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Thanks to high clock rates and high performance per clock, Sandy Bridge-E delivers the best performance in our efficiency run's single-threaded workloads. Presumably, this is attributable to the 100 MHz Turbo Boost advantage the Core i7-3960X holds over second-place Core i7-2600K.
Average power across the single-threaded benchmarks is higher than on other Sandy Bridge processors, making it appear as though the -3960X's other five cores aren't necessarily being switched off during single-threaded operations. Moreover, there's a lot more shared L3 cache that remains in use compared to Sandy Bridge. Still, the 109 W average power use is very slightly lower than Sandy Bridge-E's predecessor and clearly lower compared to AMD’s six-core and eight-core CPUs.
Great performance and acceptable power requirements pay off, as the total power required to complete the single-threaded benchmarks of our efficiency run is lower than on any other system with six or more cores.