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Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Review
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by Rob Williams on November 28, 2011 in Intel Processors

To those looking to build the biggest, baddest high-end PC around, the wait for Sandy Bridge-E was no doubt painful. But, it’s finally here, and much to our expectations, Intel has once again solidified its position as the performance leader. So let’s take a look at what it offers, and compare it to the i7-990X, i7-2600K and AMD FX-8150.

System: Futuremark PCMark 7

Futuremark’s no stranger to most enthusiasts, as its benchmarking software has been considered a de facto standard for about as long as it’s been fun to benchmark. While its 3DMark software is undoubtedly the company’s most popular offering, PCMark is a great tool for summing up the performance of a PC with gaming being a minor focus rather than a major one.

PCMark 7 runs a total of nine “suites” that test a PC across scenarios that most people can relate to, such as gaming, video encoding, image editing and so forth. The processor is heavily stressed throughout most of these, with the graphics, I/O and memory also playing significant roles.

For the sake of easier viewing, we’ve split each suite result into its own graph. Most tests are self-explanatory by title alone, but if you are interested in learning a bit more about how each result is computed, you can download the whitepaper from our servers here (700KB PDF).

Futuremark PCMark 7

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

Intel DX79SI (Siler) X79 Motherboard

As multi-threaded as PCMark 7 is in design, it still doesn’t manage to show the same sort of scaling as other synthetic benchmarks do. Once again, this is another test which proves that Sandy Bridge just can’t be beaten. In overall use, PCMark 7 treats the i7-2600K and i7-3960X almost as equals.