Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E CPU

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Gaming: 3DMark Vantage and L4D2

3DMark Vantage's CPU Test 2 is a multi-threaded test designed for comparing relative game physics processing performance between systems. This test consists of a single scene that features an air race of sorts, with a complex configuration of gates.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

There are aircraft in the test that trail smoke and collide with various cloth and soft-body obstacles, each other, and the ground. The smoke spreads, and reacts to the planes as they pass through it as well and all of this is calculated on the host CPU.

The Intel Core i7-3960X put up the best score in 3DMark Vantage's CPU Test 2 by far. The chip's compute resources, high Turbo frequency, and massive memory bandwidth all contribute to a dominant performance here, besting the Core i7-990X by approximately 20% and nearly doubling the performance of the FX-8150.

Left 4 Dead 2
DirectX Gaming

We also spent some time testing the Intel Core i7-3960X with Left 4 Dead 2. This DirectX9-based game has been out for a while and is mostly bound by CPU and memory performance, especially when run with relatively low-quality in-game graphics settings.

All of the Intel-powered rigs performed within a couple of percentage points of one another in our custom Left 4 Dead 2 benchmark, with only about 8 frames per second separating the best Intel Core i7-3960X score from the Core i7-2700K score. AMD's fastest desktop processor, however, didn't fare so well.

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