Sandy Bridge-E: Core i7-3960X Is Fast, But Is It Any More Efficient?

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Soma42

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[citation][nom]soldier37[/nom]Waiting on Ivy Bridge in the Spring to upgrade my 2600k which is already smoking along at 4.8 under 55C load with liquid cooling. No thanks.[/citation]

I'll probably jump aboard the Ivy Bridge train as well, but if you have a 2600k already you're only going to see a 10-15% boost in stock performance. Overclocking might slightly cooler, but it seems a bit unnecessary... What do you need it clocked that high 24/7 for?

If only my workstation was upgraded to 3960's I could save milliseconds of my precious time :) Seriously though, glad to see Matlab tests in there.
 

Homeboy2

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[citation][nom]Soma42[/nom]I'll probably jump aboard the Ivy Bridge train as well, but if you have a 2600k already you're only going to see a 10-15% boost in stock performance. Overclocking might slightly cooler, but it seems a bit unnecessary... What do you need it clocked that high 24/7 for? If only my workstation was upgraded to 3960's I could save milliseconds of my precious time Seriously though, glad to see Matlab tests in there.[/citation]

I was gonna go with Ivy Bridge but 10 to 15 percent boost won't even be noticeable in real world usage.
 

drutort

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great article but:
how about o/c speeds... on intel and amd side especially how does a $150 X6 1090T at 4.1ghz fair up?

Of course If i was buying new mobo and new system intel is the clear winner (2500/2600k)
 
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poor amd! they are getting smacked around hard on the benchmarks lately. i still dont understand why people would want a closed loop system. they are at best slightly worse then high end air coolers which can be cheaper and usually are. its just a gimmick imo
 

psp09

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Nice article, i just wait more for the mathematics capabilities of this processor but is not that amazing. Let's wait for the IB and check the surprises that have for us.
 

jasoncrussell

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I really think AMD should of pulled Bulldozer and just concentrated where their strengths lie i.e. the APU market and graphics market. I just can't see who would buy the Bulldozer. It can't compete in the high performance market and gets beaten up in the middle range market by the 2600K and the 2500K, the later which is not only more powerful but also cheaper. I was waiting for the bulldozer before upgrading, but wouldn't touch it now. The 2600K looks like the best bang for buck processor out there at the moment.
 

clonazepam

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[citation][nom]oIOIiio[/nom]poor amd! they are getting smacked around hard on the benchmarks lately. i still dont understand why people would want a closed loop system. they are at best slightly worse then high end air coolers which can be cheaper and usually are. its just a gimmick imo[/citation]

I disagree about the closed loop coolers. They have a much smaller footprint than the enthusiast coolers that match or beat them. If you want excellent cpu cooling, and a descent side panel fan cooling the chipset and graphics, you pretty much have to go with the closed loop to ensure it all fits nice in the budget cases on up. I use a H50 in push/pull and nowadays those are pretty cheap though not performing at the top or close, until you swap out fans. That of course adds to the overall costs, but if you are in the position to have a nice looking build and need everything to fit with room to spare, they are a good buy.

[citation][nom]jasoncrussell[/nom]I really think AMD should of pulled Bulldozer and just concentrated where their strengths lie i.e. the APU market and graphics market. I just can't see who would buy the Bulldozer. It can't compete in the high performance market and gets beaten up in the middle range market by the 2600K and the 2500K, the later which is not only more powerful but also cheaper. I was waiting for the bulldozer before upgrading, but wouldn't touch it now. The 2600K looks like the best bang for buck processor out there at the moment.[/citation]

Bulldozer owners or prospective purchasers need to do their homework, and make sure their particular workload / applications, benefit most from bulldozer, or bulldozer is at least neck and neck with intel's comparably priced products. A bulldozer set up may also be king if you need the most sata III connectors for onboard raid. I'm considering a bulldozer quad core due to the plethora of pcie lanes, and sata III connectors. Right now, you can jump into a quad and mobo combo for $200ish with the sales lately.
 

weatherdude

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It stuns me how efficient this top-of-the-line chip is especially compared to previous and competing architectures. The FX-8150 isn't exactly impressive when it comes to efficiency but what about the other Bulldozer CPU's? I'm particularly interested in the FX-4100; the 95 watt quad-core CPU. I wonder if it will perform better or be more efficient than older Phenom II X4's.
 


