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Conclusions

We can say the Core i7-5960X is the “most high-end” desktop CPU available today based on its price and specifications. After all, it has sixteen processing threads (eight real and eight virtual, through the Hyper-Threading technology), which is a new record for desktop processors, and DDR4 memory access with quad-channel technology.

However, to answer the question whether or not it is the faster processor in the market today, you must specify what kind of tasks you will run.

If you need a faster CPU to run applications that can actually use sixteen cores, probably the Core i7-5960X is the faster CPU available, as the result with Cinebench R15 suggests.

However, if you run a task that does not use all the available cores, the Core i7-5960X may be slower than the Core i7-4770K, which uses a similar architecture but has a higher clock rate. This was very clear on several of the programs we used.

We also must keep in mind the cost: the Core i7-5960X costs about USD 1,050, three times the price of the Core i7-4770K (and its sucessor, the Core i7-4790K) and more than four times the cost of the FX-9590 from AMD.

Therefore, we can only recommend the Core i7-5960X for users who work professionaly with movie editing, 3D rendering, and similar tasks, where the addition of more processing threads directly increases performance, meaning less waiting time, and more work that can be done.

For any other kind of user (including hardcore gamers), it is a better deal to buy a less expensive CPU and save the money to buy a better video card or additional video cards. You will bring home more performance for less money.