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Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz Processor Review
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz Processor Review - PCSTATS
If you're a computer enthusiast, you're likely already familiar with Intel's Core i7 processors, which have been widely hailed as the fastest desktop processors available on the market today. Introduced at the end of 2008, Intel's newest desktop processors are finally maturing and becoming more accessible in the market. It's time to take a look a fresh look at the Core i7 processor.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel Aug 15 2009   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > Intel Core i7 920

Overclocking Nahalem - eight cores, new architecture

Overclocking Results:
stock max. oc
processor speed: 2.675 ghz

4.1 ghz

multiplier / bus speed: 20x 133mhz

20x 205mhz

if you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Intel's Core i7 processors slip into a new class of motherboards with 1366-pin CPU sockets, follow in AMD's footsteps with a CPU-integrated memory controller and rely on special triple channel DDR3 memory. Overclocking techniques have changed architectures a half dozen times since the inception of the sport with the Slot 1 Intel Celeron 300A processor nearly 10 years ago, but each architectural change brings with it new challenges, new possibilities and period when overclockers are still finding their feet.

PCSTATS is still finding its feet with Core i7 overclocking, but from what we've seen thus far it's obvious that the motherboard plays a huge role in the CPUs overclocking potential. Today we'll be overclocking the Intel Core i7 920 processor (S-Spec: SLBCH) on MSI's Eclipse Plus motherboard, an Intel X58 platform that handles a lot better than MSI's first socket 1366 board, the X58 Platinum.

Before the Core i7 920 overclocking commenced, PCSTATS installed three sticks of 2GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D DDR3 RAM. High quality, low latency memory is the cornerstone of a successful overclocking attempt, and Corsair is among the best performance memory makers out there. The Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D memory was set to run in DDR3-1066 MHz mode, so as not to hold the CPU back. All CPU speed throttling options were disabled in the BIOS, including C1E state, and Speedstep/EIST. The standard Intel reference socket 1366 heatsink was used for cooling.

Keeping the Core i7 920's CPU clock multiplier set to 20x, the bus speed of the Intel Core i7 920 processor was slowly increased from 133MHz to 200 MHz... then 205... and finally 210MHz. The computer POSTed at that speed (4.2GHz), but crashed before Windows Vista would load, so we were forced to take speeds down slightly.

In the end PCSTATS settled a very nice overclock of 20 x 205MHz = 4.10GHz with the Intel Core i7 920 processor - in other words that's an overclock of 1.425GHz over the processor's default clock speed of 2.675GHz! Wow!

Prelude to Benchmarks

Over the following page we'll be running Intel's 2.675GHz Core i7 920 processor though PCSTATS standard set of gaming, productivity, and multi-threaded processor benchmarks. There are a wide variety of gaming and synthetic benchmarks here to illustrate what kind of performance boost users can expect from the latest eight-core socket 1366 Intel 'Nahalem' processor. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next several pages.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
test system reference system #1 reference system #2 reference system #3
processor: intel core i7 920 (45nm) amd phenom ii x3 720 black edition (45nm) amd athlon ii x2 250 (45nm)
amd phenom ii x2 550 black edition (45nm)
amd Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (45nm)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (45nm)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (45nm)
Socket: Socket LGA1366 Socket AM3/AM2+ Socket AM3/AM2+ Socket LGA775
Clock Speed: 20 x 133 MHz = 2.675 GHz
14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz 16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz 9 x 333 MHz = 3.0 GHz
Motherboard: MSI X58 Platinum (X58 Express) ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX)*
ASUS M3A78-T (AMD 790GX)
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
(AMD 790FX)

MSI X48 Platinum (X48 Express)

Videocard: ASUS ENGTS250 DK
(Geforce GTS250)
(Geforce 8800GTS)
(Geforce GTS 250)
(Geforce 8800GTS)

3x2GB Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D DDR3

2x1GB Patriot PDC32G1600LLK DDR3*
2x1GB Corsair Twin2X-8888C4D DDR2

2x2GB Corsair XMS3-1600C9 DDR3

2x1GB Patriot PDC32G1600LLK DDR3

Hard Drive:

74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740

Optical Drive:


Power Supply:

PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W

Heatsink: Intel Reference 1366 Heatsink

Athlon64 K8 Reference Heatsink

Intel Reference 775 Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF
nVIDIA Forceware 182.08

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
AMD Catalyst 9.1
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
AMD Catalyst 9.4
nVIDIA Forceware 182.08

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25

System Benchmarks:
SYSmark 2007
PCMark Vantage
SiSoft Sandra 2009

Calculation B/M:
Super Pi 1.5
wPrime 2.0
ScienceMark 2.3
WinRAR 3.8
Bibble 5

Rendering B/M:
Cinebench R10
POV-Ray 3.7
SPECviewPerf 10

Gaming B/M:
3DMark Vantage

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Contents of Article: Intel Core i7 920
 Pg 1.  Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz Processor Review
 Pg 2.  Intel Core i7 Technology
 Pg 3.  CPU Power Consumption Tests
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking Nahalem - eight cores, new architecture
 Pg 5.  32-bit CPU System Benchmarks: SYSMark 2007, PCMark Vantage
 Pg 6.  32-Bit CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra Processor & Memory
 Pg 7.  32-Bit CPU Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi, wPrime2.0
 Pg 8.  32-Bit CPU Calculation Benchmarks: ScienceMark2.3, WinRAR
 Pg 9.  32-Bit CPU Rendering Benchmarks: Cinebench R10, Bibble 5
 Pg 10.  32-Bit CPU Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray, 3.7, SPECviewPerf 10
 Pg 11.  32-Bit CPU Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 12.  32-Bit CPU Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis, FEAR
 Pg 13.  lots of power, is it what you want?

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