In just about every benchmark shown today and even in those not listed the multi-GPU results favor X58. Nothing shocking about that as in previous testing with both Nvidia and ATI video cards, we came to the same conclusion. The only difference today is that we are using the latest generation DX11 capable GPU and the percentage differences are not really any different with previous GPU chipsets. Where we did not have a difference was in actual game play experiences. It was impossible to tell the difference between platforms, except for some additional thermal output from the X58 setup.

If you happen to benchmark Intel platforms for a living, then clearly an X58/Bloomfield platform is the way to go. No questions asked, not even a hint of doubt should enter one’s mind as to the X58 being the logical choice. How about the other 99.9% of us? Well, if you just need that safe feeling that you are getting the maximum benefit out of those $380 HD 5870 cards you just purchased, the X58 paired with a Core i7 is an easy choice. It is an even easier choice if you plan on upgrading to Gulftown next year.

For those of us who are interested in power consumption, heat, noise, and not all that worried about a 2% to 7% difference in the benchmarks, then the Lynnfield platform is an attractive alternative with the latest generation GPUs. In fact, without the 920/X58 hanging around at similar pricing, the general thoughts/concerns regarding 860/P55 would probably be significantly different within the enthusiast community. The 860/P55 is a very good platform, especially for those running at stock or near stock speeds where the aggressive turbo mode will make a difference in daily computing tasks and your pocketbook.

That said, if you are running a single card such as the HD 5870, either platform is fine. However, performance in x8 mode was a bit disappointing for those needing the second slot for purposes other than graphics. In the end, performance in games was still very good and only a benchmark would inform you of less than stellar performance. What we cannot answer right now is if the dual x8 PCIe capability on Lynnfield will become a true bottleneck with the GPUs that follow the current/planned releases from AMD/Nvidia.

So our conclusion still has not changed from a month ago, if you plan on purchasing a high end multi-GPU setup you'll want to go with X58/Bloomfield for the best possible performance. If you want a great combination of application and gaming performance without the power consumption or heat concerns, the Lynnfield platform is a very attractive alternative.

Batman plus Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • 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?
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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?

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