With any system you will want to see a combination of synthetic testing and real-world. Synthetics give you a static, easily repeatable testing method that can be compared across multiple platforms. For our synthetic tests we use Everest Ultimate, Sisoft Sandra, FutureMark's 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage, Cinebench as well as HyperPi. Each of these covers a different aspect of performance or a different angle of a certain type of performance.
Memory is a big part of current system performance. In most systems slow or flakey memory performance will impact almost every type of application you run. To test memory we use a combination of Sisoft Sandra and HyperPi 0.99.
Well, look at what we found here. The new Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K have some impressive memory performance. We see them at the top of the pack for stock speeds and even manage to pass up some of the overclocked CPUs we tested.
We also see a rather impressive showing from the new Sandy Bridge CPUs here. Even the stock 2500K gives the 875K a run for its money in many of our tests.
HyperPi is a front end for SuperPi that allows for multiple concurrent instances of SuperPi to be run on each core recognized by the system. It is very dependent on CPU to memory to HDD speed. The faster these components, the faster it is able to figure out the number Pi to the selected length.
For our testing we use the 32M run. This means that each of the four physical and four logical cores for the i7 and the four physical cores of the i5 is trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places. Each "run" is a comparative to ensure accuracy and any stability or performance issues in the loop mentioned above will cause errors in calculation.
HyperPi is one of those tests that doesn't seem to make any sense. After all, it is only calculating the number Pi out to a certain number of decimal places, right? That is a fairly simple math when you think about it. However, what we see here with the Core i7 and Core i5 Sandy Bridge CPUs is that they are more than up to the higher level calculations.
Before with the HT enabled Lynnfield and even Nehalem CPUs HyperPi would drag them down fairly quickly, as each CPU core tried to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places twice. Here we see this trend begin to vanish as the HT enabled 2600K performs exceptionally well. This could be a good indication of performance later on, especially with items like ray tracing and rendering.