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Intel Core i7-3820 Extreme Edition CPU E-mail
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Written by Hank Tolman   
Monday, 05 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i7-3820 Extreme Edition CPU
Features and Specifications
Sandy Bridge Extreme Architecture
Processor Testing Methodology
SiSoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
Core i7-3820 Overclocking
Sandy Bridge Extreme Final Thoughts
Intel Core i7-3820 Conclusion

Sandy Bridge Extreme Final Thoughts

I have to say that the side by side comparison results of the i7-3820 with the similarly priced but i7-2600K were a little disappointing to me. The individual cores are nearly identical on both processors, although the i7-3820 cores are clocked a little faster than the i7-2600K. Also, while the i7-3820 doesn't have an on-die GPU, it does have a little bigger L3 cache at 10MB rather than 8MB. With a faster clock speed and bigger L3 cache, I would think that the i7-3820 would have outshined the i7-2600K by a larger margin than it did.

i7-3820_CPU.jpg

That being said, the test beds were close, but not identical. Any number of reasons could have caused the i7-3820 to run as close as it did to the i7-2600K. It still did better than the older CPU in most of the testing, and the two processors are very close in specifications. The real point boils down the usage of the two CPUs. Priced just above the i7-2600K and just below the i7-2700K, the i7-3820 represents the lowest-priced CPU available for the Sandy Bridge Extreme chipset. In the end, if you aren't going to use the other features provided by the Sandy Bridge Extreme chipset, then there is really no need to consider the i7-3820 at all.

There are, however, a lot of reasons you might be considering an i7-3820 and the Sandy Bridge Extreme chipset. A lot of gamers would love to have a full 40 PCIe lanes to play around with, allowing them three GPUs running at x16 and a fourth at x8. We've decisively proven in the past that the GPU is the deciding factor in gameplay anyway. Maybe you like the idea of being prepared for the next generation of GPUs running on PCIe 3.0 lanes, which offer twice the bandwidth of PCIe 2.0 lanes. Our memory bandwidth tests certainly showed that quad-channel memory had a dramatic affect on memory bandwidth capabilities as well.

The key, it seems, to deciding whether or not you should consider the i7-3820, lies in what you will be using it for. Gamers could certainly see the benefits in the Sandy Bridge Extreme chipset that we just outlined. But even the most intense games available right now can be played with ease on a P67 or Z68 motherboard with the right components. A P67 or Z68 system will also probably end up being less expensive in the long run. Even the i7-3820 is very competitively priced based on its own specifications, you'll need a LGA-2011 motherboard to run it. Even the least expensive of these motherboards start at over $200, and you wouldn't be able to run quad-GPUs with those ones anyway.



 

Comments 

 
# Sweet spot?realneil 2012-03-06 09:55
I wonder if this will be the affordable sweet spot for many of us? The lower price is compelling and the performance is very good too. I can't see quitting my i7-2600K system for this one yet, but it looks to be a good choice for future consideration.
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# Uhh.. this isn't an Extreme Editionbcmac401 2012-03-06 10:07
That would be the 3960X. This is the baseline LGA2011 Core i7.
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# RE: Uhh.. this isn't an Extreme Editionchristopher hardin 2013-07-02 08:03
oh he means sandy bridge extreme. i was screaming at my screen for a second too...
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# From a Multi-GPU gaming rig builder's perspectiveLuay 2012-03-07 05:18
The difference between the i7 3820 and the i5 2550k in gaming performance is not worth the extra money spent on the CPU, motherboard and quad channel RAM.
For two CF/SLI GPUs we have P67 motherboards in the $120~$180 range.
For tri-fire/SLI or more we have NF200 equipped P8P67 WS Revolution and Rampage boards that sell for the same price of a low-end LGA 2011 motherboard. This is a hard sell either because it's not good enough or LGA 1155 is just too good.
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# Love Mine.Enigma8750 2012-03-20 08:21
Coming from AMD 890 board to this motherboard was like night and day. My Benchmark 06 is 29080 at 4.5 ghz. I know I can get more but I want a nice stable system with no errors. The Performance of the CPU and the Two 5770's Crossfired is amazing. I am only using Corsair 1600 memory but this computer is a F1 Race car. My old 5xxx Video cards have never Breathed so well. I can only imagine what a couple of 7850's would look like. I am amazed at this CHIP and I bought my ASRock Extreme 9 board for this chip at Christmas, knowing that it would be a killer chip at an excellent price. it is. I am very very happy with mine and I love it.
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# Happy to keep what I have!DB62 2012-03-20 21:40
Ya, I know it's way overpriced, but my system, with a 990X, a GTX580 Lightning, 4 raid-0 RE4's, and 1-Intel 510 SSD, serves every need I have, and does it fast, without a problem. Plus, it's an overclocking champ.
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# ewfxcc 2012-03-31 22:28
don't understand what comparision demonstarte when all cpus are running different amount of ram.3xxx with 16gb and few ones only on 4gb.my athlon x2 was doing 44fps on 2gb and 122fps on 4gb on specviewperf maya with all other component same ,resolution, threads etc everything same. as such benchmark is 100% fake to me. yes 3xxx needs 4 ram for quad channel but 4 ram can be used in dual channel too. so why not all cpus running 16gb(for quad and dual both) and 12gb(for triple channel).
simply seems intel sponsered benchmark to fakely demonstrate 3xxx is best processor
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# RE: ewfDavid Ramsey 2012-03-31 23:07
Since none of these benchmarks are memory-constrained, the amount of memory (past 2G or so) is irrelevant.
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# RE: RE: ewfxcc 2012-04-01 06:28
but whats problem installing same amount of ram on all. also speed of ram r different
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# Great investmentGlock10mm 2012-04-14 22:50
Just picked up the 3820 and an X79 SABERTOOTH.Great upgrade from my AMD 980 & ASUS Crosshair board. Using my same 1600 ram(which would never run @ 1600 on my old board) and crossfired 6870's. Works great and and really only cost about $75 more for the setup than the 2600k setup(buying a high end 1155 board). Running @ 4.625 and very stable. If I had already owned an 2600k setup, it would not be worth the money for the minimal gain. Coming from an 2 year old board and going to Intel for the first time in 10 years, it seemed to make sense to purchase the newest socket board.
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# 1.624v ,ReallyJohn Elmore 2012-05-12 06:52
Running a i7-3820 at 4750gigs at a whopping 1.624v on a lower end CPU water cooler Corsair H60,I would like to know what your temperatures were reading.I find it hard to believe that it did not shut down with that kind of voltage running though it ,when intel says the safest voltage is 1.350v and not to run it over 67c.I know with just a Corsair H-60 you would be running way over 67c.Unless it was reading the voltage wrong.I have a i7-3820 on a ASRock X79 ExeTreme 4 and I can run 4750gigs at 1.304v and my tempertures run at 65c-62c-64c-60c running Prime95,on AIR a $35 Coolermaster 212 EVO.If them H-60's run that good I will have to get me one ,but all the reviews I have seen puts them around 3c to 5c cooler then what I am running.I would really like to see your tempertures at 1.624v at 4750gigs.
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# Egg CookerRich 2013-03-15 12:37
He's trying to turn that proc into an egg cooker!!
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# 1.41V @ 45CStick 2013-05-10 23:36
I'm at 5 Ghz with DDR 1600, started at 1333 on MSI Big Bang Xpower II board... But I'm using the Antec 25 (Kuhler H2O cooler).
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