Intel Ivy Bridge-E processors are just two months away from launch and we have already detailed the flagship Core i7-4960X. Tomshardware has erased a lot of questions regarding the performance of the new chip compared to Sandy Bridge-E Core i7-3970X. The processor will be based on the already available LGA 2011 socket and will feature six cores and twelve threads.
The six core beast is not much of an improvement in terms of performance against Core i7-3970X as it offers a 5% gain in synthetic benchmarks. The Core i7-4960X was put to test against Core i7-3970X, i7-3930K, i7-4770K, i7-3770K, i7-2700K, AMD FX 8350 and A10-5800K. Performance wise, it does outperform its predecessor but not by a big margin but when compared to its four cores counter parts it had a big leap in the multi-threaded applications. Although, it outperformed the quad-core processors when the six cores were being utilized but in single-threaded applications such as Cinebench, even Core i7-4770K is very competitive.
One of biggest advantage that Ivy Bridge-E has over Sandy Bridge-E is the power consumption. Intel is becoming very innovative when it comes to power efficiency. 4th generation Haswell processors are highly power efficient and offer a significant performance increase as well. Although Intel Core i7-4960X has a 130W TDP similar to its predecessor, but the tests show that it offers a high energy-efficiency.
The question remains, is it worth it? A $1000 CPU needs to outperform its competition out of the park in order to justify such a high price. Intel Core i7-4960X does perform faster but not by a great margin and as far as I can tell, the company has focused more on power efficiency than performance with Ivy Bridge-E as well as Haswell processors. Enthusiasts who crave the latest hardware and will do anything just to get an inch ahead of competition will surely empty their pockets but users like me and 90% of you will stick to LGA115x platforms.