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Intel Core i7 970 CPU Review

When testing such a high end processor it is important to use suitable partnering equipment. We built several systems around high end solutions and will post results for both reference results and our maximum overclocks.

Test System 1:

Intel Core i7 980X
Intel Core i7 970

Motherboard: Intel DX58SO Motherboard
Memory: Corsair 6GB 1600mhz DDR3 (2gbx3) Dominator
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
Cooler: Thermaltake Frio
Graphics: Powercolor HD5870 PCS+
Thermal Paste: Noctua NT H1
Hard Drive: Crucial 256GB RealSSD
Chassis: Thermaltake Armor 60
Additional cooling: 120mm Noctua fan
Monitor: LaCie 730 30 Inch Screen

Test System 2

AMD 6 core 1055T

Motherboard: MSI 890 GXM-G65
: Kingston HyperX 1600DDR3 8GB
Power Supply
: Enermax Modu 87+ 700W
: Noctua NH D14 ‘Austrian Sandwich’
Thermal Paste
: Noctua NT H1
: Powercolor HD 5870 PCS+
Hard Drive
: Crucial 256GB RealSSD
: Antec Dark Fleet 85
Additional Cooling
: Enermax 120mm Apollish Vegas side fan
Monitor: LaCie 730 30 Inch Screen

For testing today we will be using the processors at their maximum overclocks as well as default speeds – we are also going to use the AMD 1055T which is a favourite of mine and a CPU I use in my own personal gaming rig. Sure its only £160 in the UK right now and we don’t expect it to challenge a Core i7 970, but its interesting to see how far it can be pushed in a highly overclocked state. We can achieve 4.4ghz with this particular engineering sample AMD sent us months ago, which is more than the others we have in our labs. We will use this cherry picked one today.

Core Intel 980x EE Intel 970 AMD 1055T
Reference 3.33ghz 3.2ghz 2.8ghz
Max OC 4.48ghz 4.18ghz 4.4ghz
Voltage 1.375v 1.375v 1.5v
Cooler Thermaltake Frio Thermaltake Frio Noctua NH D14
Fans 2 Thermaltake 120mm 2 Thermaltake 120mm 1x Noctua 120mm
2x Noctua 140mm
Max Temp 3.33ghz -64c
4.48ghz -78c
3.20ghz -62c
4.18ghz -74c
2.8ghz -38c
4.4ghz -51c
Cores 6 physical, 6x logical 6 physical, 6x logical 6 physical

Thermal Diodes
Digital Power Mains Reader
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp

Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate
Adobe Photoshop CS5 64 bit
KitGuru Photoshop V1(4) Benchmark
Cinebench R10 64 bit
Cinebench R11.5 64 bit
TMPGEnc 4.0
SiSoft Sandra Professional
Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark
3d Studio Max 2011
Left4Dead 2
Crysis Warhead

All our benchmarks are taken from a series of five results which helps to ensure that any erroneous figures are removed from the final results. All bioses and firmwares are updated, as is Windows 7 64 bit.

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