Intel Core i7-3970X Sandy Bridge-E CPU Review
Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Summarizing the Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition’s performance couldn’t be any easier. With the exception of a couple of single- or lightly-threaded tests which favor Intel’s updated Ivy Bridge microarchitecture, the Core i7-3970X took the top spot in all of our benchmark and outran all other desktop processors. Quite simply, the Core i7-3970X is the most powerful, highest performing desktop processor available, bar none. It excels with highly-threaded workloads (like Cinebench and POV-RAY, for example), but it equally adept with games and productivity applications.
The on problem with the Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition is pricing. When Intel slaps the “Extreme Edition” moniker on a product, you know it’s going to command a premium, and the Core i7-3970X is no different. As of today, this processor is available at about $999 - $1029. That is a tall order for all but the most affluent PC enthusiasts, and although the processor is uber fast, it doesn’t represent the best value, obviously. You could buy three Core i7-3770K processors for the price of a single 3970X, but these are things we’ve been saying for years. Intel’s flagship desktop processors have been priced this way for ages.
For the select few of you that can afford such a beast and want nothing by the best components in your system, the Core i7-3970X is it. Until Ivy Bridge-E arrives sometime later this year, Sandy Bridge-E will remain at the top of heap, and the Core i7-3970X is currently the highest performing member of the family. It’s not cheap by any means, but it’s unlocked, overclockable, and offers performance that can’t be matched, especially with highly-threaded workloads.