Intel Sandy Bridge-E i7-3820 CPU Review

CPU by leeghoofd @ 2012-03-01

Who said all good things come in 3 fold ? Today we introduce Intel's youngest offering in the SnB-e lineup. The i7-3820 is not a hexacore like it's two bigger brothers ; the 3930K and 3960X. But a Quadcore version for the socket 2011 platform. This allows Intel to launch it at a far more affordable price then the two previous mentioned socket 2011 models. Thus making the i7-3820 maybe a perfect replacement CPU for the socket 1366 Bloomfield CPU's. But the competition is fierce, not from AMD, but within Intel's own lineup. What has this i7-3820 more to offer then eg a similar priced 2600K SnB ? After a brief introduction about this i7-3820 we are continuing straight to the results to spot any noteworthy performance differences.

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Stock Clocks Results Part 1

It will be interesting to see where the i7 3820 and 2600K end up. Keep in mind the higher stock clocks (3600) for the i7 3820 versus 3400Mhz of the 2600K. Trubo funciton is similar at 3800mhz. But first a small recap on the test setup :

For the RAMs we are still using the Corsair Dominator rams running at 1600 C8-8-8-24 Command rate 1T (where possible). These in either a dual, triple (X58) and finally a quadruple ram config for the X79 platform. Graphics coming from a GTX480 Nvidia GPU, running at reference clocks. Operating System is a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64bit, all updates installed and SP1 too (this to allow for full AVX support).

For this page, we still include some older generation CPUs, just to see how big the performance leap is by this brand new architecture. Sadly we don't have all of them CPU's anymore, so newer bench suites couldn't be tested. Those are for the following pages...

Let's start with our super single threaded SuperPi 1M test, to quickly find out if this latest Intel creation can keep up with it's predecessors. The other test in the two below charts is Wprime, absolutely multithreaded pur sang, plus a perfect stress test for all the available cores.



The i7-3820 CPU right in front, very close to the its two bigger sibblings. The higher stock clocks and Turbo of 3800Mhz, or was it 3900Mhz :p give it the edge on the 2600K in Wprime32. The 1M tests is slightly faster on the SnB 2600K CPU, the faster L3 cache plays it's part.



Similar outcome in the extended test versions of Pi and Wprime. The Wprime1024 coming even close to the 6 core i7 970 Gulftown CPU. But in SuperPi 32M the 2600K remains just that tad faster. AIDA bandwith test, tells the tale between the different CPU's The first Sandybridge lineup way in front.



In Cinebench R10 the new architecture boosts the i7-3820 way past the 2600K. Seems when it's up to raw CPU crunching, the newer platform has got it's little advantages.



Encoding the video file with the X264HD codec is again faster on socket 2011. The older Bloomfield CPU's cant compete as they lack the used AVX instructions. Only the Gulftown CPU can keep ahead on Test 2, thanks to it's two extra cores.



3DMark01 a pure bandwith lover, remains insane fast on the initial SnB CPU's. The i7-3820 gives even the i7-970 a run for it's money. Again when it's up to multi crunching the i7-3820 seems to have an edge on the 2600K.



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