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Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 – The 45nm Era Begins
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by Rob Williams on October 29, 2007 in Intel Processors

Intel will be launching their first 45nm desktop processor in a few weeks, but we have an in-depth look for you here today. Penryn brings improved efficiency, new high-k metal gate transistors, additional cache and something that will make multimedia buffs rejoice: SSE4. Welcome to the 45nm era!

Multi-Media: Adobe Lightroom, 3DS Max 9


Adobe Lightroom 1.2

Years ago, you’d have to fork over many bills in order to get a piece of great technology, but that’s not the case anymore. For a modest fee, you can set yourself up with some absolutely killer hardware. Luckily, one area where that’s definitely the case is with digital cameras. It’s cheaper than ever to own a Digital-SLR, which is the reason why they are growing in popularity so quickly. As a result, RAW photo editing is also becoming more popular, hence the topic of our next benchmark.

Adobe Lightroom is an excellent RAW photo editor/organizer that’s easy to use and looks fantastic. For our test, we take 100 RAW files (Nikon .NEF) which are 10 Megapixel in resolution and then export them as JPEGs in 1000×669 resolution… a result that could be easily passed around online or saved elsewhere on your machine as a low-resolution backup.

The benefits continue to roll in, as Lightroom completed our project 8% faster using the new processor over our QX6850.

3DS Max 9

As an industry-leading 3D graphics application, 3DS Max is one of our more important benchmarks. If there are people who will benefit from faster CPUs with lots of cores, it’s designers of 3D models and environments and animators. Some of these projects are so comprehensive that they can take days to render. At this time, the application does not support SSE4 and will likely not in the future due to irrelevant instructions, but 45nm has been promising us a lot, so should we not expect to see some nice improvements here as well?

For our test, we are taking a dragon model which is included with the application, Dragon_Character_Rig.max and rendering it to 1080p resolution (1920×1080). We’ve used a helicopter model in previous processor reviews, but this Intel-recommended scene proved better as it takes longer to render and is included free with the application.

Even our rendering is being treated to faster performance, with 5.5% and 7% gains, respectively. Small projects like these are not too impressive, but render a comprehensive project and the benefits will be even more appreciated.


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