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Intel Core i7 and Core i5 LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge
by Damien Triolet, Franck Delattre, Guillaume Louel et Marc Prieur
Published on March 21, 2011

Lynnfield vs Sandy Bridge at 2.8 GHz
Before moving ahead with tests of the CPUs in their market configuration, we wanted to isolate the gains achieved by a Sandy Bridge model (Core i5/i7 quad core 32nm LGA1155) in comparison to Lynnfield (Core i5/i7 quad core 45nm LGA1156). To do so, we clocked both processors at 2.8 GHz and measured the difference in performance. Here are the results in the form of an index for better visibility.

Hold the mouse over the graph to see results with HyperThreading.

Without HyperThreading, the gains vary between 5.6 and 20.4%, for an average of 13.2%. With HyperThreading, Sandy Bridge is 5.6 to 19.3% faster, for an average of 11.3%. Combined with the increase in clock at the same price as previously mentioned, significant price / performance ratio gains can be expected.
Impact of HyperThreading
Still at 2.8 GHz, we measured the impact of HyperThreading on performance.

The average gain is 7%, with up to 22% better in MinGW and Avidemux. Only in Nuendo 4 and, above all, Arma 2 does this technology have a negative impact on performance.
Impact of Turbo
Lastly we measured the impact of Turbo Boost on one of the processors, the Core i5-2500K.

The average gain was 2.8%.
The test
For this test, we used our usual processor test protocol. Remember we’re now using a 64-bit version of Windows 7, which means that all software available in 64-bit mode is tested in this mode.

We’ve taken the opportunity of updating the software, which means 3ds max is now tested in Version 2010, Min GW and WinRAR (3.8 up to 3.9) have been updated, as have After Effects (CS3 up to CS4) and Nuendo (4.2 up to 4.3). The VirtualDub/DiVX combos and AutoMKV/x264 have been replaced by Avidemux/x264 and MainConcept Reference/H.264, while the test files of virtually all the tests have changed or been modified (higher rendering resolution for example).

In terms of games, we have decided to retain Crysis 1.2 and its ultra-heavy CPU test but to retire World In Conflict and replace it with more recent and demanding games: Arma 2, Grand Theft Auto IV and Anno 1404 join the protocol. To show up processor differences to a maximum, we set all graphics options to a max so as to load right up, at the same time as limiting resolution to 800*600 to eliminate any smoothing due to the power of the mono-GPU solution used on the test configuration.

The hardware used with the processors is as follows:

- Intel DP55KG (LGA1156)
- Intel DX58SO (LGA1366)
- ASUSTeK M4A79-T (AM3)
- 2x2 GB DDR3-1333 7-7-7
- 2x2 GB DDR3-1066 7-7-7 (where 1333 impossible)
- GeForce GTX 280 + GeForce 190.62
- Raptor 74 GB + Raptor 150 GB
- Creative Audigy
- Windows 7 64 bit

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