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

How We Tested Core i7-5960X, -5930K, And -5820K

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-5960X (Haswell-E) Eight cores, 3.0 GHz (30 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011-3, 20 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-5930K (Haswell-E) Six cores, 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011-3, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-5820K (Haswell-E) Six cores, 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011-3, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Xeon E5-2687W v2 (Ivy Bridge-EP) Eight cores, 3.4 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 25 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) Six cores, 3.6 GHz (36 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-3970X (Sandy Bridge-E) Six cores, 3.5 GHz (35 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-4790K (Haswell) Four cores, 4.0 GHz (40 * 100 MHz), LGA 1150, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardASRock X99 WS (LGA 2011-3) Intel X99 Express, BIOS 1.18

MSI X79A-GD45 Plus (LGA 2011) Intel X79 Express, BIOS 17.8

MSI Z97 Gaming 7 (LGA 1150) Intel Z97 Express, BIOS 1.5
Memory
G.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000, F4-3000C15Q-16GRR @ DDR3-2133 at 1.2 V (for stock run tests)

G.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2133, F3-17000CL9Q-16GBXM @ DDR3-1866 and -1600 at 1.5 V (for stock run tests)
Hard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s
Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB
Power Supply
Corsair AX860i, 80 PLUS Platinum, 860 W
Heat Sink
Noctua NH-D15, Fan set to 100% duty cycle
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 8.1 Professional x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Release 340.52

A number of companies helped us prepare for Haswell-E.

Because Intel is no longer in the motherboard business, it doesn’t have a platform of its own to send out. Instead, we worked closely with ASRock to benchmark using its X99 WS. MSI also supported our efforts by sending over several X99 SLI Plus boards.

Noctua helped us standardize on one high-performance air cooler by sending over its NH-D15, which is LGA 2011-3-compatible.

Representatives at G.Skill diligently helped us troubleshoot memory issues early in our testing, passing along their own experiences dialing in higher DDR4 data rates.

And of course, several other standardized components carry over from our existing bench setup: Corsair’s AX860i power supply, Samsung’s 840 Pro SSD, and a GeForce GTX Titan graphics card.

Benchmark Configuration
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CCVersion 12.0.0.404 x64: Create Video which includes three Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneosly
Adobe Photoshop CCVersion 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premeire Pro CCVersion 7.0.0, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 11.0.4.4 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC 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)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25 FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds
Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677: 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
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 11.0.102.583: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat XIVersion 11.0.0: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 and 2013
Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.68a, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.30 Alpha: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11
Version: 1.0.5
PCMark 8
Version: 2.0, Creative (Conventional)

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    Top Comments
  • CaptainTom
    Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.
    25
  • JamesSneed
    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.
    17
  • ohim
    Anonymous said:
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.


    1000$ is affordable to you ? :))

    Anonymous 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
  • dovah-chan
    Oh boy here we go...
    -9
  • Merry_Blind
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.
    -15
  • B4vB5
    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
  • JamesSneed
    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.
    17
  • ohim
    Anonymous said:
    Affordable 8-cores from Intel are finally coming. Awesome.


    1000$ is affordable to you ? :))

    Anonymous 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
  • chiefpiggy
    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
  • envy14tpe
    I need this system to play Minecraft. with that aside, Intel finally has made a jump in i7s value and performance.
    -4
  • therogerwilco
    Meh, looks like I'll be keepin my uber delid'd oc'd 4770k a bit longer
    6
  • srap
    "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
  • CaptainTom
    Yeah the real winner of a cpu here is definitely the 5820K. If I were building now, that is what I would use.
    25
  • ingtar33
    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
  • mctylr
    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
  • DoDidDont
    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
  • dgingeri
    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
  • dovah-chan
    Anonymous 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
  • pierrerock
    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
  • dragonsqrrl
    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
  • maroon1
    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
  • Pavel Pokidaylo
    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
  • Champion_hero
    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