For now some 12 months the Personal computing industry has without doubt came alive to a position of enthusiasm that has not been seen since Intel launched the first Pentium Processor. It has over some near 15 years evolved to magnitudes some never dreamed of. Intel’s Nehalem processor most certainly captured the world with its astonishing performance. Nearing a year ago we then witnessed the unfolding of the new Sandybridge era or to be more official 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor, this brought to the many the vogue “Need for Speed” at an affordable level. Many overclockers found these new CPU’s exceptional reached speeds on air that only could be found on wish lists. Today we bring to you a whole new era both in CPU and Mainboard, a significant milestone in Intel’s technology enter 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor family for Socket LGA-2011 and Intel® X79 Express Chipset featuring Intel® Desktop Board DX79SI.
Muhammad Ali once said “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them. They have a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill”
This article is going to be without doubt not for the faint hearted as it will cover many aspects of the target markets as essentially todays Tier 1 and 2 OEM’s, System Integrators and Value Added Resellers will all have their own ideas so we have tried to cover as much as possible to suit the needs of the many. Hopefully it will allow each viewer whether or not they are a multimedia player or professional a measured baseline set of results to which they can then make decisions on how they are going to spend those valuable monies.
Firstly we enter the domain of the new 3960X Extreme Edition CPU which features the following key points
6 Cores and 6 Threads
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
Supports LGA 2011 Socket Intel® X79 Express Chipset Based Motherboards
Up to 15MB Intel® Smart Cache
Integrated Memory Controller – 4 Channels of DDR3 1600MHz
Intel® AVX and AES
40 PCI Express*1 Lanes
SSE4,1 and SSE4.2 Instructions
1 Intel believes that some PCI Express devices may be able to achieve the 8GT/s PCI Express transfer rate on the X79 Express Chipset based platform. Observing the bios set-up on the mainboard we did note this facility was present.
Intel® 2nd Generation Core™ i7 Processor Family Comparison Chart.
Therefore we see more added features for example additional PCI express lanes allowing more versatility on the mainboard new additional instructions bigger level 3 cache and most importantly the new Quad Channel memory controller. Looking at the famous Tick Tock chart introduced by Intel that so many of you are now aware of we are now at the forth level as the chart below details.
Moving on the all important question, what of the die and what is the actual breakdown. The Die size dimensions are 20.8 mm x 20.9 mm containing a total number of transistors equaling 2.27B. Quite a significant leap forward and for those wishing to see what the actual DIE breakdown is then please see below.
Already the questions are being asked “ so what’s the performance increase from the top bin chip of the 3960X over say an Intel 990X or the i-7 2600K”. Here are a few supplied examples that should give plenty of room for everyone to mull over
Starting with the Intel 990X we see
Moving onto the i-7 2600K
We have witnessed within a much higher performance uptake in many areas within, the results speak volumes for themselves and many will be blown away with what we have uncovered. For example the CPU Floating Point performance increase is somewhere in the region of 33.5% over that of the Intel 990X and the all important AES256 Cryptographic Bandwidth leaps up by a mighty 74%. We could go on and on, however these are sufficient numbers to give you an idea of what to expect within.
Page 1 – 3960X Extreme Edition Introduction
Page 2 – X79 Featuring the Intel® Desktop Board DX79SI
Page 3 – Akasa’s New Venom Strike Chassis
Page 4 – Completed System Builds
Page 5 – System Set-Up and Software Used
Page 6 – CPU Heatsink Fan Cooling
Page 7 – NVIDIA® Geforce GTX 580
Page 8 – Sapphire Technology® Radeon HD 6970
Page 9 – SiSoftware Sandra 2011 (Latest Build) Part 1
Page 10 – SiSoftware Sandra 2011 (Latest Build) Part 2
Page 11 – POV-Ray for Windows v3.7 RC3 (64-bit)
Page 12 – AMD FirePro™ V7900 – Miscellaneous Professional Benchmarks
Page 13 – AMD FirePro™ V7900 – SPECviewperf® and SPECapc™ Tests
Page 14 – Nvidia® Quadro® 4000 – Miscellaneous Professional Benchmarks
Page 15 – Nvidia® Quadro® 4000 – SPECviewperf® and SPECapc™ Tests
Page 16 – Conclusions and Awards