The Rest of Clarkdale: Intel's Pentium G6950 & Core i5 650/660/670 Reviewedby Anand Lal Shimpi on March 24, 2010 4:00 PM EST
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SYSMark 2007 Performance
Our journey starts with SYSMark 2007, the only all-encompassing performance suite in our review today. The idea here is simple: one benchmark to indicate the overall performance of your machine.
SYSMark ends up being a fairly lightly threaded test, optimized mostly for dual core processors. As such, the Athlon II X3 doesn't really get much benefit from that third core and ends up being more of a Penryn competitor than in the same class as the Core i5/i3 and Pentium G6950.
As a business desktop machine, the Pentium G6950 is a competant option. Clearly slower than the Core i3 530 but not much else. The faster dual core i5s do well here.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Performance
To measure performance under Photoshop CS4 we turn to the Retouch Artists’ Speed Test. The test does basic photo editing; there are a couple of color space conversions, many layer creations, color curve adjustment, image and canvas size adjustment, unsharp mask, and finally a gaussian blur performed on the entire image.
The whole process is timed and thanks to the use of Intel's X25-M SSD as our test bed hard drive, performance is far more predictable than back when we used to test on mechanical disks.
Time is reported in seconds and the lower numbers mean better performance. The test is multithreaded and can hit all four cores in a quad-core machine.
For a photoshop workstation, Intel's quad-core i5 can't be beat by anything in the i5 lineup - even if you spend more than $200. The Pentium G6950 doesn't do so well here. While it's faster than the Pentium E6300, it's slower than the Core 2 Duo E7500 and AMD's Athlon II X3 440. Photoshop likes to spawn CPU intensive threads and thus Hyper Threading actually matters here. You'll want at least an i5 if you're building a good Photoshop box.