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Intel Core i7-930 Processor Review

November 15th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Intel Core i7-930 Processor Review

The Intel core i7-930 is a moderately priced, decent performance desktop processor with a Clock Speed 2.8 GHz. While this is 400 MHz smaller (or about 12%) than its big brother core i7-960, the pricing could be the deciding factor in the choice of core i7-930 which has been competitively priced at $294 as compared to $562 for core i7-960 ( both prices at the time of writing). How about AMD’s Phenom ii hex core 1090T priced at $227.49 ( price at the time of writing). A check at the benchmark result shows that making the decision is a tough choice.

The core i7-930, that belongs to the Bloomfield series has four cores and it does support turbo boost and the hyperthreading. The turbo frequency of core i7-930 is 3.06 GHz improving the performance of the real time processes that need sudden high processing power for a short duration of time.

The core i7-930 also supports Hyperthreading, which intel had dropped in the core 2 processors. With 2 threads running at a time, we are looking for 8 threads running simultaneously. This Hyperthreading enhances the performance in the multi threaded environment.
The Table below captures that most important parameters of the core i7-960 processor.

Table : Intel Core i7-930 processor quick facts

SL No.
Item Value
1 Clock Frequency 2.80 GHz
2 Turbo Frequency 3.06 GHz
3 Number of Cores 4
4 Cache 8 MB
5 Memory Controller Triple Channel DDR3
6 Chipset communication QPI 4.8 GT/s

The core i7-930 has 8 MB of shared cache which Intel calls Smart Cache, an architecture in which cores are dynamically alotted the cache memory based upon their requirement. This results in better performance if a single process requires a large amount of the cache.

The core i7-930 has TRIPLE Channel integrated DDR3 memory controller increasing the throughput of the memory transfers. The communication with the chipset is using fast differential QPI Bus that has a throughput of 4.8 GHz surpassing the 2.5 GHz throughput rate of the QPI bus.

The core i7-930 supports virtualization technology, 64 bit instruction set. However, it does not support AES instruction set and also does not support intel demand based switching.

Intel Core i7-960 Pros
– Quad core, turbo boost, triple channel memory controller

Intel Core i7-960 Cons
– None as such – but you need to compare for price/performance ratio with other processors.

Some benchmark scores are available for intel core i7-930. The passmark score for i7-930 is 5832. By comparison the passmark score of core i7-960 is 6670 . The score are proportional to the increase in the clock frequency and along the expected lines. By comparison AMD Phenom ii hex core 1090T has a passmark score of 6,058 and this brings us to an interesting choice. The Phenom ii 1090T is priced at $227.49 at the time of writing as compared to $294 for core i7-930. You may however like to look for the benchmark results that closely matches the kind of application you will be running.

The Super Pi 1M timing for core i3-930 has been reported to be close to 13.4 seconds, pretty impressive as compared to the Phenom ii 1090T’s 19 second. You may however, like to note that in applications requiring multiple threads running simultaneously, the AMD 1090T will trounce the Intel Core i7-930 as seen in some other benchmark results.

Core i7-930 Specifications – Detailed specifications can be found on the intel site at


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