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Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition (LGA 2011) CPU Review

By: Shawn Baker | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Nov 14, 2011 8:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel



Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

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Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.




Looking at read performance, it's nice to see that the new processor isn't plagued with the issues we saw from the new FX line from AMD. Instead we've got strong performance across the board which sees it sneak ahead of the 2600k with the best gain being in L1 Cache performance. Overclocked yields a big boost in performance, but you can see the slightly higher clocked 2600k manages to sneak ahead of it.




Write performance paints an almost identical picture to read and we can see at stock the 3960X manages to come out ahead of everything. Overclocked, the only setup that sits near it is the slightly higher clocked 2600k which manages to actually sneak ahead.




The introduction of Quad Channel memory means we're going to start to see a bunch of new kits. The introduction of the Sandy Bridge platform and its Dual Channel implementation, though, shows us that while the X58 platform was Triple Channel, the better optimization from the Dual Channel P67 / Z68 platform can offer more memory bandwidth.


While we see clear benefits on the new platform over the X58 one, the Dual Channel performance out of the Z68 platform seems to be superior in some areas. Overclocked we can see that while read performance is better on the 3960X, Write performance is better on the 2600k with both offering similar performance for Copy speeds. Talking to companies, these numbers seem to line up with internal testing, but it seems that some programs can't show the benefit as well as others. I think as time goes on we'll get a better idea of what's going on with the new Quad Channel platform.

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