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Old November 8, 2006, 09:53 PM
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My System Specs

Default Kentsfield Review by HardwareCanucks

Hey everyone. I got my hands on a Kentsfield recently, and although I have only limited benchmarking software and not all that much experience delivering news on bleeding edge hardware, I thought I’d post some numbers on our forum about my experience as well as a subjective opinion. I haven’t had a chance to play any games on this system, or really do any serious work on it, but I do have some timedemos and some synthetics.

Test Setup:

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6700

e-Geforce 7900GTO using driver set 93.71
2GB Mushkin XP PC2-6400 4-3-4-12
Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200.10 HDD
OCZ GameXStream 600W PSU

SiSoftware Sandra 2007

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Across the board in SiSoft Sandra’s synthetic CPU scores we see that Kentsfield at 2.66GHz outperforms last generation’s (already??) Core 2 Extreme X6800 at 2.93GHz by a healthy 80% margin.

3Dmark 2006

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3D mark 2006 is optimized for multi-threading and actually gives a 5% better score on our Core 2 Extreme X6700 versus our Core 2 Duo X6800. The graphics scores (not shown here) were actually identical, and the only difference in the scores, as seen below was in their CPU scores where 3Dmark 2006 favours our quad core by 53%

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PCmark 2005

In PCmark 2005, I didn’t notice anything unexpected. The Core 2 Extreme X6700 won out by 5% in the overall score.

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But by almost 14% in the CPU score. Honestly this is a little bit less than I would have expected, but much of the PCmark 2005 benchmark suite is single threaded in nature.

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Gaming Benchmarks
So how much is Kentsfield going to affect your gaming experience? I only had a chance to look at a couple of games, and only on low resolution. I’m hopefully going to get some better equipment on my test bench in the near future, but here’s a little bit of a teaser. Let's have a look:

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Fear actually shows a decrease in performance, while Doom 3, which makes no claim to support multithreading as far as I know shows a 15% increase in performance. I find this somewhat suspect and definitely want to look into the issue further.

So is it Worth it?

What the benchmarks don’t tell you is “how easily does the system alt+tab out of a stressful application?” and “Does it improve the overall experience of sitting in front of my machine?”. My subjective answer would have to be “No”. I am strictly a gamer, and at this time, the value is not there for the performance increase I’m seeing. If you were going to buy a $1000+ processor anyhow, I see no point buying a Conroe core at this time, but a much better value would to be go with a Core 2 Duo based system and simply overclock it. Speaking of overclocking, I’m going to get this chip under some sub-cooling, and see how far I can take it. Stay tuned.

Please note that all content creation and 3D rendering guys should completely disregard my last comment. I don’t have the resources at this time to do any serious encoding/rendering testing, but I would expect something more in line with the Sandra results in those areas. For anyone doing heavy graphics and video work, or for that matter, even audio work, there would be a HUGE performance advantage to the Kentsfield platform. It seems to me the workstation is going to go the way of the dinosaur. We’re going to be left with ub3r desktops and servers in a few short years, imho.

Last edited by Gav; November 8, 2006 at 09:58 PM.
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