What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E CPU Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
System Benchmarks: PCMark 7 / WinRAR / 7-Zip

System Benchmarks: PCMark 7 / WinRAR / 7-Zip



PCMark 7



SBE_3820_LGA2011_40.jpg


WinRAR


WinRAR 4.0.1 x64
Test: Compression of 1GB of Assorted Files
Comparison: Time to Finish

One of the most popular file compression/decompresion tools, we use WinRAR to compress a 1GB batch of files and archive them, timing the task until completion.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_41.jpg


7-Zip


7-Zip 9.22 x64
Test: Compression/Extraction of 1GB of Assorted Files, with AES-256 encryption
Comparison: Time to Finish


SBE_3820_LGA2011_42.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage / 3DMark 11

Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage / 3DMark 11



Futuremark 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage v1.1.0
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280X1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score

3DMark Vantage is the follow-up to the highly successful 3DMark06. It uses DirectX 10 exclusively so if you are running Windows XP, you can forget about this benchmark. Along with being a very capable graphics card testing application, it also has very heavily multi-threaded CPU tests, such Physics Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which makes it a good all-around gaming benchmark.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_43.jpg


Futuremark 3DMark 11


3DMark 11 v1.0.2
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280X720
Test: Specific Physics Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score


3DMark 11 is Futuremark's very latest benchmark, designed to tests all of the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. At the moment, it is lot more GPU-bound than past versions are now, but it does contain a terrific physics test which really taxes modern multi-core processors.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_44.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis / Crysis 2 / Civilization V

Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis / Crysis 2 / Civilization V



Crysis


Crysis v1.21
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti Aliasing: 0
Quality Settings: High
Global Settings: DX10 / 64-Bit

Test 1: Ice benchmark_CPU2 demo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Still one of the most hardware intensive game on the market today, Crysis has been chosen for its obvious ability to be able to showcase the differences between platforms and to showcase just how far one will need to go in the quest for maximum performance. The game also features the renowned CryEngine, the power behind the incredible graphics, which is expected to be foundation of future titles.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_45.jpg


Crysis 2


Crysis 2 v1.9 + DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade Patch
Quality: Very High
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 0X
Map: Downtown
Runs: 3
API: DirectX 11
Edge AA: Edge Blur
Hi-res Texture: On


SBE_3820_LGA2011_46.jpg


Civilization V


Civilization V
Map: LateGameView Benchmark
API: DirectX 11
Resolution: 1680x1050 @ 59Hz
Anti-Aliasing: 4X MSAA
All quality settings on high.



SBE_3820_LGA2011_47.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: DiRT 3 / Far Cry 2 / X3

Gaming Benchmarks: DiRT 3 / Far Cry 2 / X3



DiRT 3


DiRT 3
DirectX 11
1680x1050@60Hz
Graphics Quality: High
4X MSAA
Skidmarks: On
Track: finland_rally


SBE_3820_LGA2011_48.jpg



Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2 1.02
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti Aliasing: 0
Quality Settings: Very High
Performance: Very High
Global Settings: DX10 Enabled

Test 1: Ranch Long Demo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Far Cry 2 is the hot new new first-person shooter from Ubisoft's Montreal studio, and the first game to utilize the new visually stunning Dunia Engine, which will undoubtedly be used by numerous future games. Using the included Benchmarking Tool, we ran the Long Ranch demo in DX10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings set to very high.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_49.jpg


X3: Terran Conflict


X3: Terran Conflict 1.2.0.0
Resolution: 1680x1050
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
Antialiasing 4X
Anisotropic Mode: 8X
Glow Enabled

Game Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)


SBE_3820_LGA2011_50.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Team Fortress 2 / Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict

Gaming Benchmarks: Team Fortress 2 / Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict



Team Fortress 2


Team Fortress 2 (Latest Update)
Map: Dustbowl
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing Mode: 4X MSAA
Filtering Mode: Anisotropic 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Texture Detail: Very High
Water Detail: Reflect All
Motion Blur: Enabled
High Dynamic Range: Full
Test 1: HWC TF2 Custom Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)


