Overclocking Intel’s Xeon E5620: Quad-Core 32 nm At 4+ GHz

Benchmark Results: Productivity

We’ve adapted our Photoshop benchmark to the CS5 release, though the results of our threaded filter workload don’t change much.

This test continues to take advantage of as many cores as we can throw at it. Here, the Core i7-970 at 4 GHz comes in first place, followed by the Gulftown- and Bloomfield-based quad-core chips running at the same clock rate. I have the stock Xeon E5620 in there so you can see what accelerating clock rate does for this test in relation to the 4 GHz overclock.

Our 3ds Max test also gets a revamp, shifting away from the Dragon scene we used to use toward a Space Flyby rendering. The result is a more demanding workload.

In what is becoming a mighty familiar graph shape, the two quad-core CPUs at 4 GHz perform identically (despite cache and memory subsystem differences), while the six-core i7-970 rockets into first place.

Now, it might sound like I’m enamored with the Gulftown’s performance. But make no mistake—we haven’t yet reached our value analysis, where I’m more likely to tear that chip’s limbs off for not delivering a speed-up to match its increased cost. That’d be if it had limbs, of course.

AVG was recently upgraded to a new version for 2011, and I decided to give it another try, after having seen purely bizarre performance from the 2010 build. Finally, we see this app scaling according to clock rate, though it doesn’t seem to get much from the six-core Gulftown processor.

WinRAR similarly doesn’t extract much benefit from the Core i7-970’s extra compute resources. In fact, it’s the overclocked Xeon that snags first place in this compression workload.

Swapping over to 7-Zip demonstrates that utility’s ability to employ all six cores. Of course, we set the app to split the workload into 12 threads, while the other three contenders juggled eight threads at a time.

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  • mi1ez
    Well that was a bit pointless....
  • LePhuronn
    Well given that I have run a couple of i7 920s at 4GHz on 1.3V and never hit 75 degrees with good air coolers I don't see me jumping any time soon...
  • gdilord
    On the last page:
    Consequently, it runs less hot and consumes less power.

    I think that "Consequently, it runs cooler and consumes less power" would be a lot less cumbersome.