Intel Core i7 3960X review

The ultimate desktop processor could actually be even more ultimate

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Unfortunately, AMD's new Bulldozer-based FX processors aren't even in the same ballpark as the new Intel Core i7-3960X for performance. So it's Intel's own Core i7-980X that provides the competition. With similar clock speeds and the same core count, it a battle of architectures.

As our results show, the Sandy Bridge architecture is better across the board than the 980X's Westmere-vintage transistors.

Question is, is the gap big enough to justify an upgrade? When you factor in the Intel Core i7-3960X's impressive overclcoking headroom, it might just be.

CPU multi-threaded rendering performance

Intel core i7 3960x

CPU single-threaded rendering performance

Intel core i7 3960x

CPU video encoding performance

Intel core i7 3960x

Memory bandwidth

Intel core i7 3960x

CPU gaming performance

Intel core i7 3960x

Platform power consumption

Intel core i7 3960x

Intel core i7 3960x

Overclocking performance

Intel core i7 3960x

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreHexa-core (6 Core)
Thermal Design Power130 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i7 i7-3900
L3 Cache15 MB
Clock Speed3.30 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 Speed3.90 GHz
Width52.5 mm
Depth45 mm
L2 Cache1.50 MB
Product Seriesi7-3900
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli7-3960X
Product NameCore i7 Hexa-core i7-3960X 3.3GHz Desktop Processor
Package TypeRetail
Product LineCore i7
Manufacturer Part NumberBX80619I73960X
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.

Process Technology32 nm
Limited Warranty3 Year