Testbed Configuration and Testing Methodology
In order to paint a complete picture of the contemporary Core i5 performance, we subjected all five above described 3000-series Core i5 processors to our extensive testing routine. They will be competing against Sandy Bridge LGA 1155 processors from the same price range released earlier: Core i5-2400 and Core i5-2500K. They current price allows a fair comparison between these CPUs and the new 3000-series processors: Core i5-2400 is priced at the same level as Core i5-3470 and Core i5-3450, while Core i5-2500K is priced just below Core i5-3570K.
Besides these processors, we also included the performance numbers of higher-end Core i7-3770K and Core i7-2700K, as well as an AMD FX-8150 CPU. By the way, it is remarkable that after yet another price slashing this Bulldozer representative ended up at the level of the least expensive Core i5 3000-series CPUs. In other words, AMD is no longer exercising the idea of making their eight-core product a worthy competitor to Intel’s Core i7.
As a result, we put together test platforms with the following hardware and software components:
- AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi, 8 cores, 3.6-4.2 GHz, 8 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.1-3.4 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.3-3.7 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-3450 (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.1-3.5 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-3470 (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.2-3.6 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-3550 (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.3-3.7 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-3570 (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i5-3570K (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores, 3.4-3.8 GHz, 6 MB L3);
- Intel Core i7-2700K (Sandy Bridge, 4 cores + HT, 3.5-3.9 GHz, 8 MB L3);
- Intel Core i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge, 4 cores + HT, 3.5-3.9 GHz, 8 MB L3).
- CPU cooler: NZXT Havik 140;
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula (Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX + SB950);
- ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe (LGA1155, Intel Z77 Express).
- Memory: 2 x 4 GB, DDR3-1866 SDRAM, 9-11-9-27 (Kingston KHX1866C9D3K2/8GX).
- Graphics cards:
- AMD Radeon HD 6570 (1 GB/128-bit GDDR5, 650/4000 MHz);
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (2 GB/256-bit GDDR5, 1006/6008 MHz).
- System disk: Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5).
- Power supply unit: Corsair AX1200i (80 Plus Platinum, 1200 W).
- Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64.
- AMD Catalyst 12.8 Driver;
- AMD Chipset Driver 12.8;
- Intel Chipset Driver 126.96.36.1999;
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 15.?26.?12.?2761;
- Intel Management Engine Driver 8.?1.?0.?1248;
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology 11.?2.?0.?1006;
- NVIDIA GeForce 301.42 Driver.
For our tests of the AMD FX-8150 based system we installed KB2645594 and KB2646060 OS patches.
We used Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 graphics card to test the CPUs performance in a system equipped with a discrete graphics accelerator. We used AMD Radeon HD 6570 was utilized as a reference point during the tests with integrated graphics involved.
Intel Core i5-3570 processor didn’t participate in the tests performed in a system with a discrete graphics card, because its computational performance is identical to that of the Intel Core i5-3570K working at the same clock frequencies.