Intel Core i7-3960X: specs and benchmarks

Intel Core i7-3960X

Summary

Intel started Intel Core i7-3960X sales 14 November 2011 at a recommended price of $861. This is Sandy Bridge E architecture desktop processor primarily aimed at office systems. It has 6 cores and 12 threads, and is based on 32 nm manufacturing technology, with a max turbo frequency of 3900 MHz and an unlocked multiplier.

Compatibility-wise, this is FCLGA2011 processor with a TDP of 130 Watt and a maximum temperature of 67 °C. It supports DDR3-1066, DDR3-1333, DDR3-1600 memory.

It provides poor benchmark performance at 9.84 percent of a leader's which is AMD EPYC 7763.

General info

Of Core i7-3960X processor market type (desktop or notebook), architecture, sales start time and pricing.

Place in our rating
 
Value for money (0-100)
1.40
 
Market segment
Desktop processor
 
Series
Core i7 (Desktop)
 
Architecture codename
Sandy Bridge E
 
Launch date
14 November 2011 (9 years ago)
 
Launch price (MSRP)
$861
 
Price now
$1105
 

Technical specs

Basic processor parameters such as number of cores, number of threads, base frequency and turbo boost clock, lithography, cache size and multiplier lock state. These parameters can generally indicate CPU performance, but to be more precise you have to review its test results.

Physical cores
6
 
Threads
12
 
Base clock speed
3.3 GHz
 
of 4.7 (FX-9590)
Boost clock speed
3.9 GHz
 
L1 cache
64 KB (per core)
 
of 896 (Atom C3950)
L2 cache
256 KB (per core)
 
L3 cache
15 MB (shared)
 
Chip lithography
32 nm
 
of 5 (Apple M1)
Die size
435 mm2
 
Maximum core temperature
67 °C
 
of 110 (Atom x7-E3950)
Maximum case temperature (TCase)
67 °C
 
of 105 (Core i7-5557U)
Transistor count
2,270 million
 
of 16000 (Apple M1)
64 bit support
+
 
Unlocked multiplier
+
 
VID voltage range
0.6V-1.35V
 

Compatibility

Information on Core i7-3960X compatibility with other computer components and devices: motherboard (look for socket type), power supply unit (look for power consumption) etc. Useful when planning a future computer configuration or upgrading an existing one.

Number of CPUs in a configuration
1
 
Socket
FCLGA2011
 
Thermal design power (TDP)
130 Watt
 

Technologies and extensions

Technological capabilities and additional instructions supported by Core i7-3960X. You'll probably need this information if you require some particular technology.

Instruction set extensions
Intel® SSE4.2, Intel® AVX
 
AES-NI
+
 
AVX
+
 
vPro
-
 
Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST)
+
 
Turbo Boost Technology
2.0
 
Hyper-Threading Technology
+
 
Idle States
+
 
Thermal Monitoring
+
 
Smart Response
+
 
Demand Based Switching
-
 

Security technologies

Processor technologies aimed at improving security, for example, by protecting against hacks.

TXT
-
 
EDB
+
 
Identity Protection
+
 

Virtualization technologies

Supported virtual machine optimization technologies. Some are specific to Intel only, some to AMD.

VT-d
+
 
VT-x
+
 
EPT
+
 

Memory specs

Types, maximum amount and channel number of RAM supported by Core i7-3960X's memory controller.

Supported memory types
DDR3-1066, DDR3-1333, DDR3-1600
 
of 4266 (Ryzen 9 4900H)
Maximum memory size
64 GB
 
Max memory channels
4
 
Maximum memory bandwidth
51.2 GB/s
 

Peripherals

Specifications and connection types of supported peripherals.

PCIe revision
2.0
 
Max number of PCIe lanes
40
 
of 128 (EPYC 7551P)

Benchmark performance

Single-core and multi-core benchmark results of Core i7-3960X. Overall benchmark performance is measured in points in 0-100 range, higher is better.

Overall score

This is our combined benchmark performance rating. We are regularly improving our combining algorithms, but if you find some perceived inconsistencies, feel free to speak up in comments section, we usually fix problems quickly.

9.84

3DMark06 CPU

3DMark06 is a discontinued DirectX 9 benchmark suite from Futuremark. Its CPU part containts two tests, one dedicated to artificial intelligence pathfinding, another to game physics using PhysX package.

8330

Cinebench 10 32-bit single-core

5014

Cinebench 10 32-bit multi-core

27190

Cinebench 11.5 64-bit single-core

Cinebench R11.5 is an old benchmark by Maxon, authors of Cinema 4D. It was superseded by later versions of Cinebench, which use more modern variants of Cinema 4D engine. The Single Core version loads a single thread with ray tracing to render a glossy room full of crystal spheres and light sources.

1.52

Cinebench 11.5 64-bit multi-core

Cinebench Release 11.5 Multi Core is a variant of Cinebench R11.5 which uses all the processor threads. A maximum of 64 threads is supported in this version.

10.5

Cinebench 15 64-bit single-core

Cinebench R15 (standing for Release 15) is a benchmark made by Maxon, authors of Cinema 4D. It was superseded by later versions of Cinebench, which use more modern variants of Cinema 4D engine. The Single Core version (sometimes called Single-Thread) only uses a single processor thread to render a room full of reflective spheres and light sources.

159

Cinebench 15 64-bit multi-core

Cinebench Release 15 Multi Core (sometimes called Multi-Thread) is a variant of Cinebench R15 which uses all the processor threads.

1158

WinRAR 4.0

WinRAR 4.0 is an outdated version of a popular file archiver. It contains an internal speed test, using 'Best' setting of RAR compression on large chunks of randomly generated data. Its results are measured in kilobytes per second.

4205

x264 encoding pass 1

x264 benchmark uses MPEG 4 x264 compression method to encode a sample Full HD (1080p) video. Pass 1 is a faster variant that produces a constant bit rate output file. Its result is measured in frames per second, which means how many frames of source video file were encoded per second.  

173

x264 encoding pass 2

x264 Pass 2 is a slower variant of x264 video compression that produces a variable bit rate output file, which results in better quality since the higher bit rate is used when it is needed more. Benchmark result is still measured in frames per second.  

55

TrueCrypt AES

TrueCrypt is a discontinued piece of software that was widely used for on-the-fly-encryption of disk partitions, now superseded by VeraCrypt. It contains several embedded performance tests, one of them being TrueCrypt AES, which measures data encryption speed using AES algorithm. Result is encryption speed in gigabytes per second.

5.2

Passmark

Passmark CPU Mark is a widespread benchmark, consisting of 8 different tests, including integer and floating point math, extended instructions, compression, encryption and physics calculation. There is also one separate single-threaded scenario.

8631

3DMark Fire Strike Physics

12460

Mining hashrates

Cryptocurrency mining performance of Core i7-3960X. Usually measured in megahashes per second.

Bitcoin / BTC (SHA256)
7.8 Mh/s
 
 

Game benchmarks

Let's see how good Core i7-3960X is for a gaming PC, compared with system requirements of some popular titles. Remember that sometimes official hardware requirements may reflect real performance inaccurately.

AMD equivalent

We believe that the nearest equivalent to Core i7-3960X from AMD is Ryzen 5 PRO 2400G, which is slower by 1% and lower by 6 positions in our rating.

User rating

Here is the rating given to the reviewed processor by our users. Let others know your opinion by rating it yourself.

Advices and comments

Here you can ask a question about Core i7-3960X, agree or disagree with our judgements, or report an error or mismatch.