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Intel Sandy Bridge-E Review - Core i7-3960X and X79 Chipset Tested

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Synthetic CPU and Memory Tests

SiSoft Sandra 2011


The latest version of SiSoft Sandra offers up a lot of new features including GPU performance, OpenCL, etc. 

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The CPU performance of the Core i7-3960X doesn't look like it will/can be challenged from a purely synthetic stand point and the memory performance numbers impress as well.  It looks like adding in the quad-channel memory controller at least has a CHANCE of improving performance on software that is is any way memory bound.  

November 15, 2011 | 06:06 AM - Posted by Sihastru

They did that already (and other sites too), 2500K and 2600K vs. Bulldozer, it lost there too.

The idea of the article here is to compare the best offerings from the main (only?) two competitors on the market. When we're in this segment, we're interested about performance more and less about the price. We don't really care about performance/monetary unit, we just want the best there is, period.

November 16, 2011 | 01:34 PM - Posted by AParsh335i (not verified)

Ryan you seem to be attracting a lot of trolls on this review.

November 16, 2011 | 01:58 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I have always gone under the assumption that:

More Trolls = More Correct in my Views

November 15, 2011 | 08:49 PM - Posted by J.P. (not verified)

Why does the i5 2500K perform better then the i7 2600k on so many of these tests am I missing something. Is there other reasons that I would spend $100 more one a CPU not to mention would the 2700K be worth the $30 more than the 2600K. I was waiting for the SB-e processor but I just cant justify the price/performance BIGTIME FAIL on Intel, just wasted my time waiting for a product that barely outperforms I7 990X.

Is LGA2011 backwards compatible with the I7-2600?

November 16, 2011 | 01:33 PM - Posted by AParsh335i (not verified)

LGA2011 is completely different than LGA1155 (AKA I7-2600 you inquired about).

Seems a lot of people are mad about this...Ryan has said it like 10 times - this is not for most of "us." This is for a small market of power users, not the people that want the best frame rates on Battlefield 3.

November 16, 2011 | 02:01 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

First, as to why the 2500K might outperform the 2600K in some select instances: because a four-threaded app has 4 dedicated cores on the 2500K and though there ARE 4 dedicated cores on the 2600K, it is possible that the OS doesn't put each thread on its own core and instead you see a bit of HyperThreading i the mix, which isn't nearly as efficient as single core computing. That being said, usually the OS figures this out pretty quickly, so differences are actually minimal.

As for the 2700K - I would actually recommend it over the 2600K if that was your choice before, yes.

November 16, 2011 | 10:05 PM - Posted by J.P. (not verified)

Thanks for your response Ryan, if I hear you right the I5 doesn't have HT. so turning off HT one the 2600K or 2700K may improve some of the non-multi-threaded reliant applications. As for your suggesting the 2600K over the 2700K for the $22 difference would I be getting a sightly higher binned chip with better TDP, clock speed, etc.. I guess I am know wounding id the 2500K is the right choice @ more than $100 less( I believe I heard you guys say as much on the Podcast) do I loose any else then HT with the 2500K.

Thanks Again
J.P.

November 29, 2011 | 09:01 PM - Posted by ftimster

So question?? If you want the fastest gaming pc or just the fastest system go with 3960x and dont wate for ive?? Asus rampage iiii 32gb or 16gb and keep your graphics top of the line. Money is not a problem but ive bridge whats the deal? not going to be all arround better than 3690x dont want to upgrade again i am currently running 990x asus rampage iii formula three gtx 580's Would like to here a really good breakdown on sandy-e vs ivy??? Thanks watch the show allways!!!! Tim in alasks!! :-)

December 5, 2011 | 03:28 PM - Posted by Steve-S (not verified)

Great review Ryan! Have you ever done a benchmark using virtual PCs? It would be interesting to put 32gb of ram in one of these systems and see how many virtual PC's you could effectively run. Throw different loads on each of the machines and see what brings it to knees.

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