Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7 CPU Photoshop CS5 Benchmarks – The Sandy Bridge CPUs are smoking fast offering the most bang for your buck

For over a year I have been collecting Photoshop CPU benchmark times on the Improved Photoshop radial blur test. The first test scores for Intel’s new Sandy Bridge CPU have been posted and they are smoking fast and clearly offer the most bang for your high end CPU dollar.

One of my many European readers, Bruce Murry from England posted a time of 21.5 seconds on a home built computer based on the the Intel i5-2500k . Using an old Dell case and already purchased hard drive he put together the system which also included a 64 GB SSD for £541 including the VAT. Using the same parts Murry did, I was able to price them at $685 at newegg.com. Here is a list of the components used.

Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor – Retail with FREE Shogun 2 Game

Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB 2.5″ SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive (CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1)

Asus P8H67-M Pro Intel H67 (Socket 1155) DDR3 MicroATX Motherboard – (Sandybridge) ** B3 REVISION **

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit – OEM (GFC-00599)

Kingston HyperX Genesis Grey 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (KHX1600C9D3X2K2/8GX) and

OcUK Value 2.5″ to 3.5″ Hard Drive Adapter

HP is again shipping their high perform desktop computers featuring the Sandy Bridge CPUs. After the “little problem” Intel had with the motherboards for the Sandy Bridge CPUs, HP stopped using next generation Intel CPUs. Currently HP is selling a model quite similar to the build Murry made for $709. That would be the HPE510t model with an upgrade to the Intel i5-2500 3.3 GHz CPU with turbo boost to 3.7 GHz.

Melwin Silva, a reader from the North Jersey/New York Metro posted an overclocked speed tying record time of 14.2 seconds using the Intel i7-2600k running at 5.1 GHz instead of the normal 3.4 GHz rate. Melwin’s desktop computer was also a home build that features water cooling for the CPU, a 12 TB 8 drive Raid 6 array, and 4 drive Raid zero 240 GB SSD set up. The total price for the entire set up was $3636. Even more impressive is if you strip out the price for all the extra hard drives, and the extra video card ( he’s running 4 monitors ) you get a price tag of about $1700 for the top of the line desktop computer using the Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs.

If the i7-2600k Sandy Bridge 3.4 GHz overclocked to 5.1 GHz time of 14.2 seconds ( costing $1700 ) is compared with the Apple Mac Pros, you find it takes a 6 core Xeon Westmere 3.33 GHz model priced at $3700 to get the same benchmark time. Well at least with the Mac Pros you get a shiny case that has an apple on both sides. Here’s the details of Melwin’s computer.

CPU: Intel I7-2600k overclocked @ 5.1Ghz -  cpu @1.2-1.4v 49x cpu multiplier – Max load temp running prime 70 – 35 idle $280

motherboard:     Asus Maximus Extreme IV $370

memory:  Corsair XMS3 DDR3-2000 8GB @933MHz $280

video card:  Nvidia 8800GTX 768MB   $50  Ebay

video card:  Nvidia Quadro NVS 440 $450

Disk1:  Microcenter G2 Series 64GB SSD 4xR0 $400 4 Drive Raid0 240GB partition  $100 each connected to an areca 1680IX-12 2gb raid controller

Disk2:  Samsung F4 2TB HD204UI $560 8 Drive Raid6 64k 12TB array 2 partitions  $70 from Microcenter sale updated firmware to work with raid controllers

Disk3 :  OCZ Vertex 2 100GB    $200  Lightroom/Adobe Cache drive

Raid controller   Areca 1680IX-12 2GB cache $366 Ebay   $850 new

Water Cooling   Swiftech MCP655 pump $ 80

Swiftech MCR-320 Radiator $ 55

Swiftech Apogee XT cpu waterblock $ 65

Koolance 8800GTX GPU water block $100  I think I paid around this price in 2007

Case:   Coolermaster Stacker $200

Power supply:  Antec TruePower 1000  $180

Don’t forget to head on over to the free photoshop radial blur test and find out how your current CPU stacks up.

