7 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 7 reviews of the Intel Core i7 3960X. Experts rate Intel Core i7 3960X 9/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Intel Core i7 3960X and Intel Processors.
With the launch of its Sandy Bridge microarchitecture earlier this year, Intel accomplished something unusual. It managed to deliver such a strong product, that it had effectively dampened the greatness that was the six-core Gulftown. That being the $999 Core i7-980X, of course. It's not unusual to see a new processor outperform an old one, but this was different. Intel didn't launch Sandy Bridge with the intent of replacing its top-end offerings - proven by the fact that the most expensive chip at the time was the Core i7-2600K, at $317. Instead, it was the company's goal to deliver the best budget to mainstream processors we've ever seen. As we discovered in our launch article, the company certainly managed that. Here, we had the new hotness in one hand, and the lagging-behind six-core in the other. Sandy Bridge didn't only offer a higher-performing architecture, it improved greatly upon power efficiency and at the same time packed in the AVX instruction set. There's also the fact that in most tests, the i7-2600K didn't even lag that far behind Intel's beefier and much more expensive six-core offering. With its Sandy Bridge-E launch however, all of this becomes moot.
The Intel Core i7 3960X is the first model to emerge from Intel’s top-of-the-range Sandy Bridge-E CPU series. It’s an exceptional product with six cores, a Turbo mode, Hyper-Threading technology and a lunch price pushing £1,000! Based on the firm's Sandy Bridge architecture, this new power-packed processor re-affirms Intel’s role as undisputed leader of the consumer CPU market. It seems like Intel has taken everything it does best and packed it into the Core i7 3960X. For starters, the processor uses the excellent Sandy Bridge architecture, already seen in the likes of the Core i7 2600K and i5 2500K. This new CPU has a 32 nm design just like Intel’s previous generation of processors (the Core i7 980X in particular), but this beast is packed with 2.27 billion transistors. Plus, it's been designed to optimise power consumption and maximise processing efficiency. This processor is brimming with all of Intel's latest technology, including features like a Turbo mode and Hyper-Threading. For a more detailed explanation of how they work, see our review of the Core i7 2600K. Basically though, Turbo mode (here it’s version 2.0) cranks up the clock speed by 300 MHz or 600 MHz depending on how many cores are actually in use at any one time.
A new high-end processor from Intel is normally a cue for much rejoicing. After all, who doesn't like exciting technology and the promise of epic new levels of performance? In that context, the all-new Intel Core i7-3960X is as snazzy as they come.It's a properly new chip, not an upclocked respin of an existing design. It even comes with a new socket and chipset, known respectively as LGA 2,011 and Intel X79. But there's another side to the story of this chip, otherwise known as Sandy Bridge E. And it's symptomatic of a broader problem with the PC platform.The story starts with a history lesson - the origins of multi-core PC processing. It all began when Intel realised its fascination with frequency was on the verge of failure. The chip in question was the infamous Pentium 4 processor.In its first and second generation iterations, Pentium 4 looked pretty clever. It rapidly scaled from a little over 1GHz all the way to 3GHz. Then the die shrink to 90nm arrived and the wheels fell off. That was June 2004 and the first significant date on our journey from a frantic fight for frequency to what increasingly looks like multi-core malaise.Intel's response was to cobble a pair of Pentium 4 processors together and create the Pentium D dual-core processor of 2005.
Intel kick started 2011 with the release of their 2nd generation Core processors as they unleashed the Sandy Bridge architecture for the first time. Initially there were five processors, which included the popular Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K. Enabling these new processors was the LGA1155 platform, which brought about three new chipsets. Two of these, the H67 and P67, went on to spoil what would have otherwise been perfect execution by Intel. Plagued by a SATA 3Gb/s bug, this put the entire platform on hold for numerous months until Intel could ramp up production of working B3 stepping chipsets to replace the defective models, effectively costing Intel a billion dollars or thereabouts. By March the company was on the mend and before long it was all about Sandy Bridge. Intel described its production increase for the microprocessor as the fastest ramp-up of any product in the company's history. With the Sandy Bridge processors hitting full stride, the recent release of AMD's Bulldozer processors was not enough to slow sales. This was largely due to Bulldozer's inability to compete well enough with the Core i5-2xxx series.
