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Benchmark Results: Productivity

Intel Core i7-3930K And Core i7-3820: Sandy Bridge-E, Cheaper
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This finishing order is starting to look repetitive, isn’t it? The overclocked Core i7-3930K clinches a commanding finish, but because ABBYY’s FineReader 10 is well parallelized, the other two six-core Sandy Bridge-E-based setups snag second and third place ahead of Intel’s Core i7-3820 overclocked to 4.625 GHz.

In a single-threaded test, architecture and clock rate rule. The 4.625 GHz chip takes first, followed by the 4.5 GHz contender. The rest of the field drops in behind (led by the quad-core Core i7-3820, almost humorously enough).

Corel recently launched a newer version of WinZip, and we’re working on automating it. In the meantime, WinZip 14 demonstrates the same single-threaded behavior we’ve seen so many times before. The line-up is quite similar to what we just saw in our Lame conversion.

WinRAR is a different sort of compression app. And while it definitely uses more than one thread, the quad-core Sandy Bridge-E chip still holds onto first place, followed by the 4.5 GHz Core i7-3930K.

The more thoroughly parallelized 7-Zip rewards Intel’s six-core processors with top finishes. The only deviation is the overclocked quad-core model, which uses its searing clock rate to secure a second-place berth.

This seemingly single-threaded metric leaves us with what we can now say is a pattern. Sandy Bridge is the favored architecture, and enthusiasts able to get it running over 4 GHz stand to realize impressive performance.

Overclocking trumps all in this compile workload. The other six-core chips end up landing pretty close to each other, as Intel’s Core i7-3820 trails the Gulftown-based Core i7-990X at its stock settings.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    Dacatak , December 9, 2011 4:31 AM
    JOSHSKORNFor gaming (the high end CPU intensive), is there any noticeable difference between the 2500k and the 3960X?


    If by "noticeable" you mean "perceivable to mere mortals", then no.

    If you can in fact notice the difference between 105 vs 110 FPS, then you are a god, and you deserve only the best.
  • 17 Hide
    gmcizzle , December 9, 2011 8:11 AM
    Why would you use Crysis 2 as a CPU benching game? Use Starcraft 2 instead.
  • 14 Hide
    spunkyddog , December 9, 2011 4:35 AM
    I bought the i7-3930K with 32GB of DDR3 1600 RAM last week and assembled a couple days ago. I have two Kingston 120GB SSDs in RAID that have been benched on my system at a theoretical 1,100MB/S Read and 1,300MB/S Write. Coming from a Pentium D 3.0GHz, this was like night and day. My renders went from 40minutes to 1minute. I'm not overclocking purely for the fact that this thing's a beast already and I'm doing high-end 3D work using Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, Video, etc. Also - I like the peace and quiet.

    Intel did an awesome job with the SBE line - despite the fact that we're missing some wanted/promised features (native support for USB and PCI-Express 3.0. I'm waiting out for the PCI 3.0 cards before I upgrade my graphics... curious if the Asus P9X79 Pro will hold it's promises.

    Thanks Chris for reviewing this processor. I felt like I went out on a limb getting this processor over the Extreme, but the $600 was well worth it.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    compton , December 9, 2011 3:41 AM
    This is a really excellent analysis. Clearly, I must be drinking at the wrong places because I never leave the pub with any hardware nicer than a hangover.
  • 0 Hide
    theuniquegamer , December 9, 2011 3:54 AM
    So nice overclocking at 4.5ghz. I can expect that the upcoming ivy bridge unlocked series may be stable atleast 4.2 will all 4 cores active. I can't wait till Q2 next year to see benchmarks .
  • 0 Hide
    Dacatak , December 9, 2011 4:10 AM
    Possible TYPO in the bottom graph for Dirt 3 benchmark.
    FX-8150 benchmark with no AA says "68.8" FPS. I think it's more like "48.8".
  • -5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 9, 2011 4:22 AM
    For gaming (the high end CPU intensive), is there any noticeable difference between the 2500k and the 3960X?
  • 27 Hide
    Dacatak , December 9, 2011 4:31 AM
    JOSHSKORNFor gaming (the high end CPU intensive), is there any noticeable difference between the 2500k and the 3960X?


    If by "noticeable" you mean "perceivable to mere mortals", then no.

    If you can in fact notice the difference between 105 vs 110 FPS, then you are a god, and you deserve only the best.
  • 14 Hide
    spunkyddog , December 9, 2011 4:35 AM
    I bought the i7-3930K with 32GB of DDR3 1600 RAM last week and assembled a couple days ago. I have two Kingston 120GB SSDs in RAID that have been benched on my system at a theoretical 1,100MB/S Read and 1,300MB/S Write. Coming from a Pentium D 3.0GHz, this was like night and day. My renders went from 40minutes to 1minute. I'm not overclocking purely for the fact that this thing's a beast already and I'm doing high-end 3D work using Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, Video, etc. Also - I like the peace and quiet.

    Intel did an awesome job with the SBE line - despite the fact that we're missing some wanted/promised features (native support for USB and PCI-Express 3.0. I'm waiting out for the PCI 3.0 cards before I upgrade my graphics... curious if the Asus P9X79 Pro will hold it's promises.

