Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

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Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:54 am

Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

With the introduction of the new Intel LGA2011 socket and X79 chipset comes new processors and today Intel announced the Core i7-3960X, Core i7-3930K and the Core i7-3820. The bad news is that only the Core i7-3960X and the Core i7-3930K are available for purchase today at $990 and $555, respectively. Read on to see how the Core i7-3960X performs against numerous other processors!

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The Intel X79 platform for socket LGA2011 processors proved that it is clearly the new enthusiast desktop platform for Intel. The Intel Core i7-3960X processor did a great job of showing just how far ahead Intel is when it comes to processor performance. AMD's new 'Bulldozer' processor series doesn't stand a chance against Intel's new 'Sandy Bridge-E' processors.


Article Title: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1773/1/
Pricing at Time of Print: $990
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Major_A » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:03 am

Damn, now this is depressing. I need to get a real job so I can throw Intel some money. This would be a first too that I'd look at an Intel motherboard. All around it seems like an excellent setup.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby FZ1 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:11 am

I like the skull on the motherboard! That's way better than the bullets/guns theme that seems to be prevalent anymore.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby vbironchef » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:49 pm

The i7-3930K seems to be the logical choice. Factor that the chip is 400.00 dollars cheaper, it's like getting a motherboard for free.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:59 pm

So, what does everything think about this processor? Was it a hit or a miss??
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Major_A » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:47 pm

Seems like a hit to me. Other sites are boo hooing about game performance. What do they expect when the monitor is running at 2560x1600 with 8XAA?
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Tator Tot » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:11 pm

I'd call the product a miss for the same reason Bulldozer was.

The product itself is far too late to the game to really matter. More so when nothing has really improved in regards to IPC, or Multi-threaded performance.

It's by no means a bad product but it's a far cry from the Value that Nehalem offered back in the day, or even the P55 parts.

If the 3930K was priced about $450 then we'd have a better platform on our hands, but as it stands right now, the cost of entry is almost $1k for the Motherboard & CPU. That's not to mention the $94 for RAM if you want to really take advantage of the quad channel interface and memory tweaking ability of this platform.

In terms of overclocking, Sandy-Bridge E is more fun than the old Sandy Bridge systems since there's more deep level tweaking that can be done. More so, they can be pushed a little farther and a little harder due to these advanced tweaking options; but it's still nothing spectacular.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby XstollieX » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:20 pm

I think it really depends what you are going to be using it for. If you are going to run a single GPU on it for gaming, it's not worth the extra money over something like the 2700k. If you plan on running two or more GPU's in SLI/CrossFireX, it becomes a more reasonable choice. But if you will be doing something like video encoding, where time is money, it's worth it. If the 3960X price was what the 3930K is it would attract a few more people imo. I could see 550 for the 3960X drop the 3930K and keep the quad core version where it's at. The $450 jump in price isn't worth the extra 100MHz on the base clock and turbo, or the extra 3mb Cache. Just my thoughts
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Major_A » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:53 pm

Who builds Intel's motherboards (i.e. ASUS, Gigabyte, ECS, etc...)? Or do they do the design in-house and ship the specs to China for the production run?
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby sbohdan » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:46 am

Our Core i7-3960X running 1866MHz had 39.5GB/s of memory bandwidth. We tried running 1600MHz memory in it as well and hit 38GB/s


So is it right, that the memory bandwith is limited to about 38-39GB/s? If 1866Mhz had about the same as 1600Mhz RAM, than I guess it's not worth to buy anything over 1600Mhz and 2133 or 2400Mhz is out of question? This also means, that my old sandy, running 2133Mhz in dual channel has only 10GB/s less memory bandwith than this new platform (I have 28.8GB/s). If the memory bandwith could use 2133 and 2400Mhz RAM,that would give us 56-60+ GB's bandwith altogether - in that case I would say its a hit even with these prices.
Question: can you use, 2 sets of dual channel memory in a quad channel system?
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Tator Tot » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:33 am

Major_A wrote:Who builds Intel's motherboards (i.e. ASUS, Gigabyte, ECS, etc...)? Or do they do the design in-house and ship the specs to China for the production run?


Foxconn is doing it now. Intel used to, but the outsourced to Foxconn back in the X58 days.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Tator Tot » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:00 pm

XstollieX wrote:I think it really depends what you are going to be using it for. If you are going to run a single GPU on it for gaming, it's not worth the extra money over something like the 2700k. If you plan on running two or more GPU's in SLI/CrossFireX, it becomes a more reasonable choice. But if you will be doing something like video encoding, where time is money, it's worth it. If the 3960X price was what the 3930K is it would attract a few more people imo. I could see 550 for the 3960X drop the 3930K and keep the quad core version where it's at. The $450 jump in price isn't worth the extra 100MHz on the base clock and turbo, or the extra 3mb Cache. Just my thoughts


I would gladly pay $500 for a Chip & $400 for a board if it had the right features.

The early leaks we saw of X79 with it's 12 SATA ports, integrated USB 3.0, and native PCIe 3.0 support from both the CPU & the Chipset....well that was brilliant. That would have made the platform well worth the cost.
With the gimped I/O hub of X79 hardly having anything above Z68, there's no point to even consider the increased cost of the platform.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:59 pm

don't forget about the SAS ports and SRT that was removed as well!
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby Tator Tot » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:02 pm

Apoptosis wrote:don't forget about the SAS ports and SRT that was removed as well!

Well, the plethora of SATA ports was from the SAS function.
But yes, SRT was left out, which was also disappointing since it was such a unique and valuable feature.

On the other hand, $500 CPU & $400 board... well dropping another $750 on a sizeable SSD may not seem like such a hard decision to some.

Still, as a whole, the chipset really drops the ball on this product; making it just not viable for an upgrade from your old Nehalem workstations.
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Re: Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Processor Review

Postby anuparockz » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:45 pm

That is a Massive cooler and a COOL motherboard and RAM. Benn waiting for this processor for some time but I can't help it but say 'Couldn't they have lowered the price some more?'
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