Strolling Through Lynnfield: Intel's New SuperFast SuperAffordable CPU! Part 8
One of the standard performance tests for Adobe Photoshop CS4 to be able to compare how various PCs run the juggernaut application is the Retouch Artists' Speed Test. This automated test performs a sequence of basic photo editing; a few color space conversions, a whole bunch of layer creations, some color curve adjustments, as well as a variety of image and canvas size modifications, an unsharp mask, and rounds the club house turn with a gaussian blur performed on the whole image the test provides.
My Core i7 920 is an absolute revelation with an Adobe Photoshop CS4 Retouch Artists' Speed Test score of 17.4 seconds. Compare this to the score on an AMD Athlon X2 5200 (not too different from my old AMD Athlon X2 4800) of 51.1 and you'll see that the Core i7 920 allows you to work on Adobe Photoshop CS4 at warp speed.
It is interesting to note that the Intel Core i7 870 does have an advantage over the Core i7 920 in the Adobe Photoshop CS4 Retouch Artists' Speed Test, scoring an impressive 15.4 seconds. This shaving of two full seconds off the time for the Core i7 920 is truly significant, especially when it is compared with the fastest processor known to complete the Retouch Artists' Speed Test which is the Core i7 975. This CPU only manages exactly one second faster than the Core i7 870, and the top dog Bloomfield does so at a price of $970 vs. the Lynnfield's $275!
My wonderful lovely Core i7 920 is taking it in the chin from the Core i7 870 on the performance benchmark numbers, so it is a very small but significant victory to note that in the Monte Carlo simulation on an extremely sizeable spreadsheet of commodity pricing data running on Microsoft Excel 2007 SP1 (with that butt ugly top ribbon that I absolutely refuse to use) it scores marginally higher! Yippee! The Core i7 920 finishes the simulation in 15.3 seconds versus the Core i7 870s 15.7 second elapsed time. Four tenths of a second have never made me happier!
There is no stopping computer technology, and prosumer enthusiasts such as myself (yeah, ok... even gamers...) are avidly looking forward to the time that Intel brings on package graphics to the Nehalem platform, a coup d'etat which is currently scheduled for a couple of months from now but will have its full launch likely in the middle of 2010.
All Nehalems, whether Bloomfield or Lynnfield are engineered on a 45 nm manufacturing process. However, just around the corner is a new Nehalem architecture code named Westmere and what this does is take all of the features of the current Bloomfield and Lynnfield CPUs and shrinks them down to fit into a 32 nm manufacturing process.
OK, so what good is shrinking a manufacturing process? There have been entire books written about shrinking silicon manufacturing processes, but the rule of thumb is that the smaller the process, the more efficient the processor can be with its electricity draw as well as the manufacturer getting more CPUs off of one master wafer.