not trying to turn you away from buying fx or anything like that, but weren't the 9xx chipsets the ones that gave sata connectors and 42 pcie 2.0 lanes? one can save some money by buying/recycling ph ii deneb or thuban cpus. i could be wrong about this though.
 


according to amd, fx 4100 is a dual module, quad core cpu. modules are similar to intel's cores, so that'd make fx 4100 similar to a core i3 or core i5 2390t or core i5 2410m. here's a review:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1766/
i just skimmed through it and noticed that in some test it got beaten by sb pentium, core i3 and llano respectively. it's power consumption (may be because it has 95w tdp) is higher than core i5, core i3 and even llano. but it doesn't perform well enough to justify its price, power draw. another thing, legitreviews didn't list oc power consumption.


and kick 'em harder till they get it right.
eagerly waiting for trinity and piledriver.
 

yankeeDDL

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As much as I would like to agree, I think this is not true.
Yes, the new i7 3960X is a pretty small improvement over previous generation high-end CPU, and yes, this is a sloppy CPU that Intel was/is able to launch only because it has no competition.
But look at the graphs: AMD Bulldozer came years after the Phenom II X4, yet it is only marginally faster, and it is even less efficient. The BD is -basically- no improvement, whatsoever, in terms of efficiency over the previous generation, and performance-wise, while it obviously depends on the actual use, in general, is only a very modest improvement over previous generation X4 and X6 Phenoms. Intel, after the 3960X, is even further away than it ever was.
It's a pity. Actually no, it is a disaster: one month after BD is announced and Intel already releases sloppy, insanely priced CPU. Where will we be one year from now? AMD, please do something.
 

johntmosher

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As I said in a post at abxzone "The Core i7-3960X looks like a hot potato that anybody in their right mind would avoid. The worst part is that this potato seems to have come out of the oven half baked. There are too many issues that stem from what looks like a "hurry up" on Intel's part to stick with their "tic-tock" cycles. I have some advice for Intel - - Slow it down and get it right, especially for your "Extremely Expensive" line."

This new CPU has set a new standard for expensive by not only having a top of the line price but also in having the highest prices for motherboards using not so top of the line features. To make matters worse it comes without a heat sink or cooler so you have to add that to the price paid. I will either wait for something better or see if I can't come up with more intelligent choices for my system hardware spending.
 

jn77

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I am not sure what to think. For me, I remember my last single core system and how trying to surf the net and run windows update would cripple the system. Add to that, burning a dvd and an anti virus scan and the system ran slower than my 386dx.

Then I upgraded to a Q6600 and wow, I can do all these things at once and not take a big performance hit. So while the 2600k might be at the sweet spot. I could care less about the 3+ ghz.... I want more cores to balance the workload, and 6 is the least I want. I really think they need to release 8 and 16 core versions of this chip to the consumer markets. I will use every single one.

Not to mention editing large raw files and un compressed HD video.
 

masterofevil22

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"when it comes to performance, Intel’s Core i7-3960X is the real Bulldozer"...ahh....yeah, for a Zillion Dollars!!!

I'd love a 2600/2700K (i5 not enough cores/threads for my needs, even at high clocks), but even they are pretty pricey. I Still say that for $150 bucks you can't beat a 1055t at 4ghz+. AMD may not have the best single thread performance so go with the 2500 for a little more if that's a major concern and you don't want to OC, but if your looking for a good deal on some highly threaded horse power, that aint bad.

Don't get me wrong, if grew money instead of hair and nails...I'd buy the $1000+ CPU any day :D
 

masterofevil22

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BTW, bulldozer IS AMD's answer to Hyper Threading; as they've been saying all along. Will another integer core consume more power than adding HT?? YES. Will a four floating point/eight integer core CPU perform better and worse in certain scenarios than a comparable Intel chip and still be a decent value proposition?? YES.

