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Intel Core i7 5960X Extreme Edition Review

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Intel Core i7 5960X Extreme Edition Testing:

Testing the latest Extreme Edition CPU from Intel will involve running it and its comparison products through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which include both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly-prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest chipset drivers for each board and GeForce drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 770. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies, unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost will be disabled on all processors to make a fair comparison without skewing results. After stock speed testing, each processor will then be overclocked as much as possible, while still maintaining full stability.

 

Testing Setup: Intel Socket 2011 V-3

 

Testing Setup: Intel Socket 2011

 

Testing Setup: Intel (Socket 1150)

 

Testing Setup: AMD (Socket AM3+)

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 5960X  4604MHz 127.9 x 45

 

Haswell silicone on the Extreme Edition Core i7 5960X is going to deliver roughly the same limits as we saw with the 4770K and 4690K, but with some help on thermals thanks to a soldered-on IHS. By using the same rules of setting the voltage to 1.25v on the core and then booting the system will give you a quick and dirty starting point that you can work from. If you can boot into Windows at 4.6GHz you would have a pretty decent chip considering that you are working with eight cores. At 4.5GHz you would be in the average range and at 4.4, well, you are in the below average range. Thankfully I can boot this chip at 4.7GHz at 1.25v, but it's only screenshot stable with up to 1.35v. Settling at 4.6GHz using 1.31v set in the BIOS gets this particular chip stable and leaves some headroom for further overclocking with added voltage tuning and cooling capacity.

Overclocking the Core i7 5960X was no more difficult than overclocking the last few revisions of the Extreme Edition processors and on par with the mainstream K SKU chips. Set the XMP profile for your installed memory, bump the multiplier up, give it the voltage it needs to be stable within the confines of your cooling solution's capabilities, and presto chango you have your overclock. Of course stability testing will be needed to verify that the system is stable. Much like on IVB-E, you have Gear Ratios that bump the bclk up to 125MHz or 166MHz to help raise the memory speed after hitting the limits of the memory controller at the 100MHz Gear Ratio. One thing to note that setting an XMP profile or setting the memory speed over 2400MHz results in the board defaulting the bclk to 125MHz. By using this process I was able to run the CPU at 4.6GHz using 1.31v with the memory set at its XMP profile of 2800MHz with no issues using 1.22v. Bumping the memory speed up to 3069MHz was as simple as bumping the memory multiplier for the additional speed. After that more voltage was required on the DIMMS to go higher.

 

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench 3
  4. Bibble 5
  5. Office 2010
  6. POV-Ray 3.7
  7. ProShow Gold
  8. HandBrake .99
  9. Sandra 2014 SP2
  10. AIDA64
  11. Cinebench R15
  12. X.264 Benchmark
  13. PC Mark 8
  • Video:
  1. Metro: Last Light
  2. Batman: Arkham Origins
  3. 3DMark

Well we have our lineup and maximum stable overclocks for each respective CPU; time to see what results we get.




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