Intel’s Flagship Processors (Core i7 3960X and Core i7 990X) Redefine High Performance Computing in an Head to Head Benchmark Comparison


Benchmarks of Intel's Upcoming Flagship Sandy Bridge-E Processor have been revealed over at Coolaler Forums. The benchmarks redefine high performance computing where Intel's current flagship Core i7 990X was put to test against Intel's Upcoming Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition (Sandy Bridge-E) Processor which will launch in Q4 2011.

The launch lineup of Sandy Bridge-E Platform would consist of 3 CPU's, At the top would be the 1000$ 6Core Mammoth "Core i7 3960X" featuring 3.3Ghz/3.9Ghz Stock Frequencies, 15MB L3 Cache. Other two CPU's would be the 583$ Core i7 3930K (Benchmarks here) and the entry level Quad Core Core i7 3820 (Detailed here). While it has been known that the i7 3820 would come with a Locked Multiplier, Recent Architecture Slides from Intel detail that the (Reference Clock Ratio) technology can allow the CPU to overclock upto 5Ghz, Key features of the Slide are detailed in the pic below:

Both the Core i7 3960X and i7 990X were overclocked to 4Ghz for the benchmarking session at the following voltages:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz core voltage of 1.16V
  •  Core i7-990X @ 4GHz core voltage of 1.23V

The LGA 2011 since it features Quad Channel Memory Support was equipped with a total of 16GB DDR3-1600 @ CL = 9-10-9 four channels Memory while the Tri Channel LGA 1366 had 12GB DDR3-1600 @ CL = 9-10-9 three-channel total memory equipped. Both rigs were benchmarked with an GTX580 Lightning Edition GPU from MSI.  Following are the results from these monster Processors:

Cinebench R11.5:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4.3GHz- 12.58 Points
  • Core i7-990X @ 4.1GHz- 11.94 Points
  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz- 11.55 Points
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz- 10.28 Points

CPU Mark 99 / Super Pi 1M Calculations:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz- 610 CPU Marks / 09.407 Sec
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz- 628 CPU Marks / 10.156 Sec

Super Pi 32M Calculations:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz- 8 Min 39.450 Sec
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz- 9 Min 19.198 Sec

3D Mark 06 CPU Marks:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz- 9139 Marks
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz- 8306 Marks

3D Mark Vantage CPU Score:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz- 39876 Marks
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz- 37253 Marks

While the Sandy Bridge-E Chip is still an engineering sample, It outperforms 990X in every way. Given the fact that both processors cost a 1000$, Hardware and Gaming Enthusiast will be attracted towards the newer platform due to the extra core on CPU's, Quad Channel Memory and Full Bandwidth PCI-e x16 slots. The TDP shown in the CPU-z is bugged up, Real World Power Consumption of the chip is actually lower than its predecessors. Following is an Comparison:

  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz (Idle)- 106.2W
  • Core i7-3960X @ 4GHz (load)- 288W
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz (Idle)- 234W
  • Core i7-990X @ 4GHz (load)- 367W