The Reviewed CPUs
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs we included in this review. We are basically comparing the new Core i7-3960X to the previous fastest and most expensive CPU from Intel, the Core i7-990X. AMD doesn’t have any product that competes directly with these CPUs, as the most high-end AMD processor, the FX-8150, costs USD 270, less than one third of the price of the CPU we are reviewing. Nevertheless, we included this AMD CPU in our comparison, even though we know that it is unfair.
The LGA2011 and LGA1366 CPUs support Hyper-Threading technology, meaning that each processing core is recognized as two by the operating system. Therefore, the two Core i7 processors we included in our review are recognized as 12-core products.
|CPU||Cores||HT||Internal Clock||Turbo Clock||Max Turbo||Core||Technology||TDP||Socket||Price|
|AMD FX-8150||8||No||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||4.2 GHz||Zambezi||32 nm||125 W||AM3+||USD 270|
|Core i7-990X||6||Yes||3.46 GHz||3.73 GHz||3.73 GHz||Gulftown||32 nm||130 W||1366||USD 1,000|
|Core i7-3960X||6||Yes||3.3 GHz||3.9 GHz||3.9 GHz||Sandy Bridge-E||32 nm||130 W||2011||USD 1,050|
The prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
TDP stands for Thermal Design Power, which tells the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate. The CPU cooler must be capable of dissipating at least this amount of heat.
Below we compare the memory cache configuration of the reviewed CPUs. The L2 memory cache of the AMD FX-8150 is shared by each pair of cores. Thus, it has four L2 caches instead of eight.
|CPU||L1 Cache||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||Memory Support||Memory Channels|
|AMD FX-8150||64 KB + 64 KB per core||2 MB x 4||8 MB total||Up to DDR3-1866||Two|
|Core i7-990X||32 KB + 32 KB per core||256 KB per core||12 MB total||Up to DDR3-1066||Three|
|Core i7-3960X||32 KB + 32 KB per core||256 KB per core||15 MB total||Up to DDR3-2133||Four|
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The LGA2011 Platform
- 3. Intel Liquid Cooling
- 4. The Reviewed CPUs
- 5. How We Tested
- 6. PCMark 7
- 7. DivX Encoding
- 8. Photoshop CS4
- 9. After Effects CS4
- 10. Media Espresso 6.5
- 11. WinZip
- 12. iTunes
- 13. Cinebench 11.5
- 14. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
- 15. Lost Planet 2
- 16. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- 17. DiRT3
- 18. 3DMark 11 Professional
- 19. Overclocking
- 20. Conclusions