Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Review

Intel Core i7 Six-Core IHS
by Rob Williams on September 25, 2013 in 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.

Gaming: Futuremark 3DMark & Total War: SHOGUN 2

Game benchmarks stand to see the least amount of gain in comparison to our other tests, but they’re necessary for the sake of completeness. Also, while we benchmark hands-on for our graphics card content, we opt for synthetic testing here, as we’re utilizing the same GPU across each setup.

First up is the ever-popular 3DMark benchmark, and for the sake of completeness, we run all three tests (Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Fire Strike).

Futuremark 3DMark

Intel Core i7-4770K - Futuremark 3DMark

The differences might be small, but here’s one test where the i7-4960X finally comes out ahead of the rest.

Total War: SHOGUN 2

Real-time and turn-based strategy games tend to be the most stressful on both the GPU and CPU, and Total War: SHOGUN 2 does well to live up to that stereotype. The game is so stressful on a PC, in fact, that the developers included built-in benchmarks that are meant to test a PC in a worst-case scenario sort of way. For our testing here, we use we use both the 720p GPU and CPU benchmarks.

Total War: SHOGUN 2

Intel Core i7-4770K - Total War: SHOGUN 2

GPU-wise, the quads win, as has become a theme, though overall performance is what I’d consider non-noticeable in the real-world.