World Of Warcraft In SLI
Core i7-3960X’s advantage was already apparent with a single card in World of Warcraft.
Poor scaling at 1680x1050 using SLI indicates that we’re processor-bound, and that this game could really use a faster CPU above all else (indeed, overclocked to 4.6 GHz, the -3960X yields nearly 150 FPS).
Because there’s little difference between no AA and 8x AA at 1920x1080, we can also be fairly confident in a processor bottleneck at that resolution, too. The Z68 and X58 platforms fall in behind, inhibited by slower CPUs.
Finally, at 2560x1600, we see the -3960X’s 8x AA score drop a bit relative to its performance without the feature. But look at everything else—from 1680x1050 to 2560x1600, the frame rates are pretty consistently even.
The same platform-oriented bottlenecks that kept GeForce GTX 580s from stretching any higher in two-way SLI keep a trio of cards from scaling, well, at all, really. WoW just isn’t one of those games that demands more than one really powerful GPU.
It does, however, put the extra performance enabled by Core i7-3960X to good use, as the game shows off a 20 FPS advantage over the next-closest finisher (Core i7-2600K) at all three resolutions.
Although this is a processor review and we’re most interested in how Sandy Bridge-E performs, it’s also important to take a closer look at gaming performance in more GPU-constrained titles to gauge whether the more potent CPU helps alleviate any overhead. With that in mind…