Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E Review: No expense spared performance

By Steve ยท 32 replies
Sep 8, 2014
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  1. intel core haswell-e review extreme edition cpu extreme edition cpu enthusiast haswell-e

    Intel's Extreme Edition processor line is over a decade old now, starting way back in 2003 with the single-core Pentium 4 EE 3.4GHz. Although there have been a few noteworthy releases during that time, others have offered no significant benefits over more affordable parts that cost half as much.

    Case in point, last time around Ivy Bridge-E brought a beefier L3 cache but its supporting X79 chipset offered nothing over the Z87 and was later eclipsed by the Z97. So, how does Haswell-E attempts to rectify this?

    For starters, the chip we'll be looking at boasts eight cores, a massive 20MB smart cache and support for the latest DDR4 memory. Intel's latest Extreme Edition package is also accompanied by a new 9-series chipset, the X99, which supports more SATA 6Gb/s ports (10 rather than just two) and finally brings native USB 3.0 support to the company's flagship platform.

    Read the complete review.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2015
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    ...,speaking of which, I find it odd that such new and expensive X99 MB-s include neither USB 3.1 no Thunderbolt 2 ports, despite the past promises. Nevermind 10Gbe Ethernet. So when it comes to external connectivity, they are all but the previous generation.

    There's your expense spared ;)

    In the meantime, we know that Intel is readying Thunderbolt 3 to be introduced with the updated Mac-s, presumably this fall, and exclusively with Apple yet again.

    Now, when it comes to the old discussion of cost versus innovation and performance between PC and Apple, - are there any more hypocrites left?
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  3. bnjohanson

    bnjohanson TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +10

    Not once, but twice you refer to this i7-5830 curve ball on the first page...come on man.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,036

    We were actually referring to the 5930K, a simple typo. Come on man, let us get away with a nice heads up.
    Jesse and Matt12345170 like this.
  5. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    why does intel provide a 'difficult' socket name? imo, socket LGA2014 is much better.

    a quick glance at the game charts point out to the value of pentium g3258. I wonder if intel would release i3 unlocked version.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,036

    I agree the socket name is confusing but there aren't 2014 pins, rather 2011 but since the sockets/CPUs are non-compatible they had to add the version.

    The Pentium G3258 is pretty good value but gamers are better off with a Core i3 and yes an unlocked Core i3 would be a dream processor for budget builders.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  7. I don't understand the market niche for these processors at all. They don't seem great just different. Frankly if I was going to build a new PC this is something for the price I would be skipping without hesitation.
    An i5 @ 3.5ghz or i7 @ 4.0ghz in the DC range would be cheaper and just as good with many games, or wait for the Skylake.
    These games are tested without a GPU, and showing how these processors mean bupkiss on their own.
    And we aren't surprised. Skylake rumors suggest they could show a massive difference in this area and I would love to see if that turns out to be true.
    Another reason I would skip this, like many saying the boards are, overpriced and inferior also. This is not an Extreme chip at all, this is an Experimental chipset. It is simply the baby pool for DDR4 and a few other enhancements to get them ready to swim properly with the next iterations.
  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Nice review. I think the 5960X will really shine in the 4K sector. Especially when rendering 4K video.
  9. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    That's for video cards to shine in rendering tasks, not for CPU-s.
  10. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    It's so funny to see countless newborn 'techies' ride the waves of wonder and disappointment after reading an article like this. So blind-fully inept at realizing it will take years before this hardware is utilized anywhere near its potential, in several areas.
  11. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    In a nutshell it's nice to get your foot in early, but it's going to be a while before everything is pushed to it's limits. Just wanting to really know if this will be worthwhile, to jump in on entry level or wait for a new mainstream chipset. Given the options are basically there for the taking, it just means shifting things around. Mainly for those who are still looking to upgrade, from a 3+ year CPU and likely isn't getting much performance. IE: Many older AMD CPUs, which are lacking enough punch.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Well in all honesty the new X99 platform itself is an awesome platform and comes with a whole lot of boom in this round. I went ahead and purchased the 5930K and the Gaming 9 AC from MSI it felt like such a nice new platform. Sadly though after seeing this review (Along with other sites) it still seems the extremes edition processor is just lacking in the end for its price.

