 $124.99
Intel Core i3 2120 3.3GHz N/A 2/4 $127.99
Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz 3.7GHz 4/4 $218.99
Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4GHz 3.8GHz 4/8 $304.99

AMD Radeon HD 7950

The graphics card that we will be using today is the reference AMD Radeon HD 7950. We took an in depth look at the AMD Radeon HD 7950 card and architecture back in January when it was first released. For the full review on the AMD Radeon HD 7950 you can check it out here. For a quick look

AMD Tahiti Pro Specifications

The AMD Radeon HD 7950 is internally codenamed ‘Tahiti Pro’ and features a core clock speed of 800MHz (13.5% slower than the Radeon HD 7970) with 1792 stream processors and 112 texture units. AMD did keep the 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384-bit bus, but is lowering the clock speed down to 1250MHz (5000 MHZ effective). Since the card has fewer cores and lower clock speeds the board power is down by 20% to just 200 Watts and the price has also been slashed. The suggested retail price of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 base design is $449, which is $100 less than the AMD Radeon HD 7970. With a 20% price slash and performance down around 15% this card should appeal to gamers on a budget.

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