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Intel Core i7 3820 review

The four-core version of Intel's extreme CPU lineup

Core i7 3820

Thankfully, the Intel Core i7 3820 is not just another bust eight-core chip, this time with half its goodness turned off.

The processor is actually a different die entirely, compared with bigger brothers the i7 3930K and i7 3960X. And they most definitely are bigger, by around 1 billion of the wee 32nm transistors.

That gives the Intel Core i7 3820 1.27 billion in its make up. But that means it's still bigger than the previous generation's Gulftown hex-core CPUs, the entire Sandy Bridge lineup and even AMD's chunky quad-module Bulldozer chips.

So the CPU die is rattling around in that massive LGA 2011 package, especially considering it's over 100mm2 smaller than the die size of the other two Sandy Bridge E processors.

The Intel Core i7 3820's cache is also inevitably smaller than its Sandy Bridge E compadres, but compared with the Intel Core i7 3930K's 12MB you're only losing 2MB of L3 cache.

At 10MB, the Intel Core i7 3820 is a little more cache-heavy than the 8MB-toting Intel Core i7 2600K and Intel Core i7 2700K chips.

There is one other key difference between this straight Core i7 3820 and the X and K suffixed CPUs from Intel, and that's the unlocked nature of the other chips.

This processor has a partially locked multiplier, which limits it to 43x compared to the 57x multiplier offered by both the other Sandy Bridge E chips and the top-end K-series i7 and i5 CPUs of the plain Sandy Bridge range.

That ought to seriously limit its overclocking potential, but that's not necessarily the case.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Thermal Design Power130 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNo
Product FamilyCore i7 i7-3800
L3 Cache10 MB
Clock Speed3.60 GHz
Processor SocketSocket R LGA-2011
Brand NameIntel
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification66.8°C
Direct Media Interface5 GT/s
Overclocking Speed3.80 GHz
Width45 mm
Depth52.5 mm
L2 Cache1 MB
Product Seriesi7-3800
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli7-3820
Product NameCore i7 Quad-core i7-3820 3.6GHz Desktop Processor
Package TypeRetail
Product LineCore i7
Input Voltage1.4 V DC
Manufacturer Part NumberBX80619I73820
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.intel.co.uk
Marketing Information

Intel Core i7 Processor-Best-in-Class Performance
The Intel Core i7 processor delivers best-in-class performance for the most demanding applications. This quad-core processor features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, 8-way multitasking capability, and additional L3 cache.

Packaged Quantity1
Process Technology32 nm
Limited Warranty3 Year