When the Core 2 Duo was launched Intel tweaked their existing 975 chipset to support the new processor, it was but a quick patch and while 975 based boards did okay with the new CPU at default settings, it wasn’t long before enthusiasts wanted more than stock speeds, here they hit a motherboard limit quickly as the 975 based boards were incapable of reaching high FSB speeds, needed for overclocking. The answer to this problem came in the form of the more affordable P965 chipset, this one was build from the ground up with Core 2 support in mind, and it delivered impressive results. Then came along the first Core 2 Quad processor and enthusiasts were again met with lower than expected FSB overclocks on different motherboards, earlier this year Intel released the P35, an updated mid-range chipset with above average Quad Core support, even overclocking was possible to an extent.
QX9650 on the Asus P5K before we updated the BIOS
Back to the QX9650 Quad Core sample we have in the lab today, we first tested the CPU on an Asus P5K motherboard, based on the P35 chipset the BIOS recognized the processor correctly and after a fresh install of Windows XP we were set to start our battery of tests. It didn’t take long for us to find something odd happening; with the CPU running at default speed results were fluctuating between runs, up to 40% in some cases. Only when we disabled Multi Core and ran with a single core the QX9650 acted normally on the P5K board, this was less than ideal of course. Since we already had the latest BIOS the Asus board there was not much else to do than try another board.
Another Asus board to the rescue, the older P5B Deluxe, based on the P965 chipset this board is know for good Quad Core support, but the latest BIOS did not allow for multiplier changes, so we continued our search for a motherboard which could profit from all the power this QX9650 sample has to offer.
Our local Computer Shop Forcom.be
helped us out by lending a Gigabyte X38 DQ6, this motherboard is brand new, based on the recently released X38 chipset, the Gigabyte board features a 8 phase digital power regulater (PWM) and our overclocking results with the new Quad Core Yorkfield delivered repeatable benchmarks and reached new heights. Test setup and Benchmarks
Hexus PiFast: PiFast is an easy-to-use package written by Xavier Gourdon to compute pi with a very large number of digits. PiFast is avalaible on several platforms, download it from here. PiFast can also compute E and a large family of user defined constants.
|CPU ||Intel Core 2 Quad QX9650 "Yorkfield"Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 "Conroe"|
|Mainboard || Gigabyte X38 DQ6 (by Forcom.be)|
|Video card || Jetway HD 2900 XT (by Dollarshops.eu)|
|Memory || 2 * 1024 Mb DDR2 PC7200 EPP OCZ|
|Other ||OCZ 600 watt PSU|
SiSoftware Sandra 2008: Arithmetic and Multimedia CPU benchmarks.
SuperPi Mod v1.5 XS: testing PI calculations which stress co-processor and memory sub-systems. We run 1M and 8M calculations.
Wprime : Wprime is a simple, easy to use multithreaded benchmark application that can quickly test your processor performance. In contrary to most other simple benchmark applications, wPrime is written to take full benefit of processors with multiple cores, like the new Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2.
3DMark2001 SE: Discontinued Freeware version, however; this benchmark is still valuable as a tool for testing 3D and memory performance.
3DMark06: Freeware version from Futuremark tests, CPU, Memory and graphics.
3DMark06 CPU Benchmark ~ Multi Core Support
MAXON CineBench 9.5: this benchmark stresses the CPU and graphics system primarily using OpenGL.
Cinebench Rendering Benchmark ~ Multi Core Support
TechArp X264 bench: Simply put, this test measures how fast your machine can encode a short, DVD quality MPEG-2 video clip into a high-quality x264 video clip.
x264 Encoding Benchmark ~ Multi Core Support
What's x264, you ask? x264 is a free software library for encoding H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video stream. More info about H.264 can be found here. It's ideal for a benchmark because the application (x264.exe) reports fairly accurate compression results (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encoding process and it uses multi-core processors very efficiently.
F.E.A.R. Build-In Benchmark.
Cryis Single Player Demo manual run-through, average FPS logged with FRAPS.
Our first batch of tests has both processors at stock frequency (9x333) and using SPD memory timings (400 Mhz 4-4-4-10).