Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition Review

Benchmark Results: PCMark Vantage

In Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review, I noticed that AMD’s Phenom II X6 wasn’t seeing better performance because most components in the benchmark suite didn’t seem to be taking advantage of more than four cores.

The same issue afflicts Intel’s new Core i7-990X Extreme Edition, giving us our first real indication that this $1000 processor is simply out of its element in the mainstream desktop space. The result is that we have to watch the sub-$400 Core i7-2600K take a first-place finish, followed by the -990X and -980X.

You have to look hard for examples of the six-core Gulftown-based processors outmaneuvering the more efficient Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K. And, in PCMark Vantage, only one exists: the Communications suite. According to Futuremark’s whitepaper, Communications is predominantly processor-intensive.

There are four components in Communications—all multitasked workloads. Three of the four involve either AES-based encryption or decryption as part of the task list (data compression, Web page rendering, Windows Defender, and audio transcoding are among the other components). That gives the Gulftown- and Sandy Bridge-based chips and advantage, since they’re the ones with AES-NI support.

However, the fact that Intel’s Core i7-2600K delivers greater AES hashing bandwidth, as you’ll see in our SiSoft Sandra 2011 tests, suggests the Sandy Bridge chip should be taking first-place here—unless of course this suite can tax more than four cores/eight threads.

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  • timbozero
    What a shock , yet another USA competition only :(

    When will ever see EU competitions ???
    3
  • LePhuronn
    So not only is the competition US only, but you don't even get a 990X (unless it's a typo)
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  • blibba
    US only competition on the British website. Great.
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  • pluciorx
    crap US competition only ! Are we behind that far ?
    Btw nice review but can we still compare that to lower shelf CPU's like E8400 etc ?
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  • 23hp
    You guys need to take a leaf from Liliputing, when they sdo a contest it's open to all but they ship to US only, so if you want to entwer from anywhere else then be prepared to pay the shipping (if you win). Go for it!!!
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  • pluciorx
    read terms dude there is no word about shipping
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  • wild9
    timbozeroWhat a shock , yet another USA competition only When will ever see EU competitions ???


    Hmm, how to increase one's chances. Should I change my nationality to Mexican, sneak under the border easily(!), and vote for Obama, Inc? Maybe if I applied for Canadian citizenship..excuse me whilst I get a list of (British) entry requirements as long as my arm..
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  • wild9
    Quote:
    Clearly, Adobe spent little time optimizing for AMD’s processor lineup.


    Well if that is true and can be backup up with suitable benchmarks, I think it's appalling. The Phenom II range is after a widely popular, competitive product. If I pay this much for software I don't see why they can't optimise it for my hardware.

    Also, I wonder what the situation will be when AMD's Bulldozer hits the shelves. From what I've read Bulldozer is set to quite a big hitter, and could potentially flatten Intel's crown very quickly indeed. I just hope the price is right :)
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  • Silmarunya
    wild9Well if that is true and can be backup up with suitable benchmarks, I think it's appalling. The Phenom II range is after a widely popular, competitive product. If I pay this much for software I don't see why they can't optimise it for my hardware.Also, I wonder what the situation will be when AMD's Bulldozer hits the shelves. From what I've read Bulldozer is set to quite a big hitter, and could potentially flatten Intel's crown very quickly indeed. I just hope the price is right

    wild9Well if that is true and can be backup up with suitable benchmarks, I think it's appalling. The Phenom II range is after a widely popular, competitive product. If I pay this much for software I don't see why they can't optimise it for my hardware.Also, I wonder what the situation will be when AMD's Bulldozer hits the shelves. From what I've read Bulldozer is set to quite a big hitter, and could potentially flatten Intel's crown very quickly indeed. I just hope the price is right


    I don't doubt the price will be right. AMD has a long tradition of reasonably priced products.

    But I don't think it will flatten Intel's offerings. Phenom II was an answer to the Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo, meaning that AMD is in effect a full two generations behind Intel in both performance and power efficiency (the latter being clearly shown by all mobile AMD Phenom CPU's).

    I don't believe AMD can make up so much lost ground, especially given they don't have the practically unlimited R&D funds Intel have.

    If anything, I think Bulldozer will be competitive, but not mind blowing. I predict a solid CPU that can compete with Intel's mid end offerings in both price and performance.

    I think (hope) AMD is going to do what its daughter ATI did for many years: not taking the performance crown, but making up for that by carrying the price/performance crown.
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  • wild9
    (not spam)





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  • peter2112
    alert(" ")
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  • wild9
    DadiggleCan't blame Adobe for Amds pathetic IMC. Adobe is optimize to make use of your pc to the fullest. Adobe can't turn slower performing cpus to excellent ones.


    Can you just clarify a couple of things? What do you mean by IMC..Integrated Memory Controller? Also, you're saying Adobe optimises their software to take full advantage of any PC..well, that seems to be the exact opposite of what Tom's is saying. Perhaps you could elaborate :)
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  • weefatbob
    Why does the UK review have links attached to an USA entrants only competition?.......again!
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  • wild9
    Every comment removed?
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  • njoy
    That USA competition thing is really upsetting. Is it that difficult to hit backspace a few times while copypasting? Shows a lot of disrespect to your loyal readers
    1
  • Maranoid
    Yeah! A chance to win somet---

    Never mind, Yankees only, again! :(
    1