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

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Testing Setup and SiSoft Sandra

For the review of the Intel Core i7-4770K we updated our entire suite of CPU benchmarks and thus we have a new set of results to present.  The review today of Ivy Bridge-E will continue with that same set of tests.

Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-4960X
Intel Core i7-4770K
Intel Core i7-4670 (simulated)
Intel Core i7-3770K
Intel Core i7-3570 (simulated)
Intel Core i7-3970X
Intel Core i7-3820
Intel Core i7-2600K
AMD FX-8350
AMD A10-5800K
Motherboard Intel DZ87KLT-75K (Haswell)
MSI Z77A-GD80 (IVB, SNB)
Intel DX79SR (Ivy Bridge-E, Sandy Bridge-E)
ASUS 990FX (Vishera)
MSI A85 (Trinity)
Memory 8GB DDR3-1600
Storage Corsair Force GT 120 SSD
Sound Card On-board
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB
Graphics Drivers Catalyst 13.4 (AMD)
Power Supply Corsair Professional AX1000 watt
Operating System Windows 8 Pro x64

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SiSoft Sandra 2013 SP3a


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

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Clearly in theoretical performance the IVB-E based Core i7-4960X has the edge but even in areas of memory bandwidth and cache performance it is right on par with Sandy Bridge-E.  Also, with the IPC enhancements of Haswell, the new 6-core part actually falls behind the Core i7-4770K in the multimedia test!

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! :)

June 12, 2014 | 08:09 AM - Posted by Dominga (not verified)

Incredible points. Sound ɑrguments. Keep up the good work.

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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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