Intel Core i7-870 & i5-750 – Nehalem for the Mainstream
by Rob Williams on September 7, 2009 in Processors
The wait for Intel’s Lynnfield has been long, but it’s safe to say that it’s been well worth it. They may be considered “mainstream” models, but the new Core i5 and i7 processors are powerful. Expect faster performance, improved power consumption and greater efficiency. With the i5-750 set to sell for $199, the time to build that new PC is now.
Multi-Media: ProShow Gold, Sandra Multi-Media
While TMPGEnc XPress’ purpose is to convert video formats, ProShow from Photodex helps turn your collection of photos into a fantastic-looking slide show. I can’t call myself a slide show buff, but this tool is unquestionably definitive. It offers many editing abilities and the ability to export in a variety of formats, including a standard video file, DVD video and even HD video.
Like TMPGEnc and many other video encoders, ProShow can take full advantage of a multi-core processor. It doesn’t support SSE4 however, but hopefully will in the future as it would improve encoding times considerably. Still, when a slide show application handles a multi-core processor effectively, it has to make you wonder why there is such a delay in seeing a wider-range of such applications on the marketplace.
ProShow happens to be quite multi-threaded, which is nice to see from a consumer application. The i7-920’s HyperThreading is the reason it pulled ahead of the i5-750, but overall, both of our Lynnfield CPUs perform extremely well.
Sandra 2009 Multi-Media
This test here stresses the CPU’s ability to handle multi-media instructions and data, using both MMX and SSE2/3/4 as the instruction sets of choice. The results are divided by integer, floating point and double precision, three specific numbering formats used commonly in multi-media work.
Here we begin to see a slight limitation of the Core i5-750. The results aren’t at all bad, but compared to our previous results, you wouldn’t expect it to place so low on the chart here. It’s primarily held back by the integer test, but even if not, it doesn’t surpass the Q9650 like it has in the other tests. The i7-870 on the other hand scores high.