by Rob Williams on August 29, 2014 in Processors
In late 2011, I wagered that Intel would follow-up its i7-3960X with an eight-core model within the year. That didn’t happen. Instead, we have had to wait nearly three years since that release to finally see an eight-core Intel desktop chip become a reality. Now for the big question: Was the company’s Core i7-5960X worth the wait?
When hard drives densities measured in the megabytes or single-digit gigabytes, data compression became something that even the layman computer user took advantage of. In fact, even entire hard drives could be used in compressed mode to help increase the overall storage. Today, such methods aren’t required thanks to hard drives ranging in the thousands of gigabytes, but compression is still used on a regular basis by many people, either for storing a folder for backup, encoding music, converting a photo and et cetera. On servers, compression is often used to shrink mega-large log files.
For our compression testing, we enlist the help of 7-zip 9.30. We take a 772MB folder that consists of 39,236 highly-compressible files and archive it using an ‘Ultra’ level of compression using the LZMA2 algorithm. This results in an archive weighing in at about 137MB.
It seems our project isn’t perfect enough to show off the benefits of the eight-core processor; I am certain that other archival projects could see actual gains, but this test proves that those would be far more specific projects than what most people would use an archiver for.
In terms of complexity, Euler3D is one of our most advanced benchmarks, and also one of the quickest to run. It calculates the fluid dynamics properties of the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing as it was tested in-house at NASA’s Langley Research center. It’s calculated using Euler equations, with results printed out as Hz and time-to-complete (seconds). A benchmark such as this is useful to those who work designing products where physics has to be considered, whether it be a wing, a car, a ship and so on.
Yet another example of where the i7-5960X can exceed the 33% performance gain. We’re seeing a 35% gain here despite the decreased clock speed – imagine the result if this sucker were overclocked!