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Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) And X79 Platform Preview

Benchmark Results: 3DMark 11

Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is designed to isolate the graphics subsystem, so it’s no surprise to see the Extreme suite putting all four contenders on equal footing. The same applies to the Graphics suite score.

Where we do expect to see some differentiation is the Physics result, though. Per the application’s whitepaper:

“A scene with a large number of rigid bodies is simulated and rendered. The rendering is done using light-weight techniques. The rigid bodies collide with each other and some of them are connected with joints. The simulation is divided to multiple threads by partitioning the simulated world to several isolated regions. The Bullet Open Source Physics Library C++ path is used as the physics SDK for this test, and compiled and linked statically into the test binary at development time.”

Combining the best elements of Gulftown and Sandy Bridge yields a compelling victory in favor of Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E. That advantage is reflected in the Physics test FPS chart.

Of course, that’s a completely synthetic performance measurement. We’ll have to see how well it maps over to real-world applications in order to make a more meaningful recommendation.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • tri force
    "AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) 3.6 G...Alright, that's just mean"

    I felt really happy for a second :(
    Reply
  • xyster
    awesome! thx 4 the preview chris. i've been looking forward to this
    Reply
  • wicko
    Just bought a 2600k, and after reading this I have no regrets.
    Reply
  • for the price, the 8150 at 250 dollars will smoke intel out the water. IF you really want to go dolla per dollar , a dual socket amd opteron 6220 system will severely outperform the intel i73960 for alot cheaper. Thats 16 x 3.5 ghz turbo bulldozer cores against 6 3.3 ghz sandy bridge cores. hmm
    Reply
  • jprahman
    I was really looking forward to Sandy Bridge-E, but it looks like a mixed bag from the review. The lack of USB 3 and especially PCI-E 3 was really disappointing, especially for an enthusiast class processor and chipset. The dearth of SATA ports was pretty surprising too, everything up to this review had indicated far more.

    The extra performance you can get looks pretty nice for stuff like transcoding, but the performance in the majority of applications doesn't justify the extra cost for the i7-3960. I'd rather get a i7-2600K or i5-2500K... or wait for Bulldozer to see how it performs relative to an i5-2500k or i7-2600k.

    To be honest, this review almost comes off like an attempt to chill any interest high-end enthusiasts might have for Bulldozer.
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    I predict a "meh" from enthusiast … And a far number of LGA1366 drivers looking for a price cut. ;-)
    Reply
  • Wamphryi
    I just got an i7 2600 K and like a previous writer commented I have no regrets either. The 2600 K is such good bang for buck and lots of people seem to be snapping them up.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    I hope Bulldozer is more interesting than this. I honestly dont see many enthusiasts investing in this - they're better off waiting for Ivy Bridge.
    Reply
  • raclimja
    what a massive disappointment, i was hoping for big performance improvement from intel


    i guess i will just stick with my i5 2500k and upgrade my aging HD 4870 x2 to something like GTX 680 or HD 7900
    Reply
  • dalauder
    You say the i7-3820 will be a tough sell, but maybe, like the i7-2600, it will be an excellent non-overclocked part for OEM machines. For that purpose, I think a machine that can run DDR3 1600MHz at without overclocking is a reasonable upgrade over the i7-2600.

    There is a market for people who want top-end gaming machines but never want to look inside other than to add more graphics. Based off of Cyberpower, IBuyPower, Alienware, etc.--I bet that market is at least as big as enthusiasts that hand pick their parts.
    Reply