Intel Core i7-5960X, -5930K And -5820K CPU Review: Haswell-E Rises

Power, In Depth: Eight and Six Cores at 4.5 GHz

Core Voltage

A measured average voltage of 1.319 V (with the UEFI set to just 1.195 V) shows that you can’t hold back if you want to push Haswell-E a gigahertz beyond its default peak frequency. Expect some extreme power consumption and temperature numbers.

Power Draw

The following graph shows the contrast between what we read from the voltage regulator and EPS connector, making it easy to calculate losses in the process.

At idle, power use is minimal. A 19 W result is ever-so-slightly higher than our reading at 4 GHz. But a 70 W jump under load for an additional 500 MHz tells us we can't expect much more from the Core i7-5960X on water cooling, particularly since the VR-based losses have doubled.

Power Consumption
Average Idle
Maximum, 100% Load
Average, 100% Load
CPU 12 V In
24 W
280 W
240 W
CPU Package
19 W
195 W
192 W
VRM Loss
5 W
85 W
48 W

Temperatures

The temperatures at idle are still nice and low. However, those big fluctuations under load are clear indications that power delivery is becoming more erratic, and throttling is starting to become an issue. For brief periods, our Core i7-5960X cannot sustain 4.5 GHz. It jumps between 4.3 and 4.5 GHz, rather than sacrificing stability.

Here’s the time-lapse video:

Temperature T
Idle
Maximum, 100% Load
Average, 100% Load (Heated Up)
Core
27 °C
87 °C
75 °C
Package
29 °C
66 °C

Water (In / Out)
24 °C / 28 °C
38 °C

VRM
34 °C
67 °C

Six Cores At 4.5 GHz

Core Voltage

Does cutting a couple of cores from the equation help bring power back under control? An average core voltage of 1.319 V is just as aggressive, surprisingly enough. Try dialing in something more conservative in the BIOS, though, and you lose stability with this particular sample.

Power Draw

At idle, there's not much difference from the six-core and 4 GHz setting. But a 50 W jump under load (60 W with losses added in) is almost as bad as what we saw from eight cores. You'll have to decide if that's worthwhile for an extra 500 MHz.

Power Consumption
Average, Idle
Maximum, 100% Load
Average, 100% Load
CPU 12 V In
21 W
214 W
175 W
CPU Package
17 W
154 W
150 W
VRM Loss
4 W
60 W
25 W

Temperatures

Switching off two cores frees up enough thermal headroom to drop maximum temperatures under load by quite a bit. But that doesn't mean you can get away with a cheap air cooler, either. Liquid cooling is the way to go for its ability to quickly draw heat away from the spreader and exhaust that energy out of your chassis by blowing through a big radiator.

Temperature T
Idle
Maximum, 100% Load
Average, 100% Load (Heated Up)
Core
27 °C
82 °C
68 °C
Package
29 °C
55 °C

Water (In / Out)
24 °C / 28 °C
36 °C

VRM
34 °C
54 °C

Quick escalation in our power consumption measurements push cooling into the spotlight. We're able to keep a six-core processor running well, but eight cores is pushing it. In spite of the relatively low water temperature, Intel's Core i7-5960X gets so hot that it starts throttling.

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181 comments
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    Top Comments
  • Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.
    25
  • Out of curiosity why were so many of the gaming tests only done at 2560x1440? Seems like you would be more GPU bound at this resolution. I'm not sure it really matters but I do like gaming at 1080p for the very high frame rates was curious if these would push frame rates higher. Otherwise nice review.
    19
  • Merry_Blind said:
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.


    1000$ is affordable to you ? :))

    87433 said:
    Out of curiosity why were so many of the gaming tests only done at 2560x1440? Seems like you would be more GPU bound at this resolution. I'm not sure it really matters but I do like gaming at 1080p for the very high frame rates was curious if these would push frame rates higher. Otherwise nice review.



    Though you have a point here, the guy buying such CPUs most likely will game at above 1080p .. but this would have implied using 2 GPUs at least in the test.
    15
  • Other Comments
  • Oh boy here we go...
    -10
  • Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.
    -17
  • Chris and Igor @ TomsHW,

    Bit disappointed to not see a comparison with the Xeon E5-1650v2(or 1660v2), as the 2600 is a bit overkill comparing prices. Some of us just need a workstation with ECC ram and not just a free-for-all(ie someone else is paying) Xeon 2600 fest.
    0
  • Out of curiosity why were so many of the gaming tests only done at 2560x1440? Seems like you would be more GPU bound at this resolution. I'm not sure it really matters but I do like gaming at 1080p for the very high frame rates was curious if these would push frame rates higher. Otherwise nice review.
    19
  • Merry_Blind said:
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.


