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Hardware Setup And Benchmarks

Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) And X79 Platform Preview
Test Hardware
Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-990X (Gulftown) 3.46 GHz (26 * 133 MHz), LGA 1366, 12 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) 3.4 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T (Thuban) 3.3 GHz (16.5 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo CORE enabled, Power-savings enabled

AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) 3.6 G...Alright, that's just mean. Sorry guys, we'll have to wait a bit longer for benchmark results on this one.
Top Secret (LGA 2011) Intel X79

Asus Rampage III Formula (LGA 1366) Intel X58 Express, BIOS 0505

Asus Maximus IV Extreme (LGA 1155) Intel P67 Express, BIOS 0901

Asus Sabertooth 990FX (Socket AM3+) AMD 990FX/SB850, BIOS 0402
Crucial 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR3-1333, MT16JTF1G64AZ-1G4D1 @ DDR3-1600, -1333, and -1066 at 1.65 V
Hard Drive
Samsung 470-Series 256 GB, SATA 3 Gb/s
Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Release 280.26
3D Game Benchmarks And Settings
Metro 2033
Game Settings: High Quality Settings, PhysX: Off, AAA/4x AF, 4x AA/16x AF, Wait for vertical sync: disabled, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, Demo: Built-in Benchmark Utility
F1 2010
Game Settings:  Ultra Quality Settings, Anti Aliasing: Disabled, 8x AA, Anisotropic Filtering: disabled, Sync Every Frame: No, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 2560x1600, Demo: Custom Tom's Hardware Demo
Aliens Vs. Predator
Game Settings: Ultra Quality Settings, Anti Aliasing: Disabled, 8x AA, Anisotropic Filtering: 16x, Vertical Sync: Disabled, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 2560x1600, Demo: AvP Demo Run
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunesVersion: 10.4.1, 64-bit
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.94
Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2
MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio:
MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Application Benchmarks and Settings
WinRARVersion 4.01
RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinZip 14Version 14.0 Pro (8652)
WinZIP Commandline Version 3, ZIPX, Syntax "-a -ez -p -r", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Version 9.2
LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5
Video length 2min 21s, Export to H.264 Blu-ray
Source 960x720, Output 1280x720
Adobe After Effects CS 5.5
Create Video which includes 3 Streams
Frames: 210, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously: on
Version 11.5 Build CB25720DEMO
CPU Test single and multi threaded
BlenderVersion: 2.54 beta
Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1
Adobe Photoshop CS 5.5 (64-Bit)Version: 11
Filtering a 16 MB TIF (15 000x7266), Filters:, Radial Blur (Amount: 10, Method: zoom, Quality: good) Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol) Median (Radius: 1px) Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
ABBYY FineReaderVersion: 10 Professional Build (
Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4
3DMark 11
Version 1.0.2
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version: 17.80
Processor Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth

The Core i7-3960X in our lab is a C0-stepping chip, which is fully operational, but not what we hear Intel plans to ship (the C1 stepping, which partners are now receiving, is said to be a more scalable part). As a result, remember that this is a preview run on pre-production hardware.

Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E)
Active Cores
Maximum Frequency
3.9 GHz
3.9 GHz
3.8 GHz
3.8 GHz
3.6 GHz
3.6 GHz
Number of Bins Per Core
130 W

I didn’t bother trying to overclock. Without an LGA 2011-compatible heatsink, it was difficult enough to keep the massive (comparatively) Core i7-3960X running cool. In fact, I couldn’t get a stable run of 3ds Max 2010 at stock settings; it’d shut down every time. With that said, initial estimates from reliable sources suggest the platform should be capable of BCLK settings in excess of 155 MHz if you’re using a multiplier-locked processor.

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