Sandy Bridge E Core i7-3960X performance revealed early

By on July 22, 2011, 4:03 PM

Although an exact release date for Intel's upcoming X79 chipset and Sandy Bridge E processors remains uncertain, DonanimHaber has revealed some new details about one of the parts. The Turkish site has published some internal slides that compare Intel's existing hexa-core Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor to the new flagship i7-3960X. Unsurprisingly, the new part is claimed to offer a dramatic speed boost.

Despite winding the core clock frequency down from 3.46GHz to 3.30GHz, the i7-3960X actually has a higher peak Turbo Boost speed, revving up to 3.9GHz versus 3.73GHz. The slides also indicate that the new 32nm six-core (12 threads) processor will come with an extra 3MB of cache (15MB versus 12MB). Such a configuration should grant the i7-3960X a solid performance boost while keeping thermal loads in check.

In fact, the 3960X is expected to list the same 130W thermal design power as the 990X. Like Intel's other recent Extreme Edition and K series processors, the upcoming Sandy Bridge part will have an unlocked multiplier, giving enthusiasts more flexibility with overclocking. Another key feature is the addition of support for quad-channel DDR3 1333MHz memory, granting the 3960X a substantial increase in memory bandwidth.

According to Intel's data, the 3960X is 12-15% quicker than the 990X in Cinebench, POV-Ray, and ProShow Gold. That gap is even larger when comparing their performance in SPEC CPU2006 and Sandra's multimedia and memory bandwidth tests. In the former, the 3960X achieves 34% more integer performance and 64% better floating point results, while it offers double the speed in both Sandra benchmarks.

We've seen compelling reports that suggest may not make their originally scheduled August or September debut. Intel is reportedly pushing to ship the new platform before the end of 2011 and rumors suggest that the company may have to downgrade some specifications to make the cut. Namely, the X79 chipset might lose support for PCI Express 3.0 and it will offer four SATA/SAS 6Gb/s ports instead of eight.




User Comments: 21

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1977TA said:

Can't wait to see some benchmarks. Man, I hate waiting, I'm on the fence for my next build, go with Sandy or wait for the new FX cpu. I have everything waiting to be put together but the mobo and proc. ugggggh

Win7Dev said:

I keep hearing about quad channel memory. So does this mean we might finally see 8 DIMM slots?

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Looks like a beast for sure and will likely carry a price tag comparable to previous generations of extreme processors.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Great!

Now I'll be able to afford a bulldozer based system!

leondobr said:

Wonder what the comparison would be to a 2600k, especially overclocked.

130W? Toasty!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

130W? Toasty!

Same TDP as Bloomfield (Nehalem) and Gulftown (Westmere)

Remember that the 130w TDP is for the whole package...and that includes future increased speed bins.

Fastest Nehalem at launch: 4-core/8 thread Core i7 965 @ 3.2GHz........130w

Last Gulftown.......................6-core/12 thread Core i7 990X @ 3.46GHz...130w

i7-3960X @ 3.3GHz wont be the fastest SB-E to be released using the 130w TDP. Guaranteed.

Guest said:

oh goody more paid for Intel BS !

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Given the performance level of Intel's own Sandy Bridge CPUs at the $300 price level, it's going to be difficult to justify adoption of the X79 chipset and its thousand dollar extreme edition CPUs at least from a gamer's point of view. I would guess that even the least Sandy Bridge-E CPU would be in the $500 range.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Given the performance level of Intel's own Sandy Bridge CPUs at the $300 price level, it's going to be difficult to justify adoption of the X79 chipset and its thousand dollar extreme edition CPUs at least from a gamer's point of view. I would guess that even the least Sandy Bridge-E CPU would be in the $500 range.

If you're looking at it from a price/performance PoV, then no....but then, that really isn't a consideration for anyone lining up to buy the CPU/chipset- performance, and not performance/$ is usually the sole motivator behind enthusiast parts. If you were judging on performance and feature set per dollar then the justification isn't there (for the average gamer)...but then, nor are $US250+ motherboards of any variety, DDR-2133+ RAM, water and TEC cooling and PCI-E SSD's for example. Some gamers/users on a lower budget/less tech addicted might also argue that the $300 2600K fits the same demographics when the non-HT 2500K can be had for substantially less.

Guest said:

Well, there goes the bulldozer.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Not really.

