Overall System performance and Gaming
Here is where we dig out the FutureMark tests.
For overall system performance we use PCMark Vantage. This is run in both x86 and x64 mode to give the best indication of performance.
The Core i5 does well again, even passing the Core i5 750 in stock performance when matched up with the same GPU. Of course, the 661 is 3.33GHz vs. the 2.66GHz on the 750, but still, we are talking about four real cores vs. two real + two virtual in the 661. This would seem to show that the 32nm Dual Core Core i5 661 is even a good choice for a system if you are planning on using a discrete GPU.
For synthetic gaming tests we used the industry standard and overlockers bragging tool 3DMark Vantage. This is a test that strives to mimic the impact modern games have on a system. FutureMark went a long way to change from the early days of graphics driven tests to a broader approach including physics, AI, and more advanced graphics simulations.
3DMark Vantage uses the DX10 API in addition to having support for PhysX. Due to the PhysX support and our use of an NVIDIA GPU, we run with PhysX enabled and disabled to give you the best indication of real system performance. For testing we use the Performance test run.
Sadly the Core i5 661 is just not a gaming CPU. The IGP included has some issues running 3DMark Vantage. At the Performance level it struggles greatly and ends up coming in last. Even when we add a GTX 285 to the mix, the Core i5 661 has problems keeping up.
CINEBENCH R10 x64
CINEBENCH is a synthetic rendering tool developed by Maxon. Maxon is the same company that developed Cinema4D another industry leading 3D Animation application. CINEBENCH R10 tests your systems ability to render across a single and multiple CPU cores. It also tests your systems ability to process OpenGL information.
In our CINEBENCH testing the Core i5 661 shows good performance at both single and multi-core rendering. While the numbers may show it in last place, you do still need to remember that this is only a dual core CPU. For it to show the numbers it does in this test, it's quite impressive.