Update: I’ve added the CPU test time chart from the Photoshop Radial blur CPU test so you see all the times including the just published Sandy Bridge CPU times.

April 27, 2011 Addition Results - Just received the first test time for a Sandy Bridge i7-2600k CPU run at factory specs ( 3.4 GHz ). The time was 20.0 seconds on a Win 7 machine. Time once again for a Mac vs PC comparison. You can purchase a HP PC with the Intel i7-2600k CPU with 8 GB of RAM for $899. That CPU will get you a test time of 20.0 seconds. The current comparable Mac desktop is a Mac Pro running a 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” CPU with 3 GB of RAM, that computer will get you a test time of 19.9 seconds and will cost you $2499. So the comparable Mac Pro is $1600 more and comes with less RAM. I’ll let the reader draw their own conclusions as to which desktop computer is a better value.

June 24, 2011 Update: With my just purchased HP HPE h8xt ( configured as h8-1070t ) I’ve joined the sub 20 second club for the Photoshop Radial Blur CPU Benchmark test. The Hewlett-Packard computer that was less than 24 hours out of the box posted a 19.6 second time for the test running Windows 7 64 bit on Photoshop CS5 64 bit using a Intel i7-2600 3.4 GHz CPU with turbo boost to 3.8 GHz. The screen capture below shows the Photoshop Radial Blur test running along with Windows Task Manager displaying the CPU usage history and the allotted memory. While the Intel -7 2600 has 4 cores, it runs 8 threads. In this photo we see that all 8 threads are running at 100%. For most of the test the CPU usage was in the 97% to 100% range.

Here’s the really good news. All that performance can be had for just $899. The current base configuration for the HP HPE h8xt model includes the Intel i7-2600 3.4 GHz CPU based on a lithography of 32nm & 8MB of cache, 8GB of DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM, and a 1.5 TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive.

Photo of photoshop radial blur test benchmark with Windows task manager running

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——————————– Test Results ——————————–

