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To test performance, we pit the processors against one another in a short series of timed tasks using real world applications. Power consumption was measured when applicable.
Not content to take the energy efficiency crown, the Sandy Bridge processors dominated Photoshop by a more than a healthy margin. The dual core Clarkdale i5-680 chip did very well in this test, as did Nehalem's Core i7-965, but both were felled by the new arrivals.
The NOD32 isn't a threaded test, favoring high clock speeds, but with Turbo Boost, the newcomers edge out the competition. The Phenom II X4 975 and X6 1100T put up a fairly good fight, but with unflattering power consumption. They pulled 50~60% more wattage than Sandy Bridge.
In WinRAR, Sandy Bridge beat out all comers once again, and did so with power consumption close to that of dual core i5-661/680.
Our iTunes encoding test favored the high speed Core i5 dual core chips and yet the Sandy Bridge offerings still won out in the end.
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