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Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Review
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Intel Core i7 Six-Core IHS
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by Rob Williams on September 25, 2013 in Intel Processors

Intel’s latest processor series has arrived, and we’re looking to find out if it becomes the company’s greatest. Compared to Intel’s latest mainstream part, Haswell, IV-E avails a quad-channel memory controller, a far more robust PCIe configuration, and the only place to get six-core parts. Are there other perks to be found? Let’s find out.

System: Sandra Memory, Cache Performance & Multi-Core Efficiency

The faster the processor, the better its bandwidth and latencies are. Where memory is concerned, however, there are many more factors at play. While frequency plays a major role in overall memory performance, the memory controller can make an even greater improvement, based on its implementation and also its capabilities.

With Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E, we were given a quad-channel controller, while Intel’s (and AMD’s) other platforms stick to a dual-channel design. A quad-channel controller could in theory provide twice as much bandwidth as a dual-channel one. How the controller is integrated into its chip along with the memory’s frequency determines the latency.

While faster memory bandwidth and lower latencies can improve overall computer performance, the faster each core can work with one another along with how much bandwidth a cache can handle rounds out the most important factors of PC performance. The results of all of these are tackled on this page.

SiSoftware Sandra 2013 SP3a

Intel Core i7-4770K - Sandra Memory Bandwidth

Note: Haswell = DDR3-2133; Ivy Bridge-E = DDR3-1333. The reason this was done was because on our X79 test motherboard, the CPU automatically became overclocked when we adjusted our RAM to DDR3-2133 speeds (or any speeds, for that matter). At CPU stock speeds and DDR3-2133 RAM speeds, the results on IV-E are closer to 45GB/s.

Intel Core i7-4770K - Sandra Cache Bandwidth

Intel Core i7-4770K - Sandra Cache & Memory Latency

Intel Core i7-4770K - Sandra Multi-Core Latency

Latency-wise, Intel’s quad-cores win hands-down. With raw bandwidth, including memory, the six-cores do. It’s a total toss-up here, though for those requiring big memory bandwidth, the only choice is IV-E (or SB-E).


  • BarackMcBush

    No in-depth overclocking on an extreme cpu? That is rather lazy and lacking.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      I might include overclocking reports in time, but it’s not my forte, so to include it at all would be doing a disservice to the CPU.

      • Hubert J Farnsworth

        I use to overclock once a long time ago. Most will until the have stability issues or meltdowns. Now i just by a better CPU.

  • Hubert J Farnsworth

    Great review. I think Intel is more worried about power consumption then in performance. Intel is screwing the power users just to get into phone and tablets.

  • Michal ┼áimonek

    nice review with practice tests