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Power Consumption Through Our Benchmark Suite

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

Now, how does a Haswell-E-based platform's power use compare? All of the benchmarks in our review (aside from the games) are automated, allowing us to track consumption over time as each one starts up, runs, finishes, and hands control over to the next. We can calculate how long it takes to execute the entire suite, average power consumption during the log, and total power consumed in watt-hours.

Intel’s Core i7-3970X broke the LGA 2011 mold by pushing up into the 150 W specification range. At several points during our run, it towers over two other generations of Core i7 flagships. You can see that the fastest Ivy Bridge-E model cut consumption quite a bit.

Meanwhile, Haswell-E trades blows with its predecessor in the power department, but definitely finishes its work fastest.

The Core i7-4790K is clearly a lower-power part, though you pay a small performance penalty for those savings.

Of the ultra-high-end CPUs spanning three generations, Core i7-5960X averages the lowest power use (just barely). Core i7-4790K fares best. However, we expected it to boast even more of an advantage, since the chip’s TDP is 52 W under Haswell-E.

The last processor I ran this analysis on was Intel’s Pentium G3258, which took almost three hours to work its way through our suite. All four of these chips finish in half the time. Core i7-5960X earns the distinction of being the fastest, despite a 3 GHz base clock rate.

When you multiply average power consumption and performance (determined by the time taken to finish our benchmark suite), Intel’s Core i7-4790K surfaces as the winner. Really, this comes as no surprise. The quad-core model is quick, and its conservative thermal ceiling helps keep a lid on average draw.

Flagship-class products commonly sacrifice niceties like value and efficiency. Enthusiasts operating at that end of spectrum demand all-out speed, which is what Core i7-5960X delivers. As Intel’s first official eight-core processor, the top Haswell-E model pares back clock rate in order to duck under 140 W. We've already seen that there’s still plenty of headroom for overclocking though, if you’re willing to top the CPU with a serious cooler. Left in its stock form, the Core i7-5960X beats the -4960X and -3970X by finishing our benchmarks faster at lower average power consumption.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    CaptainTom , August 29, 2014 9:57 AM
    Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.
  • 18 Hide
    JamesSneed , August 29, 2014 9:26 AM
    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.
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , August 29, 2014 9:27 AM
    Quote:
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.


    1000$ is affordable to you ? :) )

    Quote:
    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.
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    dovah-chan , August 29, 2014 9:08 AM
    Oh boy here we go...
  • 0 Hide
    B4vB5 , August 29, 2014 9:23 AM
    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.
  • 18 Hide
    JamesSneed , August 29, 2014 9:26 AM
    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.
  • 13 Hide
    ohim , August 29, 2014 9:27 AM
    Quote:
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.


    1000$ is affordable to you ? :) )

    Quote:
    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.
  • -1 Hide
    chiefpiggy , August 29, 2014 9:37 AM
    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..
  • -4 Hide
    envy14tpe , August 29, 2014 9:40 AM
    I need this system to play Minecraft. with that aside, Intel finally has made a jump in i7s value and performance.
  • 4 Hide
    therogerwilco , August 29, 2014 9:44 AM
    Meh, looks like I'll be keepin my uber delid'd oc'd 4770k a bit longer
  • 5 Hide
    srap , August 29, 2014 9:53 AM
    "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 
  • 23 Hide
    CaptainTom , August 29, 2014 9:57 AM
    Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.
  • 7 Hide
    ingtar33 , August 29, 2014 10:01 AM
    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.
  • 4 Hide
    mctylr , August 29, 2014 10:09 AM
    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 Hide
    DoDidDont , August 29, 2014 10:14 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    dgingeri , August 29, 2014 10:18 AM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    dovah-chan , August 29, 2014 10:19 AM
    Quote:
    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.
  • 5 Hide
    pierrerock , August 29, 2014 10:31 AM

    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 
  • 5 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , August 29, 2014 10:39 AM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    maroon1 , August 29, 2014 10:41 AM
    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
  • 0 Hide
    Pavel Pokidaylo , August 29, 2014 10:45 AM
    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 Hide
    Champion_hero , August 29, 2014 10:46 AM
    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...
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