    Thanks Chris for reviewing this processor. I felt like I went out on a limb getting this processor over the Extreme, but the $600 was well worth it.
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , December 9, 2011 4:41 AM
    spunky,

    Glad you're enjoying. You do, actually get PCIe 3.0 support, but no USB 3.0, unfortunately.

    Dacatak,

    Yup, typo--fixing now!
  • 3 Hide
    sna , December 9, 2011 4:42 AM
    the only good reason to get X79 is the more ram .. u can get cheap 32G ram system , or go for 64G of ram and enjoy a ram disk

    it is a good thing
  • 2 Hide
    soccerdocks , December 9, 2011 5:24 AM
    The Overclocking Sandy Bridge-E On A Budget page states, "With all of that said, 4.5 GHz was rock-solid down at 3.61 V". I'm pretty sure you meant 1.36 V.
  • 7 Hide
    cangelini , December 9, 2011 5:28 AM
    soccerdocksThe Overclocking Sandy Bridge-E On A Budget page states, "With all of that said, 4.5 GHz was rock-solid down at 3.61 V". I'm pretty sure you meant 1.36 V.


    Indeed, fixed! At 3.6 V, we'd have dead Sandy. :) 
  • -1 Hide
    agnickolov , December 9, 2011 5:37 AM
    Hmm, 7% improvement over 2600K in Visual Studio isn't all that impressive... Perhaps 3930K isn't such a smart choice for a developer workstation after all.
  • -2 Hide
    cactus45 , December 9, 2011 6:21 AM
    Its interesting there is no core/core and clock/clock comparison with the 4 core 3820 and 2600k. If there was it would highlight just how little the X79 platform offers when compared to Z68.

    Intel has made sure reviewers dont highlight on this factor, and instead asks reviewers to focus on the 6 core performance.

    Intel didnt release the 4 core 3820(at launch) for this reason, it makes it easy to compare to normal sandy bridge and would show that even with a socket that is double the size, and quad channel memory X79 doesnt give you any better performance than Z68.

    I always buy the high-end but X79 is a big letdown, Intel knows it and they're trying to control the reviews so it doesnt look as bad as it is
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2011 6:37 AM
    For games and people who search for price/performance, i7 2600K/2700K is and will remain the best solution. With the price difference between the old Sandy and the new ones, you could buy a better video card, another one, or a SSD that would boost you system better.
  • 9 Hide
    cangelini , December 9, 2011 6:54 AM
    cactus45Its interesting there is no core/core and clock/clock comparison with the 4 core 3820 and 2600k. If there was it would highlight just how little the X79 platform offers when compared to Z68. Intel has made sure reviewers dont highlight on this factor, and instead asks reviewers to focus on the 6 core performance. Intel didnt release the 4 core 3820(at launch) for this reason, it makes it easy to compare to normal sandy bridge and would show that even with a socket that is double the size, and quad channel memory X79 doesnt give you any better performance than Z68. I always buy the high-end but X79 is a big letdown, Intel knows it and they're trying to control the reviews so it doesnt look as bad as it is


    This shouldn't be necessary. Same architecture = same per-clock performance. If you need numbers, look at iTunes, WinZip, and Lame benchmark results. If you need yet additional proof, check out the original Sandy Bridge-E review, where I explicitly run the results you're saying don't get run.

    Finally, as is mentioned in *this* story, the CPUs didn't come from Intel. -3930K came from Newegg and -3820, which isn't out yet, came from an unnamed other source.

    Thanks,
    Chris
  • 2 Hide
    tomfreak , December 9, 2011 7:10 AM
    Intel should have sell the 2011 CPU as 8 core instead of disable the 2 cores and sell at six core. 2011 cpu may be an enthusiast CPU, but it is still a high volume CPU compared to server cpu,

    it cant be the yield in Intel fab are so bad that all 2011 CPU produce by Intel have only 6 working cores at best.
  • -3 Hide
    Haserath , December 9, 2011 7:19 AM
    cactus45Its interesting there is no core/core and clock/clock comparison with the 4 core 3820 and 2600k. If there was it would highlight just how little the X79 platform offers when compared to Z68. Intel has made sure reviewers dont highlight on this factor, and instead asks reviewers to focus on the 6 core performance. Intel didnt release the 4 core 3820(at launch) for this reason, it makes it easy to compare to normal sandy bridge and would show that even with a socket that is double the size, and quad channel memory X79 doesnt give you any better performance than Z68. I always buy the high-end but X79 is a big letdown, Intel knows it and they're trying to control the reviews so it doesnt look as bad as it is

    This is the same as LGA 1366 v. LGA 1155 once the later was released. 1366 offered higher memory bandwidth and more Pci-e lanes, but even most enthusiasts wouldn't get the higher end platform due to price for performance.

    Most settled for the i5-750(or lower since you could overclock anything then) just like most are settling for the 2500k now.
  • -2 Hide
    assassin123 , December 9, 2011 7:47 AM
    wow.. . . Great intel is so good
  • 17 Hide
    gmcizzle , December 9, 2011 8:11 AM
    Why would you use Crysis 2 as a CPU benching game? Use Starcraft 2 instead.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2011 9:46 AM
    It's just a shame that you didn't overclock the 2600K & 2500K during this article to give it a better perspective.
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