    1000$ is affordable to you ? :))

    87433 said:
    Out of curiosity why were so many of the gaming tests only done at 2560x1440? Seems like you would be more GPU bound at this resolution. I'm not sure it really matters but I do like gaming at 1080p for the very high frame rates was curious if these would push frame rates higher. Otherwise nice review.



    Though you have a point here, the guy buying such CPUs most likely will game at above 1080p .. but this would have implied using 2 GPUs at least in the test.
    15
  • Why do they call these their "5th generation" of Intel core processors if they're refreshes of the Haswell processors? I get that they have revolutionary technology within but with the release of broadwell so soon I doubt that anyone would buy these processors..
    -2
  • I need this system to play Minecraft. with that aside, Intel finally has made a jump in i7s value and performance.
    -4
  • Meh, looks like I'll be keepin my uber delid'd oc'd 4770k a bit longer
    6
  • "Single-threaded software is so last decade, though."
    I have a hunch that we will never see anything like this in the comment sections of AMD reviews. Not sure why :D
    8
  • Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.
    25
  • so that 8 core monster pretty much caps out around 4.3-4.5ghz... shame. if it was a little higher i might be inclined to open the pocket book for that.
    7
  • From page 14, last paragraph:
    Quote:
    As Intel’s first official eight-core processor, the top Haswell-E model


    Er, no. No it's not the first eight core processor. It is the first eight-core consumer or Core iN series processor though.

    I also don't know of any unofficial 8-core processors either.
    4
  • Great news for people wanting to speed up their single socket systems in apps like Mental Ray, v-ray etc. I understand why Tom’s compared these new processors with the E5-2687w v2 in this review, but anyone splashing the cash on an E5-2687w v2 is going to buy two in a dual socket set-up making the system twice as fast as the top end 5960x in the majority of these benchmarks. It would be a waste of cash just buying one for a single socket system and not taking advantage of the QPI. For business users needing to produces multiple HQ images a day to meet deadlines I would still choose the Xeon’s over the I7. The Xeon’s pay for themselves within a few months. Waiting 48 hours for a batch of animation frames to render instead of 96 hours make a lot of difference.
    5
  • Not really any significant CPU change from the SB-E or IB-E. The big changes come from the platform, and the x99 has the same interface as the x79. Technically, the x99 could support a SB-E processor, if Intel would let it. Again, I'm held back from making a change because Intel decided to force a CPU upgrade to make a technology upgrade cost $1500 instead of only about $400. I'll have to stick with my x79 for a while longer. It is just not worth the cost.
    0
  • cangelini said:
    Were you disappointed by last year's Ivy Bridge-E launch? Core i7-5960X, -5930K, and -5820K promise more excitement, sporting up to eight cores, DDR4 memory, a new X99 chipset, and an LGA 2011-3 interface. Should you jump to upgrade, though? Intel Core i7-5960X, -5930K, And -5820K CPU Review: Haswell-E Rises : Read more


    I was wondering how often you writers read the comments? Just wondering.
    1
  • Gee. DDR4 save about 5 W with 4 modules. And i was worried of pwer consumption when i overclocked my FX 8350 at 4.7 GHz :O
    4
  • Quote:
    Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.

    Ya, the 5820K really stands out, especially in comparison to Intel's previous lowest SKU processors on X79. For the first time the x820 actually looks like a great option to go with. It's the same as a 3960X in clock speed and core count, except it's Haswell which seems to result in a 10-15% performance boost, and it's over $600 cheaper. The only drawback might be if you have a lot of high bandwidth PCIe cards, but I doubt that'll be an issue for most enthusiasts.

    And omg that price:
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/437203/Intel_Core_i7-5820k_33_GHz_LGA_2011_V3_Tray_Processor

    ... I love Microcenter.
    5
  • Quote:
    Not really any significant CPU change from the SB-E or IB-E. .


    THe improvement in multi-threaded workloads are good. It is the biggest improvement per generation we have seen since gulftown
    3
  • Um I'm a total noob. Can someone tell me approximately how much of an increase in performance I'd see using any of these over my i5 4670k? My CPU is not overclocked.
    I'm running a 780 ti and Gskill Ripjaw 1600 RAM.
    1
  • Hmm so for gaming, we're looking at either the 5820 or 4690..

    How would the cost of said systems compare, assuming we could create them as equal as possible? Would the performance benefits of the 5820 justify the additional cost?

    I'm still running on my old x58 i7 920, but it's starting to BSOD on CPU intensive games (although I suspect its my mobo that's the issue)...

    I wanted to build a new system this year, but don't want to make the same mistake I did with the x58 and be left with something that simply can't be upgraded after a year or so. At the same time, I don't want to buy into old tech if that too won't last..

    I have had a good run with my x58 mind, but am wary Intel may do what they did with my Gen 1 i7, and change something fundamental with the platform/DDR4 to mean I'll be 'stuck' with whatever I buy now...
    1