We've been in this business here at HotHardware for a long time now. For most of that time, we've heard from countless so-called "industry experts" that the PC is dead, or at the very least dying. Quite frankly, we're sick of hearing it. The PC is far from dead. One has to look no further than Intel's most recent finanical results, or even the contents of this website. In fact, we'd argue that the PC is more pervasive than ever. The PC isn't dead, it just so happens to be one of the most flexible and versatile pieces of technology in existence, and it has simply gone through a number of transformations in its illustrious lifetime. What was once a non-descript, beige box good for little more than word processing and spreadsheets is now the sleek, aesthetically pleasing, hub of our digital world, that can take many different shapes. And despite its impending doom, today the PC is about to become more powerful than ever. November 14th, 2011 marks the release of Intel's Sandy Bridge-E microarchitecture and its companion X79 Express chipset. Sandy Bridge-E is the ‘tock' in Intel's tick-tock release schedule cadence, that bridges the gap between current Sandy Bridge processors and next year's Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.
It's been almost a year since Intel launched its Sandy Bridge architecture. In that time frame, the architecture has proven beyond any doubt that it is the current high performance CPU architecture king of the hill. Although the non K-SKU parts were not much interest to the enthusiast community, they still gained the benefits associated with the architecture. For the enthusiast, the K-SKU chips, the Second Generation Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K, turned out to be very robust products that put to rest any of the negative overclocking hype induced by the move to the Sandy Bridge architecture. Clock speeds of up to 4.6 to 4.8GHz were very common even on air cooling with some good chips. At this point, they offered performance well in excess of what the X58 platform Nehalem and Gulftown chips were offering for a much lower mainstream cost. If given the choice, a 2600K was the better option for most. The lower-cost, mainstream market reached up and smacked down the Extreme chips that were at this point three years old and in need of a refresh. Now here we are eleven months later with the introduction of Intel's Sandy Bridge Extreme lineup that is geared toward the power user.
It's been some months since Intel has introduced a new chip into the market. The launch of Sandy Bridge this January introduced the first new architecture since Nehalem was introduced in 2008. Sandy Bridge was also the first new architecture on the 32nm manufacturing process, which was introduced by Intel in the die shrink, called Westmere. Until late October, Intel's Core i7-2600K was the best 4-core desktop CPU on the market. That all changed when Intel launched the 2700K to compete with AMD's Bulldozer. The Intel Core i7 990x still remained Intel's fastest 6-core processor till today. However, the 2700K is not truly a new CPU. It is simply a 100MHz speed bump, with the same core count and TDP as the 2600K. It is not intended to power top-of-the-line systems. For that purpose, Intel is introducing their newest line of CPU's: the Sandy Bridge Extreme, coupled with the performance X79 Chipset. The X79 Chipset is intended for the highest-end systems capable of easily handling high-definition video production, 3D applications, and similar multi-threaded workloads. For this reason, the X79 chipset has support for the best hardware, and a lot of it.
|Core i7-3960X Processor (BX80619I73960X) -||$935.99||See it|
|Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E Extreme Edition (3.3GHz up to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost) Six-Core Desktop Processor||$999.99||See it|
|Intel Core i7-3960X BX80619i73960X Extreme Edition Processor - Six Core, 15MB L3 Cache, 1.5MB L2 Cache, 3.30 GHz (3.90 GHz Max Turbo), Socket R (LGA2011), 130W, No Fan, Unlocked, Retail||$1005.17||See it|
|Intel Core I7-3960x 3.30ghz Extreme Edition Cpu||$1005.17||See it|
|Intel - Core i7 i7-3960X 3.30 GHz Processor - Socket LGA-2011||$1029.99||See it|
|Core i7 Extreme Edition 3960X / 3.3 GHz processor||$1079.99||See it|
|CORE I7-3960X 3.30GHZ||$1101.51||See it|
|Core i7-3960X Processor (BX80619I73960X) -||$1153.9||See it|
|Core i7 Extreme Edition 3960X / 3.3 GHz processor||$1168.99||See it|
|Core i7 3960X Processor||$1197||See it|
|Core i7 3960X Processor||$1197||See it|
|CORE I7-3960X 3.30GHZ||$1221.06||See it|
|Intel BX80619I73960X Core i7 Extreme Edition 3960X||$1341.83||See it|
|Core i7 3960X Processor Core i7 3960X Processor||$1590||See it|