We will start off our P55 coverage this week by answering a question that has been raised numerous times as of late, “Exactly how will the new DX11 cards perform on the Lynnfield/P55 platform compared to the Bloomfield/X58?”. The answer to that question depends on the game engine, settings, and processor choice for the most part. There has been much speculation that the Lynnfield/P55 platform would fail miserably with the next generation cards. That said, the difference in platform performance between the first DX11 capable cards available (ATI HD 5870/5850) is about the same as previous generation cards we tested in the Lynnfield launch article.

This means for single card performance both platforms trade blows for supremacy. However, for those running CF/SLI setups, the X58 continues to be the platform of choice for users wanting the best possible benchmark results. Does that mean the integrated dual x8 PCIe 2.0 logic on Lynnfield is a poor choice compared to the dual x16 PCIe 2.0 sporting X58? Absolutely not based on our initial tests. In fact, it should satisfy most users.

Now for those making an investment into an ultra high-end HD 5870 CrossFireX setup, the Core i7/X58 configuration will simply offer the best possible performance. Of course that performance comes at a cost, particularly power consumption. However, we have a feeling most owners sporting two HD 5870s are not that concerned about Al Gore knocking on their door in the middle of the night.

In the meantime, we have our first performance results comparing the Core i7/860 and P55 against the like priced Core i7/920 and X58 in a variety of games. We are going to state this upfront, this is not a GPU review of the HD 5870. Instead, we decided to pull this information out of the upcoming high-end P55 roundup so it did not get lost in the mix. Our resolution is limited to 1920x1080 that we use in the motherboard test suite. As such, the numbers speak for themselves. So let’s get right to the results today, but first, the test setup.

Test Setup-



For our test results we setup each board as closely as possible in regards to memory timings and sub-timings. The P55 motherboard utilized 8GB of DDR3, while the X58 platform contained 6GB. The P55 and X58 DDR3 timings were set to 7-7-7-20 1T at DDR3-1600 for the i7/920 and i7/860 processors at both stock and overclocked CPU settings. All power management features were enabled on each board and voltages were set at the lowest possible values when overclocking while still retaining 24/7 stability.

The image gallery below contains our Everest memory results with each processor overclocked at similar memory settings along with voltage/uncore/subtiming options. The 860/P55 offers slightly better throughput and overall latency numbers than the 920/X58 when overclocked. At stock, the latency numbers favor Lynnfield with assistance from the turbo mode.



Our game selection today is varied but is missing a couple of titles we wanted to show. We pulled Crysis Warhead as the CrossFireX scaling numbers were under 8% and Need For Speed: Shift does not have a CrossFire profile yet. AMD is currently working on updated CF profiles for the latest games. We also had some corruption problems when running Empire:Total War and Anno 1404 that is under investigation.

All of our gaming performance results are reported in average frame rates per second in the main bar graph with minimum frame rates reported in the text section. The results are sorted by the average frame rates.  We are also reporting single card results with the HD 5870 running at PCIe 2.0 x8 speeds on the P55 platform to compare performance to the x16 single card setup. We installed an Intel CT Gigabit network card in the second physical x16 slot in order to force x8 operation.

FarCry 2 - The hurt is on...
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  • TurdMiner - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - link

    TA152H "Wow, I'm being patronized by someone with half my IQ. And not even well. That's actually the worst attitude. That patronizing attitude like you're superior...How hypocritical."

    That's hella funny.

    You meant that to be funny, right?
    Reply
  • tim851 - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - link

    I don't think he gets it. Reply
  • TimboG - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - link

    I agree with you that they should NEVER alter ANY processor or motherboard speed settings during a platform performance comparison benchmark.

    How in the world can you publish a "comparison" between two platforms when the chipsets themselves have been altered from their stock setting? This is nuts.
    I read but keep quiet on most everything AnandTech publishes but this one takes the cake. To call itself a comparison of platforms where each has been altered is one article headed for file 13. I have noticed several of the "professional" review websites doing this in the past year or so and I for one think this type of comparison should be discontinued altogether. If you want to test overclocking ability then do it in a separate article. If you want to compare overclocked performance between multiple platforms then do it as such. Not as a direct performance comparison between platforms where each has been altered.

    You guys with your little plaques hanging on your walls and the cute name tags on your shirts are driving me mad while trying to get straight answers to simple questions.
    How about some real-time direct comparisons to what has been produced instead of what you want to "play" with in the BIOS before you benchmark? I don't care if TURBO is on if it is part of the "normal" operation of the combined CPU/motherbaord combo. At least that way it will show what you can expect "out of the box".

    Intel has continually been degrading our options as this last development cycle has progressed with less CPU options per platform and slowly removing functionality from others.
    It's almost like going to an auto dealer and getting the "confusion sell" tactic push onto us.
    I could go on forever. No USB3, no SATA6 ? At least there should have been some news during IDF to present new chipsets that supported these features, but nothing. It's almost laughable, but sad actually.
    Then we get manipulated platforms portrayed as being compared directly against each other and the results are something we should use to make a purchase decision with? Then combine that with the confusion sell Intel is already pushing on us. This is NUTS!
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - link

    "I agree with you that they should NEVER alter ANY processor or motherboard speed settings during a platform performance comparison benchmark."

    Dude, nothing was altered as they kept the systems at stock values/settings and ensured the memory timings were the same between platforms. How fair can you get and by the way they were open about everything. It is a sad state of affairs when being honest in an article gets you slammed.
    Reply
  • Jumpem - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - link

    In the original P55 review, and follow up i7 860 review, the i7 860 delivered higher framerates than the i7 920 at stock speeds.

    In this write up the i7 920 is coming out on top at stock speeds. I'm slightly confused. Gary, do you care to comment?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - link

    We were using the NVIDIA (275/285) cards in those reviews. ;) I have a meeting with AMD in the morning to further discuss our results. They have been working with our test results since this weekend to pinpoint why the HD 5870 is generating different results than the NV cards and even the HD 4890. Reply
  • turnipoid - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - link

    I really don't see the point of this article if it doesn't include 2560 X 1600. Reply
  • xrror - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - link

    Probably because if you can afford a 2560x1600 monitor you already have an x58 in preparation for i9. Reply
  • the zorro - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - link

    at that resolutions the lynnfield bottleneck becomes more evident.
    so it's better not to include that resolution.
    Reply
  • the zorro - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - link

    wow, Battle Forge CrossFire Scaling – Minimum Frame Rates difference is huge.

    this show how crippled the lynnfield platform is.

    almost 100% percent difference between lynnfield and x58

    this sucks.

    what's wrong with intel?
    Reply

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