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Sandy Bridge-E: Core i7-3960X Is Fast, But Is It Any More Efficient?

Benchmark Results: Single-Threaded Efficiency Run

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.

  • fstrthnu
    Aand yet more evidence that most people looking for a high-end processor will be perfectly fine with the i5-2500K or the 2600K
    Reply
  • sam_fisher
    fstrthnuAand yet more evidence that most people looking for a high-end processor will be perfectly fine with the i5-2500K or the 2600K
    I guess it just depends on what you're doing. If you have a high end workstation and are using programs that are going to utilise all 12 threads, quad channel memory and 40 lanes of PCIe, and you need that processing power then it's probably not a bad investment. Whereas for most users the 2500K or the 2600K will do fine.
    Reply
  • benikens
    Ironically, when it comes to performance, Intel’s Core i7-9360X is the real Bulldozer. Since its power consumption levels are lower than the Gulftown-based Core i7, it should also deliver amazing performance per watt as well. Is that really the case?

    It's i7-3960x, not i7-9360x
    Reply
  • pwnorbpwnd
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the 6850 a Barts card? Unless I am wrong but I own a 6850.
    Reply
  • one-shot
    There is a small typo on Page 9

    "Total power used drops again relative to Cor ei7-3960X's predecessor, the Core i7-980X (Gulftown)."
    Reply
  • Shape
    Ironically, when it comes to performance, Intel’s Core i7-9360X is the real Bulldozer.


    ROFL!!! Very well said!

    Nice!
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    another informative, in-depth article about efficiency. great work guys!
    3960x might very well be the $1k cpu that's worth the (over)price unlike the older 980x.
    sb-e shows that both single threaded and multi threaded performance as well as efficient power use can be ahcieved by a 32nm, 6 core, 130 tdp cpu (but you gotta pay a lot for that).
    when you bring price into the equation, quad core sb i5 and i7(95w tdp) are the best way to go (i wonder how an i7 2700k fare if it was tested alongside these cpus).
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    And I was so hoping Visual C++ had made it into the regular benchmark set. Sadly, it's missing here...
    Reply
  • giovanni86
    Looking forward to seeing what type of Air/liquid cooled Overclocks can be achieved with these newly released processors.
    Reply
  • I wanna know how it performs on DAW apps. I hope it will be included in future benchmarks.
    Reply