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Benchmark Suite Notes

For video game tests, driver settings were left to default. Game settings and resolutions are noted in the graphs. Hardware acceleration was enabled throughout as well. Your results may vary if your test system is configured differently.

CPU Performance Benchmarks

To save everyone the time, let me first say that the primary focus is in just how well Sandy Bridge’s architecture impacts media performance. We’re starting off first with a few encoding apps that make use of Sandy Bridge’s new architectural features like Intel Turbo Technology 2.0, new integrated memory controller, and of course Hyper Threading.

  • Graysky H.264 3.0 Benchmark
  • Cyberlink Media Espresso 6
  • Arcsoft Media Converter 7
  • SANDRA CPU Mathematical & Multimedia
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Cinebench R11.5

GraySky H.264 3.0 Benchmark

Anyone can readily download this benchmark for free to compare their own system’s encoding performance. The surprise here is how Intel Turbo Tech 2.0 actually scales between the processors. I noticed that the 2500K seemed to jump in to Turbo mode more quickly than the 2600K. The end result is the four cores averaging each other in the first pass. However, the 2600K outpaces all of them in the second pass.

Media Espresso 6

In this bench, a 449MB 1080 video file is converted to 640×360 – 3Mbps video file using just the processors. Hyper Threading use to be the big dog here but it’s all about the Intel Quick Sync now.

When Sandy Bridge’s H.264 IQS hardware acceleration is enabled, encoding just flies like there’s extra processors hidden somewhere in the computer case. Lynnfield and Clarkdale rely on brute Turbo power and Hyper Threads to get the job done. This is why Sandy Bridge is capable of out multitasking the other cores.

Media Converter 7

Again, IQS proves to be far superior than the other two brothers. The 2500K needs a mere 30 seconds while the 2600K needs 23 seconds to complete the project. Without IQS, the 2500K is capable of keeping up with the 875K showing us how Sandy Bridge design is another evolutionary jump in performance.

SANDRA CPU Mathematical & Multimedia

This is one of industry’s staple benchmark apps that tests a computer’s components and subsystems. It’s a very thorough program which can be downloaded for free in a LITE version.

This ultimately sums up some of the reasons why Sandy Bridge is so capable. It’s a powerful media processor as evidenced by the results above.

3DMark Vantage – CPU Scores

Sandy Bridge just continues to be a performer beating out its powerful Lynnfield 875K sibling. The surprise is that the 2500K isn’t that far behind either.

CineBench R11.5

In our final CPU benchmark, we see more evidence of Sandy Bridge’s architectural improvements kicking rendering butt.  The results make the 2500K look like the optimal choice even if you happen to find the unlocked Core i5-655K Clarkdale some place dirt cheap.

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