Test: Intel i7 920 @ 2.66 & 4 GHz - Gaming Performance HD 7970
Category : 2012
Published by Christian Ney on 07.09.12
Okay, time to take a break with AMD's processors for now and let's go back to Intel with the Core i7 920. Yes the i7 920, the one that a lot of us bought or wanted to buy, the one that has almost revolutionized the market, in bief: the one! Back to the article we are going to test his gaming performance coupled with an AMD HD 7970 under recent 3D games with maximum graphics settings possible at a resolution of 1920x1080. And there is a bonus, lots of people asked us to test it at both stock and 4 GHz speed, so we did!




  Article in English   Artikel in Deutsch  Article en fran├žais   Articolo in italiano

Introduction





Find all the benchmarks/games results on the following pages.


Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Test Setup

Hardware

Mainboard
  • ASUS Maximus V Gene (BIOS 0903)
  • ASUS Sabertooth 990FX (BIOS 1208)
  • ASUS Rampage Formula X48 (BIOS 1001)
  • ASUS P6T Deluxe/OC Palm (BIOS 2101)
CPU
  • Intel Core i7-3770K (3.5 GHz, Turbo 3.9 GHz, 4C/8T)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0 GHz, No Turbo, 2C/2T)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4 GHz overclocked to 3.0 GHz, No Turbo, 4C/4T)
  • Intel Core i7 920 (2.66 GHz, No Turbo, 4C/8T)
  • AMD FX-4170 (4.2 GHz, Turbo 4.3 GHz, 4C/4T)
  • AMD FX-8150 (3.6 GHz, Turbo 3.9 GHz (8core) 4.2 GHz (4core), 8C/8T)
  • AMD Phenom II x4 970 (3.5 GHz, No Turbo, 4C/4T)
  • AMD Phenom II x6 1090T BE (3.2 GHz, Turbo 3.6 GHz (3Core or less), 6C/6T)
Memory
  • (Intel) G.Skill RipjawsZ Dual Channel 2 x 4GB CL9-9-9-27-DDR3-1600 MHz
  • (AMD) G.Skill RipjawsZ Dual Channel 2 x 4GB CL9-9-9-27-DDR3-1866 MHz
  • (AMD Phenom) G.Skill RipjawsZ Dual Channel 2 x 4GB CL9-9-9-27-DDR3-1600 MHz
  • (X48) Corsair Dominator GT Dual Channel 2x 2GB CL5-5-5-15-DDR2-1066 MHz
  • (X58) Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer Triple Channel 3x 4GB CL9-9-9-27-DDR3-1600 MHz
Graphic Cards(Driver)
  • XFX Radeon HD 7970 (XFX Double Dissipation)

Drivers

  • Catalyst 12.7 (8.981.2) (Beta 12/06/2012)
OS
  • Windows 7 x64
HDD
  • Samsung SSD 830 Series 128 GB
PSU
  • Seasonic Platinum SS-1000XP / 1000 Watts



Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Benchmarks and Games Settings

Futuremark

Unigine Heaven DX11 Benchmark

Version 3.0
API DirectX 11
Tessellation Extreme
Shaders High
Anisotropy 16x
Stereo 3D Disabled
Anti-aliasing 8x
Full Screen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080


Geeks3D TessMark

Version 0.3.0
Map Set Set 4 (2048 x 2048)
Tesselation Insane (x64)
Full Screen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Anti-aliasing 8x
Tessellation High
Duration 60000 (ms)


Geeks3D FurMark (Burn-in test)

 
Version 1.10.0
Full Screen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Anti-aliasing 8x MSAA


Alien vs Predator DX11 Benchmark

 
Texture Quality Very High
Shadow Quality High
Hardware Tesselation Yes
Advance Shadow Sampling Yes
Full Srceen Anti-Aliasing Samples 4x
Anisotropic Filtering 16x
SSAO On
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080


Batman: Arkham City Integrated Benchmark

 
FullScreen Yes
Resolution 1920 x 1080
V Sync No
Anti-Aliasing 8x MSAA
Stereoscopic 3D Status No
DirectX 11 Features MVSS And HBAO
DirectX 11 Tesselation High
Detail Level Extreme
Dynamic Shadow Yes
Motion Blur Yes
Distortion Yes
Lens Flares Yes
Light Shafts Yes
Reflections Yes
Ambient Occlusion Yes
Hardware Accelerated PhysX Off


Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
FullScreen On
Vertical Sync Off
Field of view 70
Motion Blur Amount Max
Graphics Quality Ultra


