SYNTHETIC & RENDER TESTS
Our first test was a rough start for the 930. At stock settings, the multithreaded score of 474.7 is below just about everything, including the stock 1090T that it competed with in 2010. It does beat out the stock i3-7350K, but that hardly counts, as the 7350K should always be overclocked and never used for production. The non-overclockable and more expensive G4560 and i3-6300 do lose out, but again, are not designed for rendering.
The 4GHz overclock increased the 930’s score by 34% to 636.3. We’ll include these percentage increases throughout the rest of the review, as one of the most impressive aspects of Intel’s older CPUs is just how much OC headroom there is. That new score isn’t the highest on the chart, but it is higher than its successor, the stock i7-2600K. Single-threaded performance continues to be among the lowest on the chart, despite the increase in frequency, but this matters more in the gaming benchmarks than here.
POV-Ray’s average render time shrank 26.7% from 290.1 seconds to 213.2 once we overclocked the i7-930. To keep things comparable with Cinebench, that’s a 36.4% increase in pixels rendered per second. Our overclocked 1090T managed to hold its own here, as it completed the render just a couple seconds faster on average. There’s a significant gap between this and the next-fastest CPU, a stock i5-7500--this is one test where the 930 really shows its age.
Blender’s render time was reduced about the same, 24.7%, putting it right between the i5-7600K’s stock and OC scores. Other i5s, i3s, and the six-core Phenom IIs do worse, as does the stock 2600K, but more modern CPUs with greater than four threads all easily outstrip the aging 930.
Overclocked -- as stock would just be unbearably slow -- the i7-930 takes about three hours to complete our Adobe Premiere render. To put this into perspective, the OCed i7-6900K completed in just under an hour, and using CUDA with no overclock at all cut that time by 2/3.
The gist of these tests is that the i7-930 wasn’t a workstation CPU at launch, and it’s even less so now. Still, Blender, POV-Ray, and Premiere all showed about a 25% reduction in render time with a 4.0GHz overclock.
The i7-930 began to take back some ground with Firestrike. At stock frequency, it again places above the stock i3s, G4560, and stock Phenom IIs, as might be expected. When overclocked, the score shot up by 35.1%, slightly above the overclocked i5-7600K and indeed the rest of the i5s on the chart, where limited threadcount hampers performance.
Timespy is a DirectX 12 benchmark, and it ran flawlessly on the i7-930, unlike the Phenom IIs. As pointed out by readers Nighter3D and PetrolHead, AMD’s pre Bobcat/Bulldozer CPUs lack the SSSE3 instruction set, while Intel created and first introduced it in 2006. Although Timespy ran, it barely outscored the stock i5-2500K. When overclocked, the score increased 29.3%, this time just above the OC 2500K and stock 2600K. That’s still disappointing performance compared to Firestrike, but it gets at least a little credit for even being able to run one of 3DMark’s most modern benchmarks.