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Intel Core i7-4960X Review: Ivy Bridge-E, Benchmarked

Results: Synthetics

Using the same GeForce GTX Titan as our Haswell launch coverage, we see that Ivy Bridge-E doesn’t do anything for single-card graphics performance in 3DMark 11 (which is what we’d expect, given that both platforms yield a full 16 lanes at 8 GT/s).

In contrast, the processor-bound Physics module demonstrates a small bump in favor of the Core i7-4960X over -3970X. More pronounced is the -4960X’s 30%+ improvement over Core i7-4770K.

There’s very little gain over the Sandy Bridge-E flagship in SiSoftware’s Sandra Arithmetic sub-test.

The same goes for the Multimedia benchmark. In fact, Core i7-4770K yields better numbers in the integer component thanks to its AVX 2 support.

It’s possible that we could get more memory bandwidth from Core i7-4960X using a quad-channel DDR3-1866 memory kit. However, we only had access to 1600 MT/s for this story, so we used the same G.Skill kit from our Core i7-4770K launch piece. We already know this platform isn’t particularly bandwidth-constrained on the desktop, though, so we don’t expect any real-world benefit beyond this 41 GB/s mark.

When we sort by L1 cache throughput, the Haswell architecture’s doubled theoretical max yields almost 1 TB/s, while Ivy Bridge-E ducks in under 800 GB/s. On paper, Haswell should also push twice as much L2 bandwidth as well. We haven’t observed this yet, though. In contrast, Core i7-4960X, sporting six cores with 256 KB of L2 each, pushes more aggregate bandwidth, nearly hitting 500 GB/s. The extra cores also help with shared L3 bandwidth, given more stops along the ring bus.

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.