Intel Lynnfield Core i5-750 & Core i7-870 Processor Review

by MAC     |     September 6, 2009

Gaming Benchmarks: Left 4 Dead / Particle Simulation

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead (Latest Update)
Resolution: 1680x1050
Filtering: 4X MSAA / Anisotropic 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Shader Detail: Very High
Test 1: HWC Custom Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Left 4 Dead is the latest disorienting, fast-paced zombie apocalypse mega-hit from Valve. L4D uses the latest version of the Source engine with enhancements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation. We test here at 1680x1050 with in-game details set to their highest levels, with MSAA 4X and AA 8X. For benching, we used a pre-recorded 20 minute timedemo taken on the No Mercy campaign during The Apartments mission.

CPU scaling has always been a strong point of the versatile Source engine, and we are pleased to see this characteristic maintained and enhanced in this latest iteration of the engine. Once again, we have the new Lynnfield models making a strong showing. Not only do we have the i7-870 edging the i7-975, but even the $199 i5 model is within a frame and a half of the $560+ i7-950. The i5-750 is also a very respectable 30% faster than the venerable Core 2 Quad Q6600, which is arguably the most popular quad-core chip ever.

Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark

Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark
Comparison: Particle Performance Metric

Originally intended to demonstrate new processing effects added to Half Life 2: Episode 2 and future projects, the particle benchmark condenses what can be found throughout HL2:EP2 and combines it all into one small but deadly package. This test does not symbolize the performance scale for just Episode Two exclusively, but also for many other games and applications that utilize multi-core processing and particle effects. As you will see the benchmark does not score in FPS but rather in its own "Particle Performance Metric", which is useful for direct CPU comparisons.

VPSB is more a theoretical benchmark, but it represents one of the most highly threaded pieces of gaming-related software that we know of, as demonstrated by the massive 433% scaling from the lowly Pentium Dual-Core E5300 to the i7-965 Extreme Edition. While the i7-870 is a mere percetange point slower than the i7-950 in this benchmark, the i5-750 falls behind a bit due to its lack of Hyper-Threading.

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