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Intel Core i7 5960X EE (Haswell-E) CPU and X99 Chipset Review

By: Shawn Baker | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 29, 2014 4:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Intel



We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital, MemoRight and Corsair.


It's been ages since we have changed our CPU benchmark line up. If we're completely honest, because CPU launches are quite few and far between, the benchmark line up for CPUs don't get the same attention as what our motherboard and video card ones do, which are constantly evolving. While we've added a slight addition to the CPU benchmark line up, the biggest change comes from the latest versions of everything now being used.


PCMark 7 has moved to PCMark 8 and all three benchmarks that focus on the system are included. AIDA64 is up to date, along with PassMark PerformanceTest, which now also includes more results than we previously had. CINEBENCH has also been moved to R15 with both the OpenGL and CPU results being included. Lightroom has been upgraded and the export has become more intensive, hence placing more load on our system. While MediaEspresso hasn't changed, Handbrake has been added to include another encoding option. Finally we finish off with our gaming benchmarks that include 3DMark 8, along with Sleeping Dogs.


Before we get into the performance of the new i7 5960X EE, though, we need to cover the overclocking side of things to see just how much performance we can get out of this new processor. Any time it comes to overclocking a new processor, it can be a little difficult to know where to go. Everything then becomes even more confusing when you throw a new chipset into the mix, and a new type of memory as well.


Still, with that said, we headed into the BIOS to see just what we were able to do with the Intel Core i7 5960X EE which is sitting in the brand new ASRock X99X Killer motherboard. We haven't got into many specifics on the motherboard as we will be covering it in much more detail in its own review following this one.


When it came to overclocking, we wanted to keep it simple for now. With no experience with both the chipset and the CPU, we figured it was best to just play it safe. Earlier in the day, I saw someone post a screen shot of their 5960X EE running at a cool 4GHz. I figured that was a nice number to be at and thought if we could get that far, we'd be onto a good thing. Fortunately the ASRock board has its own nice little section for pre-configured overclocks. Going into the menu, you're greeted with overclocks that range from 4GHz to 4.5GHz with the latter being highlighted in red.


Heading into the BIOS, we started at 4GHz and found everything working fine. We moved to 4.2GHz and had no issues either. We jumped again to 4.4GHz and with much surprise, there were also no issues. We tried the last one, 4.5GHz, which is highlighted red, and ran into a BSOD, as soon as we started benchmarking.




Looking above, you can see we ended up with a final clock speed of 4397MHz or 4.4GHz, as shown in our graphs today. This is an awesome overclock that was done with complete ease. It's a little tough to tell if this is a good CPU or not as we have nothing to compare it against. As we get more comfortable with the chipset and the CPU, though, I feel we're going to really be able to achieve an even higher overclock. This is a fantastic start, though, and a real testament to the ASRock board when it comes to making overclocking so easy.

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