The new Sandy Bridge-E platform from Intel really is a different kind of beast. When you throw it through those CPU intensive benchmarks, the performance of the new i7 3960X is amazing with performance at stock being better at times than when our 2600k is running at 5.2GHz.
The issue with the 3960X isn't the performance, though; it's the price. At $1,049 US, there's nothing cheap about the new 3960X and when you start to throw in a new X79 performance motherboard and a Quad Channel RAM kit, the price of a new Sandy Bridge-E system becomes really expensive.
In steps the 3930K, 100MHz lower on both the Base and Turbo clocks and 3MB less Cache are only minor differences. Six cores and Twelve threads means that it lines up with the 3960X alongside the Quad Channel 1600MHz DDR3 RAM support and 130W TDP. There's one big difference between the 3960X and the 3930K, though; the price. At $599 US the 3930K comes in at considerably less than the 3960X, and really, you can see we've otherwise got little difference between the two models.
There's not much that really needs to be said about the new i7 3930K that we haven't already said. For that reason if you want to find out more about the Sandy Bridge-E platform, I highly recommend you read our original review on the Intel i7 3960X which covers the different processors while also going into more detail on the new Sandy Bridge-E platform on a whole. If you're interested in reading more about the motherboard we're using today, I'd highly recommend you head on to our review on the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme.
For the most part, that really covers everything that we need to cover at the moment. From here we'll be moving straight into our testbed setup followed by a look at the overclocking side of things to see just what we could get out of the i7 3930K. Once that's done we'll get into the performance of the processor against a number of other CPUs we've got here today. We'll cover all that in the next page, though, so let's move on.