Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition CPU Review


Intel is releasing today its most high-end computing platform, the socket LGA2011 (LGA2011) platform for a new generation of Core i7 processors codenamed “Sandy Bridge-E,” which support the new quad-channel memory architecture. The top-of-the-line model is the Core i7-3960X, which comes with a base clock of 3.3 GHz, Turbo Boost technology pumping the CPU clock up to 3.9 GHz when performance is needed, six processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, PCI Express 3.0 controller, and more. Let’s see how this beast performs.

This new CPU will be offered for around USD 1,000, which is similar to the previous Intel offerings for the ultra-high-end market, such as the Core i7-980X and the Core i7-990X. Intel is also releasing today the Core i7-3930K for an MSRP of USD 555 (USD 600 at, which has a base clock rate of 3.2 GHz and a Turbo Boost clock rate of 3.8 GHz, and a smaller L3 memory cache (12 MB instead of the 15 MB found on the Core i7-3960X). Intel will release a third LGA2011 model next year, the Core i7-3820, with a base clock rate of 3.6 GHz and a Turbo Boost clock rate of 3.9 GHz, four processing cores with Hyper-Threading technology, and 10 MB of L3 memory cache. Intel didn’t reveal the cost of this CPU.

In Figures 1 and 2, we have a comparison of the physical size of the new Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition to a socket LGA1366 and a socket LGA1155 Core i7 processors.

Core i7-3960X Extreme EditionFigure 1: Core i7-3960X (LGA2011, left), Core i7-990X (LGA1366), and Core i7-2600K (LGA1155)

Core i7-3960X Extreme EditionFigure 2: Core i7-3960X (LGA2011, left), Core i7-990X (LGA1366), and Core i7-2600K (LGA1155)

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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