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Home » CPU
Core i7-980X CPU Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: March 10, 2010
Page: 2 of 14
The Tested CPUs

On the tables below you can see a comparison between the CPUs we included in our review. AMD CPUs do not support SSE4 instructions (they have a proprietary instruction set called SSE4a, which is not the same thing as SSE4). We only included one CPU from AMD because Phenom II X4 965 is the fastest CPU AMD has available and it is positioned at a lower price range (see table). AMD has announced that they will be also launching a six-core CPU this year, called Phenom II X6.

CPU

Cores

HT

Internal Clock

Turbo Clock

QPI or HT

Base Clock

Core

Technology

TDP

Socket

Price

Core i7-980X

6

Yes

3.33 GHz

3.60 GHz

6.4 GB/s

133 MHz

Gulftown

32 nm

130 W

1366

USD 999

Core i7-965

4

Yes

3.20 GHz

3.46 GHz

6.4 GB/s

133 MHz

Bloomfield

45 nm

130 W

1366

USD 999

Core i7-870

4

Yes

2.93 GHz

3.60 GHz

2 GB/s

133 MHz

Lynnfield

45 nm

95 W

1156

USD 562

Core i5-750

4

No

2.66 GHz

3.20 GHz

2 GB/s

133 MHz

Lynnfield

45 nm

95 W

1156

USD 196

Phenom II X4 965

4

No

3.4 GHz

8 GB/s

200 MHz

Deneb

45 nm

140 W *

AM3

USD 185

TDP stands for Thermal Design Power which advises the user of the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate. The CPU cooler must be capable of dissipating at least this amount of heat.

* Newer models are coming with a TDP of 125 W. The tested model was from the older version, with a TDP of 140 W.

The prices listed are the official prices for distributors based on 1,000 quantities. The end-user price is higher than the prices listed.

CPU

L1 Cache

L2 Cache

L3 Cache

Memory Support

Memory Channels

Core i7-980X

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 KB per core

12 MB total

DDR3 up to 1066 MHz

Three

Core i7-965

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 KB per core

8 MB total

DDR3 up to 1066 MHz

Three

Core i7-870

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 KB per core

8 MB total

DDR3 up to 1333 MHz

Two

Core i5-750

32 KB + 32 KB per core

256 KB per core

8 MB total

DDR3 up to 1333 MHz

Two

Phenom II X4 965

64 KB + 64 KB per core

512 KB per core

6 MB total

DDR3 up to 1333 MHz

Two

Socket LGA1366 CPUs talk to the external world (i.e., the chipset) through a bus called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI), which has the same goal as the HyperTransport bus used with AMD CPUs. For a detailed explanation on how QPI bus works, read our Everything You Need to Know About The QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) tutorial. Socket LGA1156 CPUs, however, use the DMI (Digital Media Interface) bus to talk to the chipset, which is the interface previously used to make the connection between the north bridge and the south bridge chips on Intel chipsets. At a first look this solution may seem worse than using the QPI bus, because the DMI interface provides a maximum transfer rate of 2 GB/s while QPI provides a maximum transfer rate of 4.8 GB/s or 6.4 GB/s, depending on the CPU. However, on socket LGA1156 the CPU has an integrated PCI Express 2.0 controller, so these CPUs talk directly to the main video card without using their external bus and without using the chipset.

Our tests have a known flaw. Socket LGA1366 Core i7 processors support triple-channel memory configuration and with them we used three 1 GB DDR3-1066 modules, so these CPUs had 3 GB available. With all other CPUs we used two 1 GB DDR3-1333 modules, so these CPUs had 2 GB available. Unfortunately due to the different memory configuration supported by each CPU, we had to decide which methodology to use, and we chose to use one that would provide the “best” memory configuration for the tested system.

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