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Ivy Bridge-E: Intel Core i7-4960X Processor Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Rendering and Scientific

CineBench 11.5


This rendering benchmark based off of the Cinema 4D engine is a terrific indicator for multi-threaded processing.

 
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We already saw the somewhat disappointing single threaded results of IVB-E on our clock for clock page, but here they are again.  Under the multi-threaded workload though the new CPU shines and outpaces the Haswell-based Core i7-4770K by 31%.
 

POV-Ray 3.7


POV-Ray has long been the poster child for multi-threaded processing and rendering.

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POV-Ray continues the exhibition of multi-threaded performance advantages for the 6-core Core i7-4960X, showing an 18% advantage over the top Haswell SKU.

 
 

Euler 3D Fluid Dynamics


This fluid dynamics simulation is very CPU and memory intensive.  From the benchmark source website:

The benchmark testcase is the AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing. The wing uses a NACA 65A004 airfoil section and has a panel aspect ratio of 1.65, a taper ratio of 0.66, and a 45 degree quarter-chord sweep angle. This AGARD wing was tested at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 16-foot Transonic Dynamics Tunnel and is a standard aeroelastic test case used for validation of unsteady, compressible CFD codes. Figure 1 shows the CFD predicted Mach contours for a freestream Mach number of 0.960.

The benchmark CFD grid contains 1.23 million tetrahedral elements and 223 thousand nodes. The benchmark executable advances the Mach 0.50 AGARD flow solution. Our benchmark score is reported as a CFD cycle frequency in Hertz.

 

 

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Euler3D always gets complicated with 6-core processors as once you cross the 4-thread test on this application the quad-core processors begin to stall out.  But even AT four threads, the Core i7-4960X is 14% faster than the Core i7-4770K indicating some threading issues (HT at work) that don't show up in the IVB-E results until the 6 to 8-thread jump.  Regardless, the highest rate that the Core i7-4960X outputs is 7.985 Hz compared to 4.946 Hz on the Core i7-4770K, a difference of 61%.
September 3, 2013 | 04:07 AM - Posted by Boris (not verified)

"...a set of three of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX TITANs. At $999 MSRP, the TITAN is the fastest single GPU graphics card on the market and running three of them in SLI gives us a total of 18GB of graphics memory (!!)."

No it doesn't. VRAM is mirrored in SLI/CF. Therefore, three Titans still effectively have 6GB of VRAM.

September 3, 2013 | 08:04 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

IF your a average gamer ....don't bother.
Love one but just cannot get over the price.

Not to be fanboy ish but shouldn't gamers be moving to 8 core
AMD. I know intel is faster, but two years down the road into xBONE and PS4 life cycle it might just be an advantage.

September 3, 2013 | 10:03 AM - Posted by YTech

8 Core is great, but from what I've heard, most games aren't well optimized for 8 cores.

Hence why most gamers used to recommend the 2 core CPU (Duo/Dual). Now, 4 cores is preferred. Eventually, most games will be optimized for 8 cores. I do recall seeing some new games that when it detect additional cores, it will utilize them.

However, note that more cores means lower clock-speed (Ghz) per core. So if you can't use those additional cores, performance is decreased.

As for other usages such as high computing task, 8 cores are recommended (e.i. Adobe software).

Cheers! :)

September 3, 2013 | 07:47 PM - Posted by Clayton (not verified)

I'm sure none of the reviewers have wanted to do this, for obvious reasons, and we probably won't know till more are in the wild, but I'd love to know if these have soldered IHSs or if I need to continue my tradition of de-lidding these things. It will influence my decision to a reasonable degree. I haven't seen mention of this on any of the reviews so far.

September 17, 2013 | 11:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've seen it somewhere.. Ivy-E is soldered to the IHS.

September 6, 2013 | 06:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any plans to test PCI Express 2.0 vs 3.0 on the "E" platforms?

September 9, 2013 | 05:12 PM - Posted by ZzzSleep (not verified)

There just isn't the single threaded IPC gains that we need for anybody to justify an upgrade from Sandy Bridge onwards. There's also no gains in overclocking headroom either, which makes the processor a pretty lackluster offering over the last generation from Intel.

September 9, 2013 | 10:43 PM - Posted by Dan (not verified)

What's up with the slow memory latency of the 4960X? Does having 4 memory channels affect the latency?

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