by Rob Williams on July 19, 2013 in Processors
Intel’s latest processor architecture brings a lot to the table, with the usual suspects dominating the feature’s-list: improved CPU and GPU performance, better power-efficiency, and new instruction sets. We’re taking a look at the desktop line’s highest-end offering here, so let’s see how it stacks up against the last-gen’s champ.
Photo manipulation benchmarks are more relevant than ever given the proliferation of high-end digital photography hardware. For this benchmark, we test the system’s handling of RAW photo data using Adobe Lightroom 4.4, an excellent RAW photo editor and organizer that’s easy to use and looks fantastic. You can check out our full review of the tool here.
For our testing, we take a total of 500 RAW files spread across 250 .NEFs captured with a Nikon D80 and 250 .CR2 captured across a Canon 40D and 5D Mark II. We export all of these files to a matte-sharpened quality 90 JPEG resized to a resolution of 1000×660 – similar to a lot of photos we use here on the website. The test is timed indirectly using a stopwatch as the program doesn’t record the duration itself.
Lightroom isn’t the most multi-threaded tool out there, but it does prove to execute its batch jobs better on a CPU with a higher number of cores – such as the i7-3960X. Between the i7-4770K and i7-3770K, Intel’s latest is faster, but not by much.
You own hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of songs, all encoded to a pristine lossless format such as FLAC. Your mobile device on the other hand, supports either MP3 or AAC. What’s the solution? There are several, but the one I’ve relied on for almost ten years has been dBpoweramp. It’s both flexible and powerful, which happen to be two important factors for those who take their music seriously.
Recent versions of dBpoweramp have opened up the ability to encode more than one track at once, up to a limit of one-per-thread. With twelve-thread CPUs on the market, that ability can greatly improve overall times. For our testing here, we take 500 unique FLAC files that average about ~30MBs and encode them using the “high-quality” setting to 320Kbit/s MP3.
Snap, so that’s what’s possible with a six-core? While the i7-3960X doesn’t exhibit its overall brawn too well in most of our tests, it sure does here. It’ll be interesting to see just how much of an improvement Ivy Bridge-E’s six-cores will bring – if any; after all, we’re seeing absolutely minor improvements between Ivy Bridge and Haswell here.