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

Core i7-3930K And -3820: Stock Versus Overclocked

On average, overclocking Intel’s Core i7-3930K in 16 different applications results in a 16% speed-up. But that’s including After Effects, which suffers a horrible -27.8% slow-down due to our decision to shift from 32 GB of DDR3 memory down to 8 GB. Factor that out, and the average springs up to 19%.

The -3820 also picks up 16% with After Effects considered, and 19% with the memory-hungry app disqualified. Unfortunately, getting there on our M0-stepping processor required some nasty voltage settings, and even then, DiRT 3 and World of Warcraft exhibited periodic stability issues that kept us from collecting benchmark results. Stepping down to 4.5 or 4.375 GHz using the 125 MHz strap didn’t help, either.

Although the Core i7-3820 does enjoy its high points against Gulftown and the Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K, its pricey platform, locked multiplier, and quad-channel memory requirement don’t seem to deliver any more value than a Core i7-2600K on an inexpensive Z68-based board—and that platform gets you Quick Sync support.

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.