System Setup and Testing ConfigurationTesting of the Core i7-980X was a breeze – though we did have to update the BIOS on the Gigabyte motherboard before it would actually post with the new CPU.
The new Core i7-980X idles at 1600 MHz (or so, since Gigabyte has decided that 133 MHz base clock actually means 135 MHz).
Though the base clock of the CPU is 3.33 GHz, with Turbo Mode and nearly single-threaded workloads it will reach about 3.6 GHz.
For our testing suite and application benchmarks the process is almost exactly the same as it has been for the last year. In a couple of instances though where we manually specify the number of threads the application uses, we have increased our maximum from 8 threads to 12 to compensate for the 6-cores and 12-threads that Gulftown is capable of. For the rest of the CPUs that don’t have the ability to work on 12 threads simultaneously, the differences between performance of 8 threads and 12 threads is close to zero.