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Intel Core i7-3930K And Core i7-3820: Sandy Bridge-E, Cheaper

Core i7-3930K and -2600K: Making The Tough Choice

Now, here’s where things get murkier. Add up all of the benchmark results, and the stock $600 Core i7-3930K only gives you a 15% average advantage over the stock Core i7-2600K.

Look at where the gains are lost and found, though. Lame, WinZip, Acrobat X, iTunes, and to some extent After Effects offer little or even negative scaling. Photoshop, 3ds Max, Premiere Pro, SolidWorks, FineReader, 7-Zip, MainConcept, and Handbrake all favor the Core i7-3930K by around 20% up to about 30%.

If the amount of money I make is affected by those performance numbers, or if I do a lot of video work, or if I’m even applying threaded filters in Photoshop, paying an extra $280 for the -3930K is worth it.

If you’re gaming with one (or even two) high-end graphics cards in your system, doing a lot of desktop productivity work, or simply on a more constrained budget, the -2600K is a better bet. Shoot, at that point, I’d still say step it on down to a -2500K.

  • compton
    This is a really excellent analysis. Clearly, I must be drinking at the wrong places because I never leave the pub with any hardware nicer than a hangover.
    Reply
  • theuniquegamer
    So nice overclocking at 4.5ghz. I can expect that the upcoming ivy bridge unlocked series may be stable atleast 4.2 will all 4 cores active. I can't wait till Q2 next year to see benchmarks .
    Reply
  • Dacatak
    Possible TYPO in the bottom graph for Dirt 3 benchmark.
    FX-8150 benchmark with no AA says "68.8" FPS. I think it's more like "48.8".
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    For gaming (the high end CPU intensive), is there any noticeable difference between the 2500k and the 3960X?
    Reply
  • Dacatak
    JOSHSKORNFor gaming (the high end CPU intensive), is there any noticeable difference between the 2500k and the 3960X?
    If by "noticeable" you mean "perceivable to mere mortals", then no.

    If you can in fact notice the difference between 105 vs 110 FPS, then you are a god, and you deserve only the best.
    Reply
  • spunkyddog
    I bought the i7-3930K with 32GB of DDR3 1600 RAM last week and assembled a couple days ago. I have two Kingston 120GB SSDs in RAID that have been benched on my system at a theoretical 1,100MB/S Read and 1,300MB/S Write. Coming from a Pentium D 3.0GHz, this was like night and day. My renders went from 40minutes to 1minute. I'm not overclocking purely for the fact that this thing's a beast already and I'm doing high-end 3D work using Maya, Photoshop, After Effects, Video, etc. Also - I like the peace and quiet.

    Intel did an awesome job with the SBE line - despite the fact that we're missing some wanted/promised features (native support for USB and PCI-Express 3.0. I'm waiting out for the PCI 3.0 cards before I upgrade my graphics... curious if the Asus P9X79 Pro will hold it's promises.

    Thanks Chris for reviewing this processor. I felt like I went out on a limb getting this processor over the Extreme, but the $600 was well worth it.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    spunky,

    Glad you're enjoying. You do, actually get PCIe 3.0 support, but no USB 3.0, unfortunately.

    Dacatak,

    Yup, typo--fixing now!
    Reply
  • sna
    the only good reason to get X79 is the more ram .. u can get cheap 32G ram system , or go for 64G of ram and enjoy a ram disk

    it is a good thing
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    The Overclocking Sandy Bridge-E On A Budget page states, "With all of that said, 4.5 GHz was rock-solid down at 3.61 V". I'm pretty sure you meant 1.36 V.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    soccerdocksThe Overclocking Sandy Bridge-E On A Budget page states, "With all of that said, 4.5 GHz was rock-solid down at 3.61 V". I'm pretty sure you meant 1.36 V.
    Indeed, fixed! At 3.6 V, we'd have dead Sandy. :)
    Reply