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Legacy comparisons
I know what you're thinking: what I need in my life, right at this moment, is more benchmarks. Well, we've got you covered. Many of you have asked for broader comparisons with older CPUs, so you can understand what sort of improvements to expect when upgrading from an older system. We can't always re-test every CPU from one iteration of our test suite to the next, but there are some commonalities that carry over from generation to generation. We might as well try some inter-generational mash-ups.

Now, these comparisons won't be as exact and pristine as our other scores. Our new test systems run Windows 8 instead of Windows 7, for instance, and have higher-density RAM and larger SSDs. We're using a slightly newer version of POV-Ray, too. Still, scores in the benchmarks we selected shouldn't vary too much based on those factors, so... let's do this.

Our first set of mash-up results comes from our last-gen CPU test suite, as embodied in our FX-8350 review from last fall. This set will take us back at least three generations for both Intel and AMD, spanning a price range from under $100 to $1K.

Productivity

Image processing

3D rendering

Scientific computing

Nice. I like how the Haswell chip with the graphics cache nearly beats out the six-core, quad-channel, thousand-dollar Core i7-3960X in the CFD test.