Intel Ivy Bridge-E 4960X CPU Review (LN2 inside)

CPU by leeghoofd @ 2013-09-09

After upgrading the performance of the mainstream platform by the Haswell family, the Intel engineers also devoted time to perform an overhaul on their high end platform, LGA 2011. The Sandy Bridge-E  was a worthy successor of the old and aged LGA1366. Intel waited close to two years for manufacturing the new high end flagship CPU model available to the masses, this in contradiction with the launch schedule on some previously leaked roadmaps. As with the transition from Sandy to Ivy Bridge on the LGA1155 socket, we spot many similarities with the new Ivy Bridge-E. A die shrink to the 22nm process and alike architectural improvements should boost the performance and efficiency. Time to unravel the brand new Intel flagship LGA2011 CPU: the i7-4960X CPU.

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3 Different Models

Three models will be released for the LGA2011 Ivy Bridge-E series: the entry model being the quad-core i7-4820K, the mainstream hexacore i7-4930K and the Extreme model: the i7-4960X CPU. Biggest change versus Sandy Bridge-E is that the 4-core 4820K model is now a K skew model, allowind full multiplier selection. A great and applauded update Intel! Alike the Sandy-E, the Ivy Bridge-E models are sold without a cooler. Thus an aftermarket cooler is required and aim straight for a beefy air cooler or high end AIO or even better a good water cooling build.

We compare the old versus the new in the below chart:



As you see no drastic changes versus Sandy Bridge-E, besides slightly higher running clocks and therefore also higher Turbo speeds. The Cache Size is the same for the Hexacore versions, the quad core i7-4820K gets an extra 2MB. The TDP remains rated at 130W. The official memory support is now updated : 1866MHz versus 1600MHz before.



Since we talked about the K skew models, there's still a bit more extra under the hood for the extreme enthusiasts. The CPU ratio has been lifted to 63X versus 57X before. The three gear ratios are still present: 1.00x, 1.25x and 1.66 allowing for finer coarse increments. Nevertheless the DRAM dividers are still just in 266MHz increments, which is a pity. On the Rampage IV Extreme board max workable selectable divider is 2400MHz, so to achieve higher DRAM speeds we need to select a higher CPU ratio: 1.25x or 1.66x



With the release of the Ivy Bridge-E the Xtreme Tuning Utility, XTU was also updated to support the new processors. At the community has already thoroughly tested with this new overclocking tool and it has been approved by the HWBot staff as an official benchmark. Cool features are that you can share profiles, compare settings and scores. Plus the benchmark doesn't take too long to complete. Check out the scores at the XTU zone.



No changes in XMP profile either, still Xtreme Memory Profile 1.3 is valid, ofcourse in a quad channel configuration to maximize the performance of this platform.


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