Whilst there is a range of processors to choose from in the LGA 2011 product lineup, we’re taking a look at the Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition. This is Intel’s now flagship CPU and offers some great benefits over the competition. The 3960X has 6 cores and 12 threads due to Intel Hyper-Threading Technology. To give extra speed it also has Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and some key technical points such as up to 15MB Intel Smart Cache and an integrated qud channel memory controller among other important specifications.
To see how the 3960X is made up, it involves looking under the microscope and looking at the Die in some detail. We can see that the cores are spread evenly across the sides whilst the L3 cache is shared between the different cores. The quad channel memory controller is also integrated onto the processor to give true support directly to the memory from the processor.
The 3960X is now the new flagship on the market and due to that, some bold claims have to be made as to how it will compete. Intel have answered this by way of a comparison to their older generation Core i7 on the Socket 1366 platform running an Intel Core i7 990X.
They claim it to be 20% better in content creation and video editing, have 102% better memory performance and offer 34% better 3D game physics. Whilst these numbers are impressive, they can only be used as a rough guide.
To show how this new processor compares against socket 1155 processors, Intel have also compared it to the Core i7 2600k Sandy Bridge CPU. This shows 52% better video editing and content creation, 114% better memory performance and 46% better game physics and AI.
Whilst we could show you comparisons from Intel all day long, we’d rather get down to our own testing to see if their sales and marketing hype can actually live up to the product itself. Before we delve into that though, it’s worth taking a look at one of the new key features of the i7 3960X; the Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.
Though this particular processor has 6 cores, you can disable certain cores if you wish. By doing so it will allow for a larger turbo boost compared to having all cores active.