Intel Releases New Top-end LGA2011 Processor: Core i7-3970X

Posted on November 12, 2012 7:19 PM by Rob Williams

It was long expected that Intel would launch a new top-end LGA2011 part by the end of the year, and with an announcement made earlier today, the company has delivered. Replacing the Core i7-3960X at the top of the chain is the Core i7-3970X, a six-core offering clocked at 3.5GHz. For the first time that I can recall from Intel, this is the first part to offer a 4GHz Turbo clock. While impressive, it is only 100MHz higher than the i7-3960X.

Here’s a quick look at the current Core i7 line-up from Intel:

 ClockTurboCoresThreadsCacheTDP1Ku Price
Core i7-3970X (1)3.50 GHz4.00 GHz61215MB L3150W$999
Core i7-3960X (1)3.30 GHz3.90 GHz61215MB L3130W$999
Core i7-3930K (1)3.20 GHz3.80 GHz61212MB L3130W$583
Core i7-3820 (1)3.60 GHz3.80 GHz4810MB L3130W$294
Core i7-3770K (2)3.50 GHz3.90 GHz488MB L377W$332
Core i7-3770 (2)3.40 GHz3.90 GHz488MB L377W$294
(1) LGA2011, (2) LGA1155

In most respects, the Core i7-3970X is a “simple” clock boost. Its technical design is identical to the CPU it’s replacing, although it could be assumed that this latest part would be the best choice for big overclocks.

One thing that strikes me about this launch is that Intel did something it hasn’t done in years: it released a 150W desktop part. The last CPU I recall being rated that high was the Skulltrail-bound Core 2 Extreme QX9775. Given the efficiency of these CPUs, I would have guessed the TDP here would have stayed the same, certainly not going above 140W. Oh well – a 4GHz Turbo doesn’t come free, it seems.

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