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Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Performance Preview
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by Rob Williams on November 19, 2007 in Intel Processors

We took a look at Intel’s first 45nm desktop offering a few weeks ago and already have a preview of it’s successor. The QX9770 is equipped with a 3.2GHz frequency and is the first Intel CPU to support a 1600MHz Front-Side-Bus. Read on to see how it compares to the rest of our fleet.

Multi-Media: Nero Recode, Adobe After Effects CS3


Nero Recode

Where video conversion is concerned, one of the applications I’ve grown to enjoy over the years is Nero Recode. Though it’s export options are extremely limited, they offer high image quality and decent file weight. Nero 8 was released last month, but lacks support for SSE4.

In a recent meeting, we questioned whether or not we would see SSE4 support in a future update, but we were told that there is no immediate plans to implement it, although the “guys in the lab” are taking a look at it. Nero exhibits confidence that their application is optimized enough as is, and SSE4 is not needed.

For this test, we’ve first ripped our copy of our concert DVD, Killadelphia, by Lamb of God. The original DVD rip weighs in at 7.7GB, but we are using Nero to reconvert it to 4.5GB so that it will fit on a normal-sized DVD to use as a backup. Our “mobile” test consists of converting the main concert footage to the same resolution a Sony PSP uses (480×272) which results in a 700MB file.

Thanks to 45nm improvements, large gains are seen in some tests not affected by SSE4, including this one. Interestingly, the QX9770 was 15% faster than our QX9650, which I assume to be thanks to the FSB, as this result was duplicated twice. A simple 6.66% frequency boost shouldn’t make a 15% performance difference, so maybe a higher FSB can really play a role in multi-media work.

Adobe After Effects CS3

For our last video-specific benchmark, we will be using one of the leading video creation tools available, Adobe After Effects CS3. The test does not benefit from SSE4, however it will take advantage of a multi-core processor in general. Our test will include a workload that applies numerous filters to a variety of file types, ultimately exporting it as an AVI movie.

While we somehow experienced a 15% gain in Nero Recode’s DVD recode, our expectations are brought back down with our After Effects testing which shows our QX9770 as having a 6.5% advantage.