SBE_3820_LGA2011_51.jpg


Street Fighter 4


Street Fighter 4 Demo
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Texture Filter: 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Test 1: Built-in Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Street Fighter IV is a 2008 arcade game produced by famous developer Capcom, that has finally been released on the PC platform. This game has not been 'ported' since the Street Fighter IV arcade machines actually have PC internals, with circa 2005 components. As a result, the version of the game released on the PC is considered the definitive version. With fully multi-threaded engine and an astounding hybrid 2D/3D graphics style, this game is sure to please all fans of the Street Fighter series.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_52.jpg


World in Conflict


World in Conflict v1.0.0
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Anisotropic Filtering: 4X
Graphic Settings: Very High
Test 1: Built-in Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

One of the most visually stunning real-time strategy games in recent history, World in Conflict can really push systems to the brink, which is what we attempt by running the game in DirectX 10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings maxed out. For this test we used the in-game benchmarking tool.


SBE_3820_LGA2011_53.jpg
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Power Consumption / Temperature Testing (with Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC)

Power Consumption / Temperature Testing (with Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC)



For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the respective BIOSes and the Windows 7's power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced.

For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter.

For our CPU load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter.

For our overall system load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, while simultaneously loading the GPU with OCCT v3.1.0 GPU:OCCT stress test at 1680x1050@60Hz in full screen mode.

SBE_3820_LGA2011_54.jpg

Compared to its main competition, the i7-2600K, the i7-3820 has about 10% higher idle and 20% higher CPU load power consumption. This is a significant increase, but one must keep in mind that the Sandy Bridge-E chip does have 25% more power-sucking L3 cache, a much larger integrated memory controller, and a revamped PCI-E controlller. You aren't really getting much additional pure CPU performance for those extra watts, but they are an end result of the greatly enhanced PCI-E bandwidth capabilities of the chipset.

Temperature Testing


For the temperature testing, we used the Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC liquid cooler and Prolimatech Mega Shadow. The ambient temperature was 22°C/71.6°F. The application used to monitor temperatures was HWiNFO v3.82-1300. Keep in mind that the thermal sensors in most modern processors are not really accurate at measuring idle temperatures, hence the very small delta between the room temp and the idle results.

Idle: The system was left to idle for 15 minutes.
Load: Prime 95 In-place large FFTs was run for 15 minutes.

SBE_3820_LGA2011_55.jpg


For this review, we decided to take the Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC liquid cooler out for a spin, and compare it to our favourite high-end conventional cooler, the Prolimatech Mega Shadow.

The Thermal Solution RTS2011LC proved to be an exceptionally quiet-running cooler, with the fan nearly always running at a silent 878RPM. In auto mode, we saw it peak at 958RPM a few times when the system was fully loaded for 15 minutes, but obviously even that was inaudible. We actually had to go in the bios to set 100% fan speed to get the above result. At that level, the fan spins at 2200 RPM, pushes about 73CFM, and outputs roughly 35 dBA. It’s definitely not a terrible cooler, but since it retails for $80 that pushes it into Corsair Hydro H70 territory, which is a better performing product.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results



Overclocking on Sandy Bridge-E is very similar to mainstream Sandy Bridge, except for the fact that it’s generally better in every way. There is more bus speed headroom, the memory overclocking is significantly improved, and there is the great new gear ratio feature that acts as an additional master multiplier for both the processor and memory. First, the Gear Ratio (or Reference Gear Ratio / Host Clock Multiplier) comes in three flavours: 1.00, 1.25X, and 1.66X. How you use it is simple. Let’s say you are using a 40X CPU multiplier, 100MHz bus speed, and your memory is running at DDR3-1600. If you switch the Gear Ratio from 1.00X to 1.25X, your processor overclock will jump from 4.0GHz to 5.0GHz, your memory speed will increase from DDR3-1600 to DDR3-2000, and your bus speed will stay at 100MHz. So you can achieve a huge overclock without having changed the CPU multiplier, memory multiplier, or bus speed. As a result, even the i7-3820, which is ‘partially locked’ and has 43X CPU multiplier cap, should be theoretically capable of hitting some lofty clock speeds. Our only slight disappointment is that the memory dividers are still in large 266MHz increments, but we will have to wait for Ivy Bridge before this situation is changed.

