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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.

Workstation: Cinebench & POV-Ray

Like Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya 3D tools, Maxon’s Cinema 4D is a popular cross-platform 3D design tool that’s used by new users and experts alike. Maxon is well-aware that its users are in need of some rather beefy PC hardware to help speed up rendering times, which is one of the reasons the company itself releases its own benchmark, Cinebench.

There are a couple of reasons we like to use Cinebench in our testing. For one, it’s freely available for anyone to download, unlike our Autodesk-based tests. Second, it has the capability to scale up to 64 threads, which means we’ll easily be able to rely on it until the next version hits. As a faster CPU can also help improve the GPU computational pipeline, we also like that it includes an OpenGL benchmark as well. The fact that the benchmark completes in mere minutes is another perk.

Cinebench R11.5

Intel Core i7-4770K - Cinebench

Here’s the kind of result Intel would love to see – it’s just a bit unfortunate it has to come from a synthetic benchmark. Still, in the best of circumstances, it appears that the 4960X can outperform the 4770K by at least 40%. Again, the 4770K proves to be the superior in the graphics department, and by a wide margin.

POV-Ray 3.70

The “Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer” is a multi-platform ray tracing tool that allows you to take your previously-created environments and models and apply a ray tracing algorithm based on a script you either created yourself or borrowed from others. The tool is free and has become a standard in the ray tracing community, with some of the ‘Hall of Fame’ results able to be found here.

For our testing, we run the built-in benchmark in both single-threaded and multi-threaded mode. The results are presented in “pixels-per-second” – a simple metric, but one that’s easy to understand.

POV-Ray 3.70

Intel Core i7-4770K - POV-Ray

Once again, Haswell’s superb single-threaded performance shines here, but Intel’s beefier 4960X takes the delicious cake in the multi-threaded test.


  • 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 Šimonek

    nice review with practice tests

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