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Review: Intel Core i7-4960X (32nm Ivy Bridge-E)

by Tarinder Sandhu on 3 September 2013, 08:00

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabzzr

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Testing methodology

Comparison Processor Configurations

CPU
Intel
AMD
Core i7-4770K
Core i7-4960X
Core i7-3960X
FX-8350
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z87-D3HP
ASRock Extreme4 X79
Gigabyte F2-A85X-UP4
BIOS
F4
3.20
F4
Chipset Driver
Intel Inf 9.4.0.101 and IMEI 9
AMD 13.5 beta 2 chipset drivers
DDR3 Memory
G.Skill RipJawsX 16GB (2 x 8GB)
G.Skill RipJawsX 32GB (4 x 8GB)
G.Skill RipJawsX 16GB (2 x 8GB)
Memory Timings
9-9-9-24-2T @ 1,600MHz
10-10-10-27-2T @ 1,866MHz
9-9-9-24-2T @ 1,600MHz
10-10-10-27-2T @ 1,866MHz
Integrated Graphics
HD 4600
NA
NA
NA
Discrete Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB (ForceWare 320.18)
Disk Drive
Samsung 840 Pro 250GB
Optical Drive
Sony AD-7263S
Chassis
Corsair Graphite 600T
Power Supply
Corsair AX760i
Operating System
Windows 8 64-bit

CPU and Memory Benchmarks

HEXUS PiFast
Our number-crunching benchmark stresses a single core by calculating Pi to 10m places
CineBench 11.5 Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses all cores
wPrime v2.10 Another number-crunching benchmark that stresses all available CPU cores/threads
AIDA64 v3.0
Benchmark that analyses memory bandwidth and latency
PCMark 7
An all-encompassing test to evaluate system performance
Discrete GPU Benchmarks
3DMark DX11, Fire Strike benchmark
BioShock Infinite DX11, 1,920x1,080 ultra quality
DiRT Showdown DX11, 1,920x1,080 ultra quality

Miscellaneous Benchmarks

Power Consumption While idling and when running wPrime and DiRT Showdown

Notes

We're comparing Intel's best-ever consumer CPU to the Core i7-3960X - the 6C/12T Sandy Bridge-E chip with similar underpinnings. It also makes sense to see how the nascent Core i7-4770K Haswell compares and, finally, the FX-8350 from AMD. We have been careful to ensure the chips run system memory at their maximum supported speeds.

All testing has been done from the ground-up and provides a solid indication into top-tier CPU performance in mid-2013. For those that want a wider comparison, please head on over to the 4770K chip review; we compare it to other IGP-based processors.

The benchmark suite has been tweaked to take account of the extra cores and threads on offer, and we place a greater emphasis on multi-core ability than with standard CPU reviews.