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Old August 29, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Default Intel Haswell-E Core i7 5960X 8-core Processor Review Comment Thread

Intel's latest and greatest multi-threading monster known as Haswell-E has just launched, and we are proud to bring you our review of this flagship octo-core processor.

Read more here: Intel Haswell-E i7 5960X Review
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Old August 29, 2014, 12:50 PM
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So let me be the first to say that I really thought that we picked the short straw and ended up with an average to below average chip, but it seems like we are in the same ballpark as everyone else.

There are not enough sites that bother stress testing with 'overkill' apps like Prime 95 to get a good idea of the situation, but 4.4Ghz seems to be about average for those stress testing with lighter benchmarks.
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Old August 29, 2014, 01:06 PM
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Then there are the 28 PCI-E lanes which had us scratching our collective heads since this is a layout which won’t allow buyers to run two graphics cards at full x16 speeds. Without that capability and unless having those 12 threads is an absolute necessity, gamers may as well turn towards the Z97 platform which is less expensive and whose higher end processors will run circles around Haswell-E in games. More on that later but for the time being we have to question the elimination of one of Haswell-E’s primary selling points for enthusiasts.
Thank you for this review. The above information is the kind of stuff that makes HWC's reviews better then other sites; laying out exact thoughts in black and white that people should be questioning about a product.

The overclocking section was also a breath of fresh air, and emphasis of my previous point was demonstrated also. It is interesting to see a site state;

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by using less intensive stress tests we were able to extract another 200Mhz from the processor. However, the real bonus is that temperatures never even reached the 70C mark. Furthermore, as long as we weren't running Prime 95, LinX, or IntelBurnTest, stability was never an issue. None of this excuses the fact that the i7-5960X is potentially a hot as hell processor, but at least you can look forward to a decent overclock without burning a whole through your case.
I believe that's a first Ive ever seen someone outside myself say "Eh, good enough for day to day use." So many people online claim something asinine like 'if it wont Prime95 for 24 hours it aint an overclock!'. Well sorry chump, if I can game on it for an evening without crashes its stable.

A great review Sky. I'm looking forward to the DDR4 57xx chips to see what RAM does with the next gen of IGP performance. Maybe intel is on track to overtake AMD's IGP crown?
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Old August 29, 2014, 01:10 PM
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I keep thinking my X58 setup is long in the tooth and should be replaced, but every new Intel chipset comes out and I look and think 'Meh, might as well keep the X58'. I guess I'll be waiting until either Broadwell or Skylake comes around....
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Old August 29, 2014, 01:16 PM
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This is kind of what I was expecting when people started talking about the Haswell-E. Devils Canyon just came out so it's not all that surprising they'd try and protect that market share. It seems like the Haswell-E proc's are being geared more towards heavy multi-thread users. That's good news for gamers as Devils Canyon proc's are fairly inexpensive as are the boards.
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Old August 29, 2014, 01:30 PM
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I followed ocn all day about reviews on the 5960x. Many people were bashing the idea of testing this cpu on a h80 but i think it gives a good preview of what cooling solution is required if you want to do 4.0ghz or more.

Thanks for all the great info, i'm just waiting for memory express to have these in stock so i can price match with other canadian e-tailors.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old August 29, 2014, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sagath View Post
I believe that's a first Ive ever seen someone outside myself say "Eh, good enough for day to day use." So many people online claim something asinine like 'if it wont Prime95 for 24 hours it aint an overclock!'. Well sorry chump, if I can game on it for an evening without crashes its stable.
I actually took care of the overclocking section in this review, and yeah I felt it was necessary to break the mold for this review. Stopping at 4.2Ghz because of a workload that few people will ever encounter just seemed really limiting.


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I followed ocn all day about reviews on the 5960x. Many people were bashing the idea of testing this cpu on a h80 but i think it gives a good preview of what cooling solution is required if you want to do 4.0ghz or more.
I saw that too in certain places, so I amended the review a tiny bit to explain exactly why we used that cooler, ie: it closely resembles Intel's own recommended liquid cooler.

Last edited by MAC; August 29, 2014 at 01:43 PM.
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Old August 29, 2014, 02:24 PM
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For video encoding, file compression, photo editing, this CPU is a decent upgrade.

For everything else though ... not so much I'm afraid. Games simply don't take advantage of this. Going to upgrade for some video encoding work though next year. Now the only question is which motherboards have the best VRMs and most stable BIOS.

Relating to the overclocking, you may be able to get more overclock by reducing your uncore, but at the moment, heat seems to be the main bottleneck here.

You might be able to get a couple of hundred more MHz though with a 240 rad or a dual tower CPU cooler with high speed fans, but that's about it. Interestingly enough MSI shipped their XPower with a delid die guard.

Any idea if these can be delidded?

Check this out: It says the motherboard has a delid die guard?

MSI Global X99S XPOWER AC



Last edited by ZzzSleep; August 29, 2014 at 02:30 PM.
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Old August 29, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ZzzSleep View Post
Relating to the overclocking, you may be able to get more overclock by reducing your uncore, but at the moment, heat seems to be the main bottleneck here.

You might be able to get a couple of hundred more MHz though with a 240 rad or a dual tower CPU cooler with high speed fans, but that's about it.
Like we mentioned in the review, we just wanted to overclock using something as similar to as possible to Intel's recommended Haswell-E cooler.

Due to a time crunch, we did not really have the opportunity to test a wide range of cooling solutions, but we will transition back to our standard high-end air cooler for our motherboard reviews.

Having said that, even with 10-15C cooler temps the overclock will not improve at a given voltage. What we are seeing is an architectural/manufacturing limitation, hence why Haswell-E is relatively unresponsive to overvolting.

Quote:

Interestingly enough MSI shipped their XPower with a delid die guard.

Any idea if these can be delidded?

Check this out: It says the motherboard has a delid die guard?
Literally one minute ago we got confirmation from Intel that Haswell-E uses a soldered TIM, not the Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material that we suspected, so I think it is unlikely that delidding will be possible...or easy, at least.
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Old August 29, 2014, 08:35 PM
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To be honest, I think we are hitting the limits of silicon here. The 10-15C is mostly to allow for maybe another 0.25V increase in total voltage before you hit the point where the CPU starts to throttle itself.

I mean take for example your typical 2500k/2600k owner from 2011. Imagine now if that CPU were able to get to 5GHz (ex: good luck on silicon lottery). Would that person have any reason to upgrade to Haswell, even with Devil's Canyon? I think not.

I think it's time to ask, will people on Sandy or later ever "need" to upgrade barring some radical new advance?

Pretty much the only thing that Intel can do to entice people is to add more cores. That only works for things that use more cores. That and maybe the new instruction sets, which will take years to proliferate.

As for the average person, well, for the web, some Word documents, etc, an old AMD K8 is more than adequate for that. The only thing that I might see being an upgrade is maybe an SSD.

Last edited by ZzzSleep; August 29, 2014 at 08:43 PM.
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