Bulldozer just needs to be competitive with Sandy Bridge 2500K/2600K (and whatever Ivy Bridge offers) in the mainstream performance arena, since that is where it seems to be priced.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

IMO, follow the money. For all the might be, supposedly phony, benchmarks and fanboy BS, the price tag is carefully crafted and positioned. AMD has the added attraction of having the "runner -up" stigma (as they should). to overcome. If say the 8150P etc is priced at $XXX, or $X dollars higher or lower than the i72600K, thats the best indicator of what the performance is going to be.

as I said....IMO

...Chef, place your retort here please

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

****edit: I misread your post, oops

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

19 September, 2011 ?

I tried to emulate to borked instruction set of the GuesTrolls....but came up with something worth reading. Oh well, plenty of time to join the Guest list once the Alzheimers kicks up to eleven

(BTW: The across-the-board 8MB L3 cache seems odd, given the 4, 6 and 8 core binning)

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

19 September, 2011 ?

I tried to emulate to borked instruction set of the GuesTrolls....but came up with something worth reading. Oh well, plenty of time to join the Guest list once the Alzheimers kicks up to eleven

(BTW: The across-the-board 8MB L3 cache seems odd, given the 4, 6 and 8 core binning)

Well I wonder if the high frequencies are because they can...or because they have to? Not that it matters, I'm all in on opening day.

Might the 8mb of L3 just be 'modular?'

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Well I wonder if the high frequencies are because they can...or because they have to?

Probably both. Bulldozer's architecture lends itself to fast clock speeds as I understand it (at least you'd hope the B3 stepping finally gets them there), and BD will certainly need to be fast to combat Sandy Bridge's single-thread speed

Might the 8mb of L3 just be 'modular?'

Maybe we should save the ?arch posts for when the "19 Sept." link gets repackaged for the front page news...otherwise the article will die an orphan due to battered-troll syndrome.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

As I understand the architecture, (and that's a stretch) the Intertwined or 'paired cores' and predictive branch asymmetrical cacheing differences may need another cycle ( increased operating frequencies) to attain the benefits from it.

Maybe we should save the ?arch posts for when the "19 Sept." link gets repackaged for the front page news...otherwise the article will die an orphan due to battered-troll syndrome.

well your no fun :p

Guest said:

AMD needs to launch a "16 cores" bulldozer now !!!

Mizzou Mizzou said:

AMD needs to launch a "16 cores" bulldozer now !!!

There are no plans for a 16 core Bulldozer, that will be Interlagos intended for the high end server market.

Guest said:

Some motherboards already support 8 DIMM slots. I've seen some mobo's that come with up to 32 DIMM slots. With the price of RAM sticks dropping and capacity increasing, we'll more than likely see increased memory of up to 10 gig sticks and higher.

Guest said:

Call me angel -

Im seprised none of you have even mentioned =

" rumors suggest that the company may have to downgrade some specifications to make the cut. Namely, the X79 chipset might lose support for PCI Express 3.0 and it will offer four SATA/SAS 6Gb/s ports instead of eight."

I know that for the gamer market (where im from) and enthusiast / professional market this would be a great disappointment. I for one would Rather wait for Kal-el (if thats the name) then resort to being limited.... and for now stay or build a 2600K.

I read the comments only to see what you guys were going to say about that.. im disappointed =/

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Call me angel -

Call you Late to the Party

Im surprised none of you have even mentioned =...blahblah

Quite possibly because 1. It's been covered elsewhere on the forums, and 2. it's exactly that - rumour. Here's another example from today:

[link]

and it will offer four SATA/SAS 6Gb/s ports instead of eight

Guess these X79 boards shown a couple of weeks back are photoshopped then huh?

Now, even if the boards are bandwidth limited, you may have heard the phrase " third party controller" used on occasion.

I know that for the gamer market (where im from) and enthusiast / professional market this would be a great disappointment. I for one would Rather wait for Kal-el (if thats the name)

Yup. You wait for an Nvidia SoC designed for tablets and smartphones...the queue should be mercifully short, since gamers and the workstation crowd are going to be waiting (some longer than others) for (Sandy Bridge, Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge, Westmere-EX or Zambesi, Interlagos)

I read the comments only to see what you guys were going to say about that.. im disappointed =/

I know how you feel....the last comment I read makes me wonder how some people can access the internet whilst in a persistant vegetative state.

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