Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 Processor Review

Initial Testing – Artificial Benchmarks

Comparison Rig:
Intel Core 2 Duo E-8400 45nm (overclocked to 3.62gHz)
Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 motherboard
Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1600 4GB dual channel memory kit
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic VaporX video card
Silverstone Decathlon 800 Watt power supply
Thermaltake Xaser VI Full Tower
CoolIT Domino A.L.C. CPU liquid cooling system
Windows Vista Home 64-bit

I thought that it would be interesting to compare the i7 to a fairly typical higher-end enthusiast rig. The E8400 is a fairly mainstream processor, and it cost about the same as the i7 920 when released. The motherboard is Gigabyte’s highest-end LGA 775 motherboard. I used the same video card and drivers in both rigs to keep the video testing fair. I did use two different brands of hard drives, the better of the two was in the comparison rig, and it showed.

I began my testing with some common artificial benchmarks. I have run them on the E8400 many times and pretty much knew what the results would be, though I had absolutely no idea how the i7 would perform on them.



sandra proc

sandra mult

sandra mem

There are some really incredible numbers here. I didn’t think that the i7 would do as well as it did in the Cinebench10 single core test and SuperPi, my Core 2 Quad Q6600 always did poorly on those two tests. The i7 has four cores but eight threads, and each of the eight threads took part in the Multi test in Cinebench10. The Sandra tests were just wild, I’d say the latter two were so different due to the entire i7/X58 system, and its much increased bandwidth throughout the motherboard.

And what can I say about the overclocked numbers? SuperPi 1M in the low 10s! The Sandra Processor tests put this rig above the i7 965 in the internal ratings.