Intel Second Generation Core i7 3820 Reviewccokeman -
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3DMark 11 is the next instalment in Futuremark’s 3DMark series, with Vantage as its predecessor. The name implies the benchmark's focus on Microsoft DirectX 11 and in an unintended coincidence, matches the current year in number (which was the naming scheme to some prior versions of 3DMark nonetheless). 3DMark 11 was designed solely for DirectX 11, so Windows Vista or 7 is required alongside a DirectX 11 graphics card in order to run this test. The Basic Edition gives unlimited free tests on performance mode, whereas Vantage only allows for a single test run. The advanced edition costs $19.95 and unlocks nearly all features of the benchmark, while the professional edition runs for $995.00 and is mainly suited for corporate use. The new benchmark contains six tests, four of which are aimed only at graphical testing – one that tests physics handling, and one that combines graphics and physics testing together. The open source Bullet Physics Library is used for physics simulations and although not as mainstream as Havok or PhysX, it still remains a popular choice.
The new benchmark comes with two new demos that can be watched; both of which are based on the standard tests, though unlike them, contain basic audio. The first demo is titled "Deep Sea" and involves a number of vessels exploring what looks to be a sunken U-Boat. The second demo is titled "High Temple" and displays a location similar to South American tribal ruins, with statues and the occasional vehicle. The demos are simple in that they have no story, but really demonstrate testing conditions. The vehicles have the logos of the sponsors, MSI and Antec, on the sides, helping to make the basic edition free. The four graphics tests are slight variants of the demos. I will use the three benchmark test pre-set levels to find the performance of each card. The pre-sets are used because they are comparable to what can be run with the free version, so results can be compared across more than just a custom set of test parameters.
- Default test settings
- Entry test: 1024 x 600
- Performance test: 1280 x 720
- Extreme test: 1920 x 1080
In five out of 6 tests, the Second Generation Core i7 3820 presents itself as the highest performing CPU in the comparison. In the one test that it did not finish first, the only processor to outperform it was the Second Generation Core i7 3960X. This shows how having the faster and additional PCIe lanes on the X79 platform really pays off.