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Although the Phenom II X4 965 struggled in our synthetic tests, the first real-world test that we threw at it went very well. Using a complex spreadsheet that we created (not supplied by Intel or AMD) the Phenom II X4 965 completed the large calculation in 11:10 minutes. The Core i7 920 took 13:04 minutes, making it over a minute slower. There was very little difference in performance when comparing Intel CPUs to one another.
This time using WinRAR we simulate our own test by compressing two different archives. The first is the Windows 7 installer, which contains over 800 files and totals 3GB in size, and the second is a huge individual 12GB media file. Each test is run three times and we record the average result.
The Core i7 920 had a clear advantage over the dual-channel LGA1156 processors in this test, as it was 9% faster than the Core i7 860 and 10% faster than the Core i5 750. Interestingly, Hyper-Threading support on the Core i7 860 counted for very little here, as the chip was just a fraction faster than the slower clocked Core i5 750.
Finally we fired up Adobe Photoshop CS4, opened a 13MB (7000x6000) JPEG image file and proceeded to apply two filters, measuring the time each of them took. The extrude filter took each processor roughly 66 seconds, with the Core i7 920 delivering a marginally better result with a time of 65.5 seconds.
The Phenom II X4 965 was faster when applying the blur filter, taking just 41.2 seconds, followed by the Core i7 920 at 46.9 seconds.