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Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme i7-3960X Processor Review

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Old 11-14-11, 02:00 AM   #1
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Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme i7-3960X Processor Review


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Originally Posted by hokiealumnus
It has been about a month since our last CPU launch article. These things aren't usually hot on each others' heels, but we're certainly not going to argue. AMD's Bulldozer was not exactly what everyone - especially AMD fans - had hoped it would be. Enthusiasts were hoping for an Intel killer but got a slight upgrade instead.

Now it's Intel's turn. The hype surrounding Sandy Bridge - E hasn't been the same as it was for Bulldozer: this isn't an architecture rewrite, rather it's an improvement on an existing core.

... Return to article to continue reading.

Last edited by hokiealumnus; 11-14-11 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Added 'frontpage' tag.
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Old 11-14-11, 02:08 AM   #2
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Wow that thing is silly fast! Nice review Hokie

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Old 11-14-11, 02:09 AM   #3
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Nicely done, J

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Old 11-14-11, 02:45 AM   #4
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Great processor!!!

Dissapointing chipset. X79 is not a "flagship" Enthusiast chipset. It's just not. Looks pretty mainstream to me.

Tom's Hardware summed it up best with this line, "X79 Express: P67, Is That You?"

Classic.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-e,3071-3.html

Really, all I wanted to see was SAS or at least 4 to 6 SATA III RAID'able ports on the Intel chipset akin to ICH10, not some BS marvell controller. I don't wan't 2+4. That's pretty much useless to me for my RAID's. And the omission of USB 3.0 still confounds me.

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Old 11-14-11, 02:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the review Jeremy...I got left behind on this one....thanks for filling the void

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Old 11-14-11, 02:54 AM   #6
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Old 11-14-11, 03:01 AM   #7
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That's insane... Now, I have to sell my first born child to get one of those!

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Old 11-14-11, 05:14 AM   #8
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Great review Hokie

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Old 11-14-11, 05:43 AM   #9
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Awesome review as always Hokie

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Old 11-14-11, 06:24 AM   #10
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Once again Jeremy, you have put together a review with the information we need to see what this chip is capable of. Nice and thanks

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Old 11-14-11, 07:05 AM   #11
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Posting from my phone, can't wait to read it Jeremy! Will edit with my response momentarily!


edit: looks like the wrong account was used to post your news story?



double edit:

Fantastic review man, very well written, solid graphs, and a big thanks to the thobel and EarthDog for submitting some hardware scores for the markers. I can't wait to see what the 3930k is going to do.

And surprisingly, microcenter is selling them for $50+ more than newegg, world first? (that said, they do pricematch I do believe).

Last edited by Janus67; 11-14-11 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 11-14-11, 07:12 AM   #12
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Another nice review Hokie.

Food for thought... when comparing the cost/performance of a new a 3930K combo... ($$$ ) to current 2600K setups.

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Old 11-14-11, 07:13 AM   #13
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Awesome review Hokie. Now I must sell one of my kids to get on of these beast and a R4E.
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Old 11-14-11, 07:52 AM   #14
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Jeremy, fantastic review, thanks for bringing us the latest and greatest on launch day !!'

Couple of questions...hope you don't mind:

I see you talk about FSB and FSB strap under overclocking, does this replace base clock we have come to know since Nahalem was brought to the table, I thought FSB died with LGA 775?

Will you throw in Gulftown benchmark comparisons on your RIVE review?

Lastly would it be possible to include clock for clock benchmarks between SB and SB-E to see if they tweaked the architecture to make it more efficient? this will off course make sense in the thread for thread (4c/8t) runs to rule out gain by using extra threads.

Thanks again for a great review

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Old 11-14-11, 08:11 AM   #15
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Here are Vantage 2 subs from Massman.

62919 with 990x @ 6000: http://hwbot.org/submission/2199009_...0_62919_marks/

62958 with 3960x @ 5300: http://hwbot.org/submission/2221270_...80_62985_marks
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Old 11-14-11, 08:41 AM   #16
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As I expected SB-E crushes Gulftown in the same way SB did with Bloomfield, nice!
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Old 11-14-11, 08:46 AM   #17
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Nice review!

Looks like I am going to have to start selling my benching kit to buy one of these bad boys.

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Old 11-14-11, 08:48 AM   #18
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Yes, but from what I've been reading the binning process will be the same as previous SB's. Going to need to find a 5500+ gem. To rich for my blood to bin these.

I still want one.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:52 AM   #19
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no need to find a gem if a 5.3ghz chip beats 6ghz gulftown.

anyone know if there is an SR3 mobo in the works?

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Old 11-14-11, 08:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brolloks View Post
I see you talk about FSB and FSB strap under overclocking, does this replace base clock we have come to know since Nahalem was brought to the table, I thought FSB died with LGA 775?
Sorry, you are correct - FSB terminology in this case = BCLK. Good point, I've added an author's note to the article:

Quote:
Author's Note - For clarity, I'm using FSB interchangeably with base clock (or BCLK) here. FSB overclocking like on socket 775 is dead. Thanks to Brolloks for pointing this out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brolloks View Post
Will you throw in Gulftown benchmark comparisons on your RIVE review?
There are gulftown results in this review for all 2D benches (thanks to thobel!). Unfortunately I don't have the ability to compare 3D benchmarks due to not knowing anyone with a Gulftown and 6970 combo. Was there something in 2D you were wanting to see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brolloks View Post
Lastly would it be possible to include clock for clock benchmarks between SB and SB-E to see if they tweaked the architecture to make it more efficient? this will off course make sense in the thread for thread (4c/8t) runs to rule out gain by using extra threads.
I'm knee deep in the RIVE review right now but after that one I'll see what I can do. However don't I remember something about first-gen SB chips dying from disabling cores? I don't really want to take a chance on this chip.

I can do a really quick comparison with WPrime in the comments here. I'll just assign it four threads, then eight and see how they compare with each other. Would that help?

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Last edited by hokiealumnus; 11-14-11 at 09:14 AM.
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