Core i5 650 - 660 and 661 processor review

Processors 198 Page 11 of 19 Published by


Performance - Dhrystone | Whetstone


Setup your monitor

Before playing games, setting up your monitor's contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly setup.


This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be roughly visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. As well, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black.

DhryStone CPU test

We make use of a multi-threaded Dhrystone test from SiSoftware Sandra, which is basically a suite of arithmetic and string manipulating programs. Since the whole program should be really small, it fits into the processor cache. It can be used to measure two aspects, both the processor's speed as well as the optimizing capabilities of the compiler. The resulting number is the number of executions of the program suite per second.

First up, the SANDRA DhryStone and Whetstone tests. These two tests are pure unadulterated 100% CPU tests that run completely within the CPU + cache memory itself. A perfect test to see the general efficiency per core. Though one of the oldest, Dhrystone remains a simple yet extremely accurate and effective ways to show you RAW CPU processing performance making it a very good indicator. The rest of the processors are in the charts just for scaling.

Let me first explain how and what we will be testing and comparing in this article. Due to the nature of changes in our benchmark software we'll try and add many processors per benchmark title for you to compare to.

Your main focus should be on the orange bars and then compare it to the red one.

Colored in orange you will spot the H55 motherboard with either the Core i5 650 or 660/661 we tested.

We also include overclocked results (top red line) of the Core i5 660/661 running at 4.2 GHz with the p55 motherboard. On average you'll notice the Core i5 660 series compete with the still popular Quad Core Q6600 processor and cheaper Phenom II X4 models.

For a dual-core processor that is a luxurious position to be in considering 90% of our tests are multi-core capable.


The Whetstone benchmark is a synthetic benchmark for evaluating the performance of computers. It was initially written in Algol 60, back in 1972. The Whetstone benchmark originally measured computing power in units of kilo-Whetstone Instructions Per Second (kWIPS). This was later changed to Millions of Whetstone Instructions Per Second (MWIPS).

The Whetstone benchmark primarily measures the floating-point arithmetic performance. Integer and string operations are for Dhrystone.

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