SBE_3820_LGA2011_56th.jpg

Click on image to enlarge

Although we always want more, given how easy it was to achieve we can't help but be satisfied with this overclock. 4.75GHz at 1.45V is within the 4.6-4.8GHz range that most Sandy Bridge LGA1155 chips are capable of, so we aren't really reaching new heights, but hitting such speeds on the LGA1155 platform is generally a more involved process. With Sandy Bridge-E you no longer have to toil away trying to determine your maximum multiplier and bus speed, the new gear ratios take care of much of the work.
You can fine tune your overclock by increasing the bus speed, but you are going to run into difficulties in the 105-107MHz range. In our case, it was as simple as selecting a 38X cpu multiplier, 1.25X gear ratio, setting the vCore to 1.45V and slightly bumping up VTT and IMC/VCCSA voltages.
 
Last edited:

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


While the Core i7-3960X lives in rarefied air where money is no object and there is no competition, it is not the type of high volume part that can establish and legitimize the LGA2011 platform the way that the Core i7-920 did for the LGA1366 platform. The i7-3820 has that potential, and it is an excellent product since it's affordable, very fast and overclocks quite well. However, unlike in the case of the i7-920, which had absolutely no similarly-priced competition at the time, the i7-3820 faces fierce completion…from within Intel’s own ranks.

SBE_3820_LGA2011_58.jpg

Although we only had an i7-2600K on hand, you can see that the overall performance difference between it and the i7-3820 is rather minimal, and is almost entirely attributable to the LGA2011 part's default and Turbo Boost clock speed advantage. Most sites are comparing the i7-3820 to the higher-end i7-2700K since it features same quad-core/eight-thread design, very similar default and identical max turbo frequencies, a little less cache, and lower TDP. However, that flagship LGA1155 part does cost about $50 more than the i7-3820, heck even the 2600K currently carries $10 a premium in the retail channel. However, it is the encoutrements that balance everything out. The cheapest LGA2011 motherboard is above $200, while the cheapest LGA1155 H61-based motherboard is about $50. Obviously, those wanting fancy features and the ability to overclock will have to spend more, but a very well-equipped Z68 board can be had for $135. With memory prices nose-diving, a quad-channel 8GB DDR3 memory kit goes for about $50, which is not much more than a dual-channel 8GB kit. In the grand scheme of things, you can expect to pay between $40-80 more for an LGA2011 system, not counting a new cooler and/or mounting bracket. It is a premium that might not be worth it for many, but is quite reasonable for those who want 40 PCI-E lanes, the best possible multi-GPU performance, and support for PCI-E 3.0.

For the sake of argument we have included a comparison against the now $250 FX-8150, but in most common workloads and in CPU-limited games in particular the performance difference is rather bleak. Similarly, when compared to the i7-3820, the i7-920 is starting to show its age, partly due to clock speed deficiencies but also a lack of advanced instructions sets like AES-NI. We don't necessarily advocate upgrading though, since no self-respecting enthusiast is running their i7-920 at stock and although SB-E will give much higher performance at any equal clock speed, an overclocked LGA1366 processor still provides more than sufficient performance in the majority of applications.

Now although the i7-3820 is exactly what we were expecting performance wise, the situation is not all rosy. While we were initially told that the i7-3820 was supposed to have a 45X multiplier limit, it is actually 43X. This shouldn't hinder anyone's overclocking efforts since you can still theoretically hit 5375MHz by simply setting the gear ratio to 1.25X, but it doesn't look good when compared to the K-series LGA1155 chips that generally top-out in the low 50X range. Furthermore, theoretics aside, the LGA2011 processors don't really overclock much higher than their LGA1155 counterparts, and they run a fair bit hotter as well. These criticisms are slightly negated by the fact that Sandy Bridge-E is easier to overclock thanks to the aforementioned gear ratio feature, but not sufficiently.

To conclude, the Core i7-3820 is an excellent processor and an ideal choice for those who need the inherent bandwidth advantages of the LGA2011 platform, but it is not for everyone. If a high-end multi-GPU configuration, a series of enterprise-class PCI-E SSDs, or 32GB+ of RAM are not part of your plans, a Core i7-2600K/Z68 LGA1155 motherboard combo will get you similar performance, roughly equal overclocking potential, an integrated GPU if you need it, guaranteed support for Ivy Bridge and the savings a few bucks. Not only that, but you can buy it right now, which is no easy task when it comes to Sandy Bridge-E chips since Intel has thus far had some serious supply issues. These caveats don't overshadow the good though, and we can wholeheartedly recommend the i7-3820 to well-informed buyers.

SBE_3820_LGA2011_60.jpg
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top