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