    The major upgrade of giving it 8 unlocked cores this round was and still is an awesome idea as it actually defines itself differently from the other middle ground chip this round. Last 2 rounds it seemed the extreme editions were really not very good value when put up against its younger brother the X930K variants which performed in a clock to clock performance tests pretty much exactly the same. With this chip having 8 Cores there is finally more reason to look at the top end, but I feel the lack of overclocking performance then causes it to dwindle as being a great value because heat, voltages, among other things seem to be holding this chip back from being a true king.

    I think its a great chip and its really nice to have an 8 core 16 thread unlocked chip. However I think for more tasks getting the middle (Or even now the low end) chip is going to satisfy gamers, people who run VMs, and anyone using applications that are heavily threaded (Adobe for instance). If your wanting something to last awhile, based on the way things are going either of the lower chips I still think are much better options.

    Excellent review @Steve
  13. Still kind of (a bit) disappointing actually, because it still 40 lanes not 48 lanes so we can use all 16x bandwith with 3 vga cards T.T
  14. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah but some rendering tasks are offloaded to the CPU. Not everything is GPU accelerated yet :(.
  15. Jesse

    Jesse TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +42

    Most x264/x265 encoding is CPU driven. OpenCL hardware acceleration is still unstable/immature, and if you're going for a high quality encode, not worth using.
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  16. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    What you probably meant is that there are no stable Open CL implementations of x264 and x265 codecs, not that Open CL is unstable, it is version 2.0 at the moment, and has been very stable for a while.
  17. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Yeah, but I still want to see what a Z10PE-D16 and 36 cores/72 threads achieves in a bunch of applications I seldom, if ever, use.
    amstech and Steve like this.
  18. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah I don't think we will see widespread multicore leverage until MS stops producing 32-bit versions of Windows. I say this because then developers will be forced to modernize and fully optimize their apps for 64-bit and multicore CPUs.
    amstech likes this.
  19. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Thank you for including that :).

    A good example of how this CPU can shine in the digital art space is the Photoshop CC benchmark. Yeah, seconds don't matter that much, but for someone who is making a living producing video and images at high resolutions, time matters. This is a good example of where this CPU can really shine.
  20. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    "The X99 chipset brings some much needed improvements over the older X79 chipset. Embarrassingly, Intel's previous flagship chipset only supported two SATA 6Gb/s ports while native USB 3.0 support didn't even exist. That's embarrassing because AMD's $30 AM1 platform is better equipped."
    HEAR HEAR!!! It has been waaaaaayyyyyyy too long for Intel to get serious there! SATA Express and powered eSATA is another area that has been tragically slow!
  21. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,265   +436

    It works pretty good in Sony Vegas pro.
  22. money

    money TS Enthusiast Posts: 45   +9

    ...........I still have 6 year old Core 2 Duo and no reason to upgrade, everything works lightning fast, even modern games work fine on medium to high settings.
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,036

    Seconds don't matter as much as the percentages. Remember we are just running a single filter test and the 5960X was 40% faster than the 4790K. If you do something that takes minutes then a 40% reduction in time is a massive deal. Times money they say ;)

    Yeah the X79 was a joke, the X99 is better but as others have pointed out Intel could have quite easily done more. Still coming from the X79 we will take it :)

    I just fixed an old Core 2 system for a friend. Damn you really don't know what you are missing out on they are bloody slow.

    Programs like Notepad are lightning fast but that's about it. I was actually surprised since I remember the Core 2 being a mighty CPU, much has changed. Of course if you don't do much more than e-mail and surf the web a Core 2 is fine.

    We dropped the Core 2 processors ages ago in our gaming testing because they were so slow, even the Core 2 Quad struggled in the modern games (a year or so ago) so we dropped it as well.
    Julio Franco and Jad Chaar like this.
  24. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Yeah basically set back upgrade plans until some of the SSD bottleneck was alleviated - just knowing the flash can do so much better and it is held back by the bus... They are still moving so slowly!

    Got a HTPC running a Q8400 and it really struggles on any games remotely modern sadly... new racing games and current gen sports titles cause it grief at native res so the days are numbered.
  25. money

    money TS Enthusiast Posts: 45   +9

    Programs like Notepad were lightning fast 20 years ago on 486s...
    I don't know what ghetto pc you were fixing - I use demanding programs like PhotoShops and my core 2 duo simply shines back. Even most modern games like Sleeping Dogs for example run with high fps on high settings at 1080p although I have to admit that when it comes to demanding modern games my pc is starting to show it's age.

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