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

Benchmark Results: Media Encoding

In a single-threaded app like iTunes, cranking up the clock rate is an effective way to directly affect performance. Both overclocked chips offer an appreciable advantage over the stock processors, even if this is a fairly low-impact workload.

Optimized for multi-core CPUs, MainConcept unquestionably favors the overclocked Core i7-3930K.

An increase in clock rate allows the quad-core -3820 competing with the hexa-core -3930K running at its default settings, though the -3930K’s unlocked multiplier makes it easier to get a better-than 20% performance increase.

Similar to MainConcept, HandBrake is threaded, allowing six overclocked cores to spring into a commanding lead. Again, if you’re a video guy, an artist, or an engineer, there’s a legitimate reason to sink cash into the right hexa-core chip. Even the aged Core i7-990X fares well here.

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.