Intel Ivy Bridge-E Core i7-4960X IPC and OCing Review

We debut Intel's next $1000 Extreme Desktop processor, the Core i7-4960X, this time with Ivy Bridge architecture and a couple of extra cores thrown in for good measure. It is a beast of a CPU for those that can actually harness its power and bandwidth, but how much better is it than Sandy Bridge-E and Haswell at the same clocks?

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Test Setup

We are using a smaller amount of test systems than we usually do, simply because we have been rushed for time, and quite frankly you will likely be able to make an intelligent decision about the hardware with comparisons shown.

All processor and memory clocks and timings are identical across all systems (4.5GHz / 1866MHz). This way we can focus on Instructions Per Clock and how much work each gets done. Being overclockers, we know that testing at arbitrarily assigned default clock speeds per processor model tell us little when we know we will not be using the processor at those default clock speeds. When you throw dynamic clock rates into the mix, i.e. Intel Turbo Boost, things can get even a bit more murky.

HyperThreading is turned on for all tests.

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Both the Ivy Bridge-E and Sandy Bridge-E processors are being tested on identical systems using all the same components. That ASUS X79-Deluxe motherboard has been great to work with and I felt as though it was able to pull the best out of the processors that both were cable of. The Core i7-4770K was tested on an ASUS Maximus VI Extreme. We will have reviews of both motherboards up shortly. The Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K system results are being pulled from our recent Intel Haswell i7-4770K IPC and Overclocking Review. That system utilized a GeForce TITAN video card and will be excluded from our gaming results for obvious reasons. We have seen some Haswell testing results have a little "uptick" lately as we have seen motherboards with BIOSes that are now maturing.

All test systems used 16GB of 1866MHz rated Corsair Vengeance memories with 9-10-9-27-2T timings.

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The cooling system we are using is the Koolance EX2-755 (Exos-2 V2) with a Koolance CPU-380i water block that works with all recent generation socket configurations. To adapt this 775/1155/1156/1150 block to your LGA 2011 or LGA 1366 system you will need these adapter posts. The Koolance system did a very good job of keeping our processor temperatures manageable.