When it comes to the subject of real-world testing, we want to know what is this CPU good for and how can you use it to either increase your productivity or level of entertainment.
LightWave 3D 9.3 x64
Lightwave 3D is one of the industry standards for 3D animation. As such it is a great test to show the ability of a CPU to render high-resolution images [1080i]. Our testing uses frame 32 of the Moonbase scene that is found on the Lightwave content CD1. We used classic cameras. 512MB segment memory, 7-Pass PLD AA filtering and a Gaussian Sharp reconstruction filter.
Lightwave was simple owned by the 975 again. The i7 975 at stock knocked an impressive 19 seconds off of the single frame render over the 965 while the overclocked 975 got us very close to a two minute render on the same frame.
AutoGK is a great “one stop” method for Transcoding video. We use a typical non-content protected DVD [at least 2 hours] and transcode it to XviD at 100% quality for both video and audio.
Talk about an upset; here the 965 is much faster than the 975 at stock or overclocked. We will be looking into this one to see why these numbers fell the way they did.
Gaming is very rarely CPU bound these days as most game developers are looking to dump as much eye candy as they can and push the title out the door you find that at any playable resolution you are more bound by the GPU. Despite that fact we still wanted to be able to show you how the i7 975 fares at gaming against it older bother the 965 and once again while overclocked.
FarCry2 is a game that was pushed for use on the i7. In fact there was even a contest that while great in scope and intent was a disaster in execution that centered on being able to win a copy of FarCry2 and even a few Core i7 CPUs.
For testing I used in game performance with frame rates captured by FRAPS. I ran through the first three errands you are sent on by your new benefactor. Settings are shown below.
As expected the frame rates were all within 1-2 FPS of each other. The game felt a little more snappy but the fate rates did not reflect this. This is a GPU-bound application, have no worries about that. The more GPUs you throw at Far Cry, the more frames you shall be awarded with.
F.E.A.R. 2 Project Origin
F.E.A.R. 2 follows in the same lines as the other episodes in the series it is a game that is intent on atmosphere and visuals. Unfortunately while the atmosphere is immersive the game play sometimes suffers. Still the visuals and the well coded AI make it excellent for testing.
My test run was through the Apartment rescue mission with frame being recorded from your entrance into the elevator until the pool scene.
As with FarCry2 the frame rates were almost identical really no improvement at normal resolutions here. Most of titles today are GPU-bound, and it would take a real simulaiton-intensive title to show any difference. Unfortunately, even with turbo-mode on, we did not notice any serious improvement in real-time strategy games.
While I am not a new comer to overclocking I am by no means an expert. However I have always found the i7 CPUs to be a considerable pain to overclock. This is especially true of the higher end varieties. With the 965 I was never able to get it stable over 3.9 GHz I could get into windows but it was far from stable. The i7 975 was a little easier to work with. I was not as concerned with voltages as I had to be with the 965. In the end though I was not able to get more than 4236MHz [163MHz BClock x 26] with a stable OC at 4.183 [155MHz Bclock x 27].Voltages used for the stable OC were 1.3625 vCore, 1.880 CPU PLL, QPI PLL 1.36, QPI VTT 1.35, DRAM 1.54.
We will continue to tinker with the 975 and see if we can squeeze some more out of it. We will also be running a follow on evaluation of the GIGABYTE X58 Extreme used.
Concluded on the next page.
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