BattleField 3 (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio Wide 16:9
Anti-Aliasing 4x
Screen Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Sync Every Frame No
Shadows Yes
Specular Map Yes
Depth Of Field Yes
Screen Space Ambient Occlusion High Quality
Soften Smoke Edges Yes
Bullet Impacts Yes
Image Quality Ultra


Crysis 2 DX11 + HiRes Texture Pack Benchmark

 
Quality Ultra
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Anti-Aliasing 4x
Map Central Park/Adrenaline
Runs 1
API DirectX 11
Edge AA Edge AA
Hi-Res Textures On


DIRT 2 Integrated Benchmark

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Refresh Rate 60
MultiSampling 8x MSAA
VSync Off
Aspect Ration 16:9
Details Ultra Preset


Dragon Age II (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Full Screen Mode Yes
Renderer DirectX 11
Vertical Sync no
Graphics Detail Very High
Anti-Aliasing 8x
Anisotropic Filtering 16x
Screen Space Ambient Occlusion Yes
Diffusion Depth of Field Yes
High Quality Blur Yes


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (5 Minutes GamePlay)

 
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio Wide 16:9
Anti-Aliasing 8x
Anisotropic-Filtering 16x
Details Ultra
Vertical Sync Disabled


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat Benchmark

 
Preset Ultra
Renderer Enhan. full dyn. lighting (DX11)
Video Mode 1920 x 1080
MSAA 4x
MSAA for A-tested objects DX10.0 Style [Standard]
SSAO Mode HDAO
SSAO Quality High
Use DX10.1 No
Enable Tesselation Yes
Contact Hardening Shadows Yes
 

 

StarCraft II (5 Minutes GamePlay)

   
Display Mode Fullscreen
Refresh Rate Default
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Vertical Sync No
Texture Quality Ultra
Graphics Quality Ultra



Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

3DMark 11





3DMark Vantage






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Unigine Heaven





TessMark






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Alien vs Predator





Batman: Arkham City





DIRT 2






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3





BattleField 3






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Crysis 2





Dragon Age 2






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat





The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim





StarCraft 2






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Power Consumption








Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Benchmark Summary

Synthetic Benchmarks





Games






Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Performance Index



Higher is better


Performance/Price



Higher is better



Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Conclusion

Let's take a look at those results. One can see that under games on average the Intel Core i7 3770K is only 20 % faster than your four years old Core i7 920. The difference in performance goes from 5 % up to 67 % which is quite much. More detailed we have the Core i7 3770K taking the lead by 5 % under BattleField 3, Alien vs Predator and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The difference gets a bit higher under Dragon Age II with 10 %, for DIRT 2 and Crysis 2 it was about 13 % and we had a gap of 22 % under Batman and Call of Duty MW3. The big numbers have been seen under Skyrim and StarCraft II with 45 and 67 % advantage on the ivy bridge processor over the Bloomfield.

The 50% overclocking we did on the i7 920 allows him to be more competitive but it turned out that under heavy graphics load it didn't help that much. I mean a 50 % overclocking that brings only 7 % more performance isn't really kickass. Anyway at this point against the Core i7 920 overclocked at 4.0 GHz the i7 3770K is only 12 % faster on average. Regarding other recent processors like the FX-8150/FX-4170, the Core i7 920 at stock frequency was as good as AMD's recent offer. At 4 GHz it was 9 % faster.

Conclusion: Still using a Core i7 9xx based setup? Don't upgrade, keep it, your built was and is still worth the money. We mean that spending money now for an Ivy Bridge processor or a Sandy Bridge implies a full upgrade of your configuration including motherboard, probably the cooler and the memory as well for just a 20 % improvement in performance if your processor is not overclocked. At this point upgarding the graphics card is a much better way to improve the performance ingame.

Anyway stay tuned as I said in our previous articles, more CPUs will follow: AMD Phenom II x2
AMD Phenom I x4
AMD Brazos ?
Intel Core i5 2500K
Intel Core i3 Ivy Bridge
Intel Atom ?

Hey guys, which fight do you want to see next time? Feel free to leave a comment!




Page 1 - Introduction Page 8 - Crysis 2 / Dragon Age 2
Page 2 - Test Setup & Specifications Page 9 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. / The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / StarCraft 2
Page 3 - Benchmarks and Games Settings Page 10 - Power Consumption
Page 4 - 3D Mark 11 / 3D Mark Vantage Page 11 - Summary Benchmark Results
Page 5 - Unigine Heaven / TessMark Page 12 - Performance Index & Performance/Price
Page 6 - Alien vs. Predator / Batman: Arkham City / Dirt 2 Page 13 - Conclusion
Page 7 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 / BattleField 3



Discuss this article in the forums

Author: Christian Ney