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Intel Core i7-860 Processor

December 18th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

At the price point of $284 ( according to http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=41316), the core i7-860 is interestingly positioned even if you are not a direct processor buyer. For one, the core i7-860 competes directly with the highest frequency hex core phenom ii processor 1100T, from the rival AMD, which is priced at $265 and has comparable performance. The Phenom ii X6 has better performance in the heavily multi threaded applications while core i7-860 wins on more in situations where there is less multi threading operation.

Key Features

– 2.8 GHz Clock frequency
– 4 Cores, 8 threads,
– Max Turbo Frequency 3.46 GHz
– 8 MB Cache

While Core i7-860 is interestingly positioned for customers we can not say the same thing about its big brother core i7-870 which has a nominal clock frequency of 2.95 GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.60 GHz. Doe the price of $562 justify a 5% performance boost ?

The core i5-750 is yet another processor that could be interesting at a price tag of $196 and somewhat lower performance. The core i5-750 does not has the hyperthreading and is clocked lower at 2.66 GHz.

The core i7-860 is a four core processor with a clock speed of 2.8 GHz. One of the reasons for its good performance is the turbo boost which increases its frequency to 3.86 GHz for short time based upon the demand. The Hyperthreading is enabled in Core i7-860 and we can have 8 Hyperthreads running in parallel. The core i7-860 has 8 MB of level 3 cache that intel calls smart Cache. smart cache allows each core to dynamically utilize upto 100% of available cache, while obtaining data from cache at higher throughput rate.

Built with 45 nm Lithography, the core i7-860 has a TDP rating of 95 Watts. It has integrated memory controller with maximum transfer rating of DDR1333. The communication with the chipset is using fast differential DMI Bus with a throughput rate of 2.5 GT/s.

Other important features include support for the virtualization technology VT-x, support for 64 bit instruction set and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology.

Core i7-860 Benchmark

– The Sysmark 2007 Score for core i7-860 is 223 which is better than the Phenom ii 1100T’s score of 204. By comparision the core i7-870 has a sysmark 2007 score of 233, which is as expected, close to 5% ( and does it justify the doubling of price).

– The Adobe Photoshop CS4 – Retouch Artist Benchmark score for the core i7-860 is 16.4 bettering the AMD’s 1100T’s score of 18.4 ( lower is better). The score for core i7-870 was reported to be 15.4.

– In the x264 HD Encode Test, intel core i7-860 trails behind the Phenom ii 1100T. While Phenom ii 1100 encoded at 89.2 frame per second, the core i7-860 encoded at 76 frame per second.

– Source Anandtech

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