Am I going to buy an one of the first runs of what I consider to be non-optimized FX series CPU's?? No

Do I still think Intel needs someone to compete with in the high end space to bring down their lubricious prices?? Yes...yes, I do
 
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the problem with benchmarks is that they tag along on same page a 250 $ cpu a 150$ cpu and a 1000$ cpu ... SB-R 3960X alreday lost in terms of price ... to be fair we should compare a motherboard with 4 or 5 amd cpu to the sb-e the I bet the perfs will be quite in favore of amd 5 cpu motherboard... but then the energy cost will be in the defavor of amd ...

one way or the other there will be people puting 3000$ in there computers and ones puting 400$ and both of them will be able to play the lastest game with overall same perf... since you eye best percive 30 images per second as fluid motion past 60 fps ( 1 frame is half an image :p) you don't notice the difference... after yes on the "loading sreen you will notice some changes but if your game is in ssd you will yet notice that part improved even with the worst amd on this test compared to the sb-e with a regular 7200 rpm hard drive with 8MB of cache ...
 
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With the prices almost tyhe same for the 6 core edition as before I just wish they could make my 17 980x 6-core work on some kind of board that has quad channel memory thats is too what I like about sandy bridge-e
 

secretxax

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Anyone else checked their benchmarks yet? I have!

Intel Core i7-3930K -> $600 @ 13,877 points (1st best desktop CPU).
http://cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3930K+%40+3.20GHz

Intel Core i7-3960X -> $1,050 @ 14,720 points (2nd best desktop CPU).
http://cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3960X+%40+3.30GHz

If you get the i7-3930X instead of the 3960X, you save yourself $450 for only 843 points less, & still have the 2nd best desktop CPU in terms of performance. The same thing goes for 2600K, 100Mhz less for This is how I see it:

Entry-level enthusiast CPU: AMD FX-8150 is better = $270, 8,544 points.
AMD FX-8120 is worse = $210, 7,241 points.

Mainstream-level enthusiast CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K is better = $320, 10,046 points,
Intel Core i7-2700k is stupid = $370, 10,679 points.

Extreme-level enthusiast CPU: Intel Core i7-3930X is better = $600, 13,877 points,
Intel Core i7-3960X is stupid = $1050, 14,720 points.

But then again, that's just my opinion... :p
 

mapesdhs

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Choosing a CPU based on a single benchmark of that kind is a really bad idea.
The choice should be made based on the applications one intends to use, or at
least on benchmarks which more closely reflect one's intended task, eg. HandBrake
for video encoding.

There are numerous tasks/workloads for which your summary is completely wrong.
It depends on the individual needs of each user. Extreme example: if all you want to
do is run Lame, then just get an i3 550 and overclock the heck out of it; I built a 550
system @ 4.7GHz from used parts, it does the Lame test (see page 6) in 1 min 17 secs,
significantly quicker than a stock 3960X (total CPU, RAM, mbd, PSU and HSF cost was
225 UKP btw). For video encoding though, it's a completely different scenario; my oc'd
550 only manages 3 mins 20 secs (awful), though amusingly that's not far off the
speed of a stock Ph2 X4 980 or i5 750 (compare to my i7 870 @ 4.27 which does the
Handbrake test in 1m 51s, much better, matches a stock 980X).

In every CPU lineup, there are always top-end expensive enthusiast parts because
there has always been a strong market for those who can afford the best. This will
never change. In some parts of the world, this market is surprisingly large. How such
parts are priced has little to do with performance; it's entirely down to what the
market will tolerate, supply & demand, etc. For highly threaded tasks, the 3960X may
be expensive, but it'll also be seriously quick especially once oc'd. The 3960X is aimed
at those with money to burn; for those who buy it, I'm sure they'll say it's worth every
cent. :D

Ian.

 

secretxax

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[citation][nom]mapesdhs[/nom]For highly threaded tasks, the 3960X maybe expensive, but it'll also be seriously quick especially once oc'd. The 3960X is aimed at those with money to burn; for those who buy it, I'm sure they'll say it's worth every cent.[/citation]

I get what you're saying, BUT, all I was doing was comparing the "best" desktop CPUs (hence me labeling the CPUs for enthusiasts), scecs-wise, with their prices, to show how much of a better deal the listed CPUs were, in each class of enthusiast CPUs.

___
"Most people like apples, although I prefer oranges" :p -secretxax
 
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