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Core i7-3960X About 47% Faster On Average Than Core i7-990X: I


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Slides of a key presentation to Intel's partners was leaked to sections of the media, which reveal Intel's own performance testing of the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, the top-model of the socket LGA2011 "Sandy Bridge-E" processor series.

Intel has presented slides, which are leaked to the media. On these slides, Intel gives its new performance testing of its new high-end consumer processor.



Meet the family here. In its comparison, Intel maintained the Core i7-990X Extreme Edition socket LGA1366 processor as this generation's top offering.

In the performance testing, they compare it to the current high-end consumer processor.


It was pitted against the Core i7-3960X in a battery of tests that included some enthusiast favourites such as Cinebench 11.5, POV-Ray 3.7, 3DMark 11 physics, Pro-Show Gold 4.5, and some OEM favourites such as SPECint_rate base2006, SPECfp_rate base2006, and SiSoft SANDRA 2011B multimedia and memory bandwidth.

The benchmarks were, among others, all syntactical benchmarks. That is, a benchmark that is very usefull for comparison, but is not necessarily a representatation of the real situation. Although it is technically not a benchmark, the good old days of "MHz is a comparison" is one "syntactical benchmark". Yes, more MHz is faster, but no, it doesn't mean its faster everywhere (or more interestingly, it can still be a lot slower in games!).


From these test results, the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition is pitched to be about 47.25% faster on average, compared to Core i7-990X Extreme Edition.

The average gives that the new high-end processor is about 47.25% faster than the old high-end processor.


Intel is attributing the performance boost, apart from the normal IPC increase, to the 33% higher bandwidth thanks to the quad-channel DDR3 IMC, and the new AVX instruction set that accelerates math-heavy tasks such as encoding.

Intel attributes the performance boosts to a number of points:

Faster IPC: Faster communication between the cores on a processor.

Faster DDR3: Faster communication between the processor and the memory

AVX instruction: Better to describe it with an example: If your computer can do only elementairy operations as + and -, and you want to have an operation which is multiply with 23, you can create this in hardware such that you don't have to do 23 times +, but only once the operation *23. This operation is slower than a + operation, but faster than 23 times +.


The Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition is an upcoming socket LGA2011 six-core processor that is clocked at 3.30 GHz, with Turbo Boost speed of up to 3.90 GHz, with 12 threads enabled by HyperThreading technology, and 15 MB L3 cache.

The new high-end processor will have 6 cores (6 parallel threads can be handled), and by hyperthreading you can have each core handle two threads, handling up to 12 threads parallel. Since you can't increase the clockspeed much higher, computers will start doing things parallel. A process can consists of multiple threads, and instead of 1x18GHz, they will have 6x3.3GHz, which is easier. However, the software must be able to be split the work to use this fully. Each core is clocked at 3.3GHz. If you only use one core (or something like that), the speed for that one core can be up to 3.9GHz. But that is worse than the 6 or 12 individual threads :)


It will release by either late 2011 or early 2012.

Too easy.




Anyway, 47% faster is interestingly, however $1000 for a cpu is not interesting. I rather take 2 quadcores on a dual processor motherboard :P

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