Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Performance Preview

by Rob Williams on November 19, 2007 in 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.

System: SYSmark 2007, PCMark Vantage

There is no better way to evaluate a system and its components than to run a suite of real-world benchmarks. To begin our testing, we will use two popular benchmarking suites that emulate real-world scenarios and stress the machine the way it should be… by emulating tasks that people actually perform on a day to day basis.

Both SYSmark and PCMark are hands-free, using scripts to execute all of the real-world scenarios, such as video editing and image manipulation. Each one of these suites output easy-to-understand scores once the tests are completed, giving us a no-nonsense measure of seeing which areas our computer excels in.

SYSmark 2007 Preview

SYSmark, from Bapco, is a comprehensive benchmarking application that emulates real-world scenarios by installing popular applications that many people use every day, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Sony Vegas and many others.

SYSmark grades the overall performance of your system based off of different criteria, but mostly it will depend on how fast it could complete certain tasks. Once the suite is completed, five scores are delivered, one as an overall average and the others for each of the four categories.

Windows Vista used to act as our backdrop for our SYSmark testing, but over the course of the past few months, we’ve encountered many show-stopping errors and odd behaviour which we believe to be directly linked to Vista. With this review, we are moving back to Windows XP, as we’ve yet to encounter an error there.

Our QX9770 is kicking things off to a great start, storming past the QX9650 with a 6% performance increase overall. This is to be expected as the processor is 6.66% higher in frequency. This is a theme we will see throughout all of our testing.

PCMark Vantage

The most recent recruit to our testing suite is PCMark Vantage, an application that proves to be far more than a simple upgrade from a previous version. Vantage is a completely overhauled application, and this was evidenced by the fact that it took more than two full years to produce. Rather than having a PCMark that could complete in 15 minutes, Vantage’s entire run will take around 90 minutes, testing seven primary areas, such as high-definition video, image manipulation, music conversion, et cetera.

Like SYSmark, PCMark delivers simple scores once completed, one for each of the seven main categories and an overall “PCMark Suite” score, which is what most folks will use for comparisons. I left out two suites due to irrelevancy and to keep the graph a modest size.

Common logic would tell me that since our QX9770 scored better than the other processors in each and every test, then it would also receive the highest PCMark Suite score… but that’s not the case. Due to tight deadlines, I was not able to re-run Vantage twice on each CPU, however I did run only the PCMark Suite twice on the QX9770-both times receiving the same result. My assumptions are that the QX9650 had a “better than average” day, and if re-run, it would fall back into place.

PCMark mysteries aside, the QX9770 scales well with all of the other processors. Not exactly a 6.66% increase in performance as the frequency boost would insinuate, but our results might change in our real-world testing, which just so happens to be up next.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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