Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review :: Test Setup and Software

03-10-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review ASUS board

ASUS board

Intel Core i7 980X 6 Core Gulftown CPU Review GIGABYTE board


To give a sense of performance of the new CPU I compared it to the Core i7 920 CPU on two different motherboards all with updated drivers and BIOS Flashed to support Gulftown CPUs. The Core i7-980X worked right out of the box once the BIOS was flashed on both the ASUS and GIGABYTE boards. We did not use the Intel reference cooler due to inordinately high temperature readings on both the Intel and GIGABYTE motherboards even with the latest Flashed BIOS. Unfortunately the CPU temperature read over 70 degrees Celsius even under idle with two different X58 motherboards (ASUS P6X58D Premium and Intel X58SO). With temperatures reaching that level, CPU throttling is a concern and I decided against using it in the review and used the Noctua DH-14 Dual fan dual heatsink cooler.. Across the board the 980X won over the 920 as it should. Performance in 3DMark Vantageís CPU test was over 32000 which is nearly double that of the 920. In Cinebench 11.5, the newest benchmark from Maxon, the 6 core Gulftown did an amazing 8.45 seconds, doubling the 920. This benchmark is fully optimized for the 6 core CPU. wPrime ran in a little over 5 seconds, which is very close to the top comparing to highly overclocked 960s or 920s (5GHz) on HWBotís database. This shows the performance improvements 6 cores can bring you.

Test System

  • Intel Core i7 920 running 2.66GHz
  • Intel Core i7 920 running in Turbo Boost mode
  • Intel Core i7-980X running 3.33GHz
  • Intel Core i7-980X running Turbo Boost Mode 3.46GHz for multi-threading 3.6GHz for single thread benchmarks
  • Noctua NH-DH14 CPU Cooler
  • ASUS P6X58D Premium running latest drivers and BIOS
  • GIGABYTE X58A-UD7 motherboard running latest drivers and BIOS
  • 3GB Kingston DDR3-1600MHz DDR3 memory running at 1333MHz
  • ATI RADEON HD 4870 1GB running Catalyst 10.2
  • Windows 7 64-Bit Home Premium Edition


  • Sisoft Sandra Processor 2010 Processor benchmark
  • x264 HD benchmark version 3.15
  • Sysmark 2007 Preview Patch 1.06
  • PCMark Vantage
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • WPrime
  • SpecViewPerf 11.5
  • Cinebench 11.5