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3D modeling and rendering

Cinebench rendering
The Cinebench benchmark is based on Maxon's Cinema 4D rendering engine. It's multithreaded and comes with a 64-bit executable. This test runs with just a single thread and then with as many threads as CPU cores (or threads, in CPUs with multiple hardware threads per core) are available.

Turbo Boost grants the Core i7-870 the second-best score in the single-threaded rendering test, and then Hyper-Threading gives it the third-best showing in the multithreaded rendering test, right behind the Core i7-950.

Here's something interesting to think about.

We typically think in terms of performance scaling, from one to many cores, when talking about processors. Generally, a bigger performance boost going from one thread to many is considered a positive sign. Yet the aggressive Turbo Boost function in Lynnfield pulls in the other direction by improving single-threaded performance. In terms of performance gained from one thread to many, the Core i5-750 finishes last among the quad-core processors here—not that there's anything wrong with that. We just need to recalibrate our thinking. Conversely, Hyper-Threading opens up the possibility of much better performance scaling than one might expect, as the over 400% improvement in the Core i7-975's performance indicates. Of course, the bottom line in any case is absolute performance.

POV-Ray rendering
We're using the latest beta version of POV-Ray 3.7 that includes native multithreading and 64-bit support. Some of the beta 64-bit executables have been quite a bit slower than the 3.6 release, but this should give us a decent look at comparative performance, regardless.

In these rendering tests, the Phenom II X4 processors are giving the Core i5-750 stiff competition.

3ds max modeling and rendering

Valve VRAD map compilation
This next test processes a map from Half-Life 2 using Valve's VRAD lighting tool. Valve uses VRAD to pre-compute lighting that goes into games like Half-Life 2.

The Core i7-870 finishes these last two rendering tests in style, separating again from the Core i5-750 thanks to Hyper-Threading.