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Proshow Producer 5
We’ve used Proshow Producer since the first dual-core chips hit the scene. Unfortunately, Proshow hasn’t really scaled with today’s hardware. It seems to top off with four-threads with quad-core chips giving the best result. Still, that doesn’t invalidate the results as it is still a very popularl professional application being used by photographers across the world. For our workload, we shot a couple of hundred images using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, create slideshow and export it to an MPEG2 file at 1080P resolution. The winner is the quad-core Core i7-4770K with the newer Core i7-4960X coming second. Overall though, the results are pretty flat and you’d be perfectly fine with an older Core i7-3820 or Core i7-2600K with this one.
Our last photo-related task involves the mother of all photos today: Gigapixel imaging. For those who aren’t up on the giga thing--that’s a billion pixels. For our workload we shot 287 images using a Canon EOS 7D on a GigaPan Epic Pro and stitched the images together to make a 1.1 gigapixel panorama using Stitch.Efx 2.0. Stitch. Efx 2.0 isn’t all multi-threaded. The first third, where the app aligns the images, is mostly single-threaded with the final two-third exploiting more cores. Like many of the other apps we use, it’s a good representation of where today’s apps live. The truth is that few apps are capable of pushing an 8-core or even 6-core processor. The result? The Haswell-based Core i7-4770K still wins but the Ivy Bridge-E comes close. Very close. But again, like we’ve seen before, if Gigapixel imaging using Stitch.Efx 2.0 is your thing, stick with the Haswell for any new build.
This one was an easy one to forecast: Video encoding is an area where more cores still matter. Both hexa-core chips come out on top by a pretty sizeable margin. It’s enough that if you’re encoding a video and it takes three hours on your brand new Core i7-4770K, you can expect to lop off an hour if you had a Core i7-4960X part. That’s an extra hour you could have spent playing games or surfing, for, um, NSFW material for frak’s sake!
TechARP X264 HD 5.01 pass 1
TechARP’s X264 HD 5.01 test uses the free X264 encoder library. It’s thread-heavy and we expected the hexa-core chips to win by a good margin and they do. The new Core i7-4960X smacks the Haswell Core i7-4770K across the jaw. It even gives a good showing against the hexa-core Core i7-3930K part too. Again, if you’re looking at an encode taking a few hours, extra cores will put sizeable dents into those encode times.
TechARP X264 HD 5.01 pass 2
Pass 2 of the X254 HD 5.01 test is usually even more sensitive to thread and core count. What can we say except that if your boss has saddled your “workstation” with a dual-core Ivy Bridge Core i3 part, print up this page and show him how much more work you could be getting done if he wasn’t such a cheap son of a bitch.
Premiere Pro CS6
For our Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 test, we produce a video with multiple 1080P sequences and transitions and export it to a 1080P Blu-ray ready file. It’s generally pretty thread heavy and leaves dual-cores in the dust. Even quad-cores have a difficult time with this test typically but Intel’s Haswell shows impressive performance. The winner is still the new Core i7-4960X but not by a huge margin against the other hexa-core chip here. We’re actually a bit disappointed the Ivy Bridge-E didn’t eat the Core i7-3930K’s breakfast in this test.
Sisoft Sandra Bandwidth
It’s hard to justify the need for a quad-channel setup as we rarely see it making a difference in the workloads we run. That doesn’t mean people don’t like to see these charts though so bam! Look at how much more memory bandwidth you get with the quad-channel parts! It’s more than double the bandwidth of those little toy CPUs with their wussy dual-channel RAM configurations. Yes, we are crying for you too. Back in reality land though, we haven’t seen that memory give the LGA2011 chips an edge although, it’s possible that running dual-channel mode on the LGA2011 parts could hobble their performance. We’ll have to investigate that in the future but there’s really very little reason to run dual-channel mode on a quad-channel chip so it’s an unrealistic configuration.
Sisoft Sandra L1 Cache performance
First, the Core i7-4770K has fairly insane L1 cache performance. Second, the hexa-core chips have an interesting L1 cache performance advantage over their quad-core counterparts.
Sisoft Sandra L2 Cache performance
Haswell may have insane L1 cache performance but if the cores can’t find the data in the puny L1, it’ll have to move onto the L2 where the Core i7-4960X has the advantage over the Haswell chip.
Sisoft Sandra L3 Cache performance
Because no one was ever hurt by one too many charts, we run it all the way out to the L3 cache where the Ivy Bridge-E still has the edge over all. Trying to gauge where the cache performance of each chip will help or hurt it is probably well beyond us. For that, it’s probably to go visit a real smart guy like Anand at Anandtech.com to suss it out. Yeah, we did just forward you to another tech site but it’s midnight and statistics show 72.4 percent of nerds never read the stuff written under a bar chart anyway.
Click the next page to check out how Ivy Bridge-E did in some graphic-intensive benchmarks.