Efficiency Explored: Core i7-980X Versus Core i7-975

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Efficiency Explored: Core i7-980X Versus Core i7-975 Empty Efficiency Explored: Core i7-980X Versus Core i7-975

Post by McstylisT on Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:42 pm

Efficiency Explored: Core i7-980X Versus Core i7-975

Although we know AMD has its own plans to launch a six-core Phenom II X6, Intel gets the jump by demonstrating its own hexa-core model ahead of AMD's plans. The Core i7-980X, formerly referred to as Gulftown, will soon be available for LGA 1366 systems, and it promises new levels of performance in threaded apps able to take advantage of its increased parallelism and on-die shared L3 cache.

Thanks to the new six-core part being based on a 32nm lithography process, it reaches the same 3.33 GHz clock speed as the quad-core Core i7-975 Extreme Edition at the same 130W power envelope. Does this guarantee more performance per watt? It's hard to say without a more in-depth benchmark analysis. After all, the 1.17 billion transistor chip even fits onto a smaller die than its predecessor.

Efficiency Explored: Core i7-980X Versus Core i7-975 Hexacore-980X-efficiency,U-F-240855-13

We were a bit skeptical, as Intel's first-place position seems to be resulting in specs better suited to its bottom line than platform performance. There's the lack of PCI Express 2.0 signaling in its platform controller hubs, despite advertising the links as PCIe 2.0-class. There's the fact that Clarkdale CPUs can't have their 16 lanes of PCIe 2.0 split into x8 links in H55/H57, while they can in P55. And then there's the power-saving Core i5-750S processor. Though it does indeed save power, it also gives up performance (at a higher price point, no less), which means that it actually sacrifices performance per watt. Thus, we’ll be paying particularly close attention to how Gulftown behaves with regard to efficiency.

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