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

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Test Setup and SiSoft SANDRA

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and ensured the memory speeds were set to each platform's maximum, officially supported frequency (DDR3-1866 with Ivy Bridge-E).


G.SKILL RipJawZ Memory Kit Installed In the Asus X79 Deluxe with the Core i7-4960X

The solid state drives in the test systems were then formatted, and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we fully updated the OS, and installed all of the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software. We then performed a disk clean-up, cleared any prefetch and temp data, and ran the tests.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and AMD - Head To Head

System 1:
Intel Core i7-4770K
(3.5GHz - Quad-Core)

MS Z87-GD65
Intel DZ87KLT-75K
Asus Z87-Deluxe
Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H
(Z87 Express Chipset)

2x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1600MHz)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS

Windows 7 x64
System 2:
Intel Core i7-3770K
(3.5GHz - Quad-Core)
Intel Core i7-2700K
(3.5GHz - Quad-Core)

MSI Z77A-GD65
(Z77 Express Chipset)

2x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1600MHz)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS

Windows 7 x64
System 3:
Cntel Core i7-4960X
(3.6GHz - Hex-Core)
Cntel Core i7-3690X
(3.3GHz - Hex-Core) 
Intel Core i7-3820
(3.6GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus X79 Deluxe
Asus P9X79 Deluxe
(X79 Express Chipset)

4x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1866MHz)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS

Windows 7 x64
System 4:
AMD FX 8150
(3.6GHz Eight-Core)
AMD FX 8350
(4GHz Eight-Core)

Asus CrossHair V Formula
(AMD 990FX Chipset)

2x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1866MHz)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS

Windows 7 x64
System 5:
Intel Core i7-990X
(3.43GHz Hex-Core)

Gigabyte EX58-UD4
(X58 Express Chipset)

3x4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1866
(@ 1333MHz)

GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS

Windows 7 x64

Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2013
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2013, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2013 suite with Intel's new Core i7-4960X processor (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, and Cache Bandwidth). All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default clock speed of 3.3GHz (4GHz Turbo) with 16GB of DDR3-1866 RAM running in quad-channel mode on the Asus X79 Deluxe motherboard.


Processor Arithmetic
 


Processor Multimedia
 


Memory Bandwidth


Cache Bandwidth


The new Core i7-4960X performed right about where you'd expect it to in SiSoft SANDRA's Processor Arithmetic and Multimedia benchmarks, considering its six-cores (with HT) and up to 4GHz Turbo frequency.  In the Memory Bandwidth benchmarks, the Core i7-4960X offered up just shy of 52GB/s of peak bandwidth when configured with a quad-channel DDR3-1866 memory setup and the Cache benchmark revealed peak bandwidth 307GB/s - 846GB/s depending on which level of cache (L1, L2, or L3) is being utilized.
 

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