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Testbed Configuration and Testing Methodology

During our tests of the energy-efficient Sandy Bridge processor we tried to recreate its actual “habitat”, so we didn’t use any high-performance discrete graphics accelerators in our system, and utilized its integrated graphics core instead. Therefore, Intel H67 Express based mainboard from Gigabyte, GA-H67MA-UD2H, participated very actively in this test session. Unfortunately, this mainboard didn’t allow any overclocking, because the chipset working with the integrated graphics core wouldn’t let us adjust neither the CPU clock frequency multiplier, nor the memory frequency.

Our Core i5-2400S will be competing against Core i5-2400 and Core i5-2300 that do not belong to any specific series. Besides, we also included the results for the top LGA1156 CPU with the integrated graphics core – Core i5-680, which is one of the most popular choices for high-performance miniature systems among previous-generation products.

As a result, our testbeds used the following hardware and software components:

  • CPUs:
    • Intel Core i5-2300 (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 2.8 GHz, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.1 GHz, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-2400S (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 2.5 GHz, 6 MB L3);
    • Intel Core i5-680 (Clarkdale, 2 cores, 3.6 GHz, 4 MB L3);
  • Mainboards:
    • Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 (LGA1156, Intel H57 Express);
    • Gigabyte GA-H67MA-UD2H (LGA1155, Intel H67 Express).
  • Memory: 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM 9-9-9-27 (Kingston KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX).
  • Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5450.
  • Hard drive: Kingston SNVP325-S2/128GB.
  • Power supply unit: Tagan TG880-U33II (880 W).
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Driver 9.2.0.1019;
    • ATI Catalyst 10.12 Display Driver.

I would like to remind you that we tested all systems using integrated graphics, which makes more sense for energy-efficient systems. The discrete graphics card was used only in one case: in order to estimate the performance of Intel HD Graphics 2000 core integrated into Core i5-2400S processor.

 
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