CPU Operating System Photoshop Version Test Time
Intel 2 x 2.93 GHz 6 Core Core Xeon Westmere OS X 10.6 CS5 64 bit 9.3 Seconds
Intel 2 x 2.93 GHz Quad Core Xeon Nehalem OS X 10.6 CS5 13 Seconds
Intel 6 Core Xeon Westmere 3.33 GHz OS X 10.6.4 CS5 64 bit 14.2 Seconds
Intel i7-2600k 3.4 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 5.1 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 14.2 Seconds
Intel i7 970 3.2 GHz overclocked to 4.0 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 15.6 Seconds
Intel i7 970 3.2 GHz overclocked to 3.8 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 16.2 Seconds
Intel i7 overclocked to 4.1 GHz Windows 7 CS4 17.1 Seconds
Intel 2 x 3.2 GHz Quad Core Xeon OS X 10.5 CS4 17.9 Seconds
Intel 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon OS X 10.5 CS4 19.9 Seconds
Intel i7-2600k 3.4 GHz ( 8M Cache ) Windows 7 Pro 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 20.0 Seconds
Intel i7 980X 3.33 GHz Overclocked to 4.03 GHz Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit CS 3 21.0 Seconds
Intel i5-2500k 3.30 GHz Sandy Bridge Windows 7 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 21.5 Seconds
Intel i7 930 2.8 GHz Overclocked to 3.5 GHz Windows 7 CS 4 21.9 Seconds
Intel i7 950 3.06 GHz Overclocked to 4.0 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 22.3 Seconds
Intel i7 930 2.80 Over clocked to 3.5 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 24.0 Seconds
Intel i7 870 2.93 GHz Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate CS 5 64 bit 24.4 Seconds
Intel i7 875K 2.93 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS 4 26.3 Seconds
Intel i7 950 3.06 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 27.0 Seconds
Intel Quad Q9550 2.83 GHz Overclocked to 3.6 GHz Vista 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 27.9 Seconds
Intel Core2 Quad QX9650 3.00 GHz Vista 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 28.2 Seconds
Intel i7 860 2.8 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 28.4 Seconds
Intel Core2 Quad QX9650 3.00 GHz Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit CS 5 64 bit Extended 29.4 Seconds
Intel i5 750 2.66 GHz Overclocked to 4.1 GHz with Asus Turbo V Win 7 64 bit CS2 29.6 Seconds
Intel i7 920 2.66 GHz Win 7 CS5 29.7 Seconds
Intel i7 920 2.66 GHz Win 7 CS4 31.1 Seconds
Intel i7 930 2.8 GHz Win 7 Pro 64 bit CS5 32.0 Seconds
Intel i7 870 2.93 GHz Win 7 64bit CS2 33.1 Seconds
Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66 GHz Vista CS4 33.6 Seconds
Intel Q9400 Quad 2.66 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS4 34.2 Seconds
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40 GHz XP Pro CS3 36.8 Seconds
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Editon 3.4 GHz OC to 3.86 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 38.4 Seconds
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Editon 3.4 GHz Win 7 CS5 42.6 Seconds
Intel i5 650 Dual Core 3.2 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS4 51 Seconds
Intel Core i7-720QM 1.6 GHz Win 7 Pro 64 bit CS5 Portable 60.5 Seconds
Intel i5 M430 2.27 GHz Dual Core Windows 7 64 bit CS4 63.4 Seconds
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 69.9 Seconds
Intel Core i7 M620 2.66 GHz OS X 10.6.2 CS5 64 bit 76.3 Seconds
Intel Mobile Core i5-520M 2.4 GHz OS X 10.6.5 CS5 Extended 65.6 Seconds
Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 Merom 2.33 GHz Windows XP CS5 101 Seconds
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz OS X 10.4 CS3 110.5 Seconds
AMD Athlon X2 7750 @2.70 GHz Windows 7 CS4 111.2 Seconds
Intel Core2 Duo E6550 @2.33 GHz Windows XP PS7 120 Seconds
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ dual core 2.3 GHz Windows XP CS 2 139 Seconds
AMD Opteron 270 2x Dual Core 2.01GHz Vista 64 bit CS 2 155.7 Seconds
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ dual core 2.0 GHz Windows XP Pro CS 3 179 Seconds
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ dual core 2.8 GHz Win 7 64 bit CS 5 64 bit 187.3 Seconds
Intel Pentium D 2.80 GHz Windows XP CS2 191 Seconds
Dual Power PC 2.0 GHz OSX 10.3 CS3 200.4 Seconds
AMD XP 2800+ ( .797 GHz ) Windows XP CS1 560.7 Seconds

 

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——————————– Custom Build PC with stock and Overclocking Times ——————————–

CPU Operating System Photoshop Version Test Time
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown overclocked to 4.70 GHz Windows7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 14.0 Seconds
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown overclocked to 4.42 GHz Windows7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 14.3 Seconds
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown overclocked to 4.11 GHz Windows7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 15.3 Seconds
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown overclocked to 4.03 GHz Windows7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 15.7 Seconds
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown overclocked to 3.93 GHz Windows7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 16.2 Seconds
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown overclocked to 3.70 GHz Windows 7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 17.3 Seconds
Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown @ 3.33 GHz Windows7 64 bit CS5 64 bit 18.9 Seconds

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Charles HainesApril 22, 2012 - 12:18 am

Thank you so much for this photoshop action and comparison table. I ran the test on my 4 year old pentium dual 2 core pc and got a time of 1min 29s :(

I’ve rebuilt the system with a i5 2500 and 16gb of ram and now I’m getting 22 seconds. I would have never realised just how slow my old system was without this info

MarkJune 20, 2012 - 2:21 pm

The article on the Sandy Bridge update is great! But I _have_ to know – what Dell case did Bruce Murry fit the Asus mobo into – and how did he DO it!?!? I have a Vostro 410 tower and the answer I always get when inquiring about an upgrade to a different mobo is this: no can do. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Mark

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