Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Ivy Bridge-E CPU Review

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This most recent metamorphosis of the PC hasn’t been kind to the high-end desktop processor segment. While the industry as a whole continues to focus on the steadily growing ultra-mobile market, and releases new products in rapid succession, there have only been two major flagship desktop processors released since the Intel Core i7-3960X hit the scene in late 2011—the slightly faster Intel Core i7-3970X and AMD’s limited edition FX-9590. And even then, AMD’s chip is most likely going to compete with Intel’s more mainstream quad-core parts; we’ll know exactly how it performs soon enough, when we complete our full evaluation of the FX-9590.

Low-power parts that fit into small form factors may be all the rage right now, but today Intel advances the high-end desktop processor segment forward with the official unveiling of its Ivy Bridge-E microarchitecture and its associated products. The Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition processor is the flagship product in Intel’s initial line-up of Ivy Bridge-E based parts and just so happens to be the processor we’ll be showing you here today...

Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Ivy Bridge-E CPU Review

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Exact same performance jump as last gen, and 'm not surprised. Maybe we will see a different story somewhere else along the product line.... Hopefully

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So this is what to get if you just won the lottery!

Good review Marco, it must be fun to play with this awesome gear.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Sep 3 2013 11:07 PM

I think this CPU is more about power efficiency than it is flat out performance, though it has that too. It's time to move on to next gen hardware though. Haswell here we come.

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Oubadah replied on Wed, Sep 4 2013 4:17 AM

There's an error in the Low Res Gaming section. I'm pretty sure the wording in the last paragraph has been inverted (Crysis ET Quake Wars), otherwise the graphs are incorrectly labelled.

And if the graph labeled 'Crysis' is in fact Crysis, then what is going on there? The 4770k has better IPC/performance per-core, and many other low res gaming benches I've seen with older games reflect this. Why would Crysis be the exception that performs better on the 4960x/3970x? The core count obviously isn't a factor here...

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Marco C replied on Wed, Sep 4 2013 8:44 PM

@oubadah - The graphs and commentary are correct. The reasons IVB-E outperformed the systems it did, despite similar IPC, are mostly likely a combination of it's higher turbo frequency, faster official RAM speed support, and the slightly updated platform (Asus' X79 Deluxe) which was optimized for IVB-E, not only in terms of its firmware but traces to the memory controller and power delivery.

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Great review in new Intel i7 Extreme Edition 4960X. Less power and watts than Intel i7 990X. Smart moves from Intel to made a improved. I am hold for next gen Intel Extreme Edition with 8 cores. I better to save up $$$ for next one.

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Where can anyone buy this?

Google shopping turns up links to products called 4960X for $320, and the vendors selling them are calling them 4960X, but then in the specs, they are only listing 4 cores and 8 megs of L3; it doesn't appear to be the correct product.

Very very confusing.

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I using Athlon II X2 250 :D .. I must buy better processor :)

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AfkToilet replied on Tue, Mar 25 2014 1:27 PM

Is it bad that the E-Wafer looks delicious to me? :D

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David replied on Wed, Jun 25 2014 3:57 PM

I can only hope the tests improve with an Asus Rampage IV Black.

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Tom replied on Thu, Jul 31 2014 3:54 PM

The 4930k is more for the price, but if you are going all out on the ultra gaming build, this is what you should go for. I use a 4770k, because it's about as high-end as I could get with my budget. (Bought before Devil's Canyon came out)

PC gaming FTW! Can't wait for The Witcher 3.

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