Don Bowden

If you are a gamer you are going to want one of these!

Remember these numbers; 3930K, 3960X and X79 because if you are a serious gamer and/or computer enthusiast into photo, video or music creation you are gonna want one.

The 3930K and 3960X are the latest Intel 2nd Generation Core i7 processors being released today for the enthusiast, and X79 Express is the chipset that supports these two new processors. The 3930K is the 6 core/12 thread Premium Performance model, the 3960X is the 6 core/12 thread Extreme Edition. Both processors are built on Intel’s 32nm Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture and both processors are unlocked so you will be able to overclock to your heart’s content, just think you can make fast even faster! Couple either one of these processors with a DX79TO or DX79SI Extreme motherboard and you’ll have a system with up to 15MB of Intel Smart Cache, eight slots of 4 channel DDR3-1600 memory, 40 PCIe 2.0 lanes and 6Gb/s SATA to support your SATA devices, sweet!

So to say the least, I’m stoked! I now have a reason to retire my Core i7-975 Extreme Edition and replace it and my DX58SO motherboard with a new 3960X processor and DX79SI motherboard. Of course I’ll need to replace my triple channel memory with some new 4 channel dimms, and with 8 dimms available for a total of 64GB of memory, I won’t be wanting for more memory. But I’m thinking I won’t need 64GB of memory so I can save a little money going with less expensive 2 or 4 GB dimms vs 8 GB, score! However, if you are one who runs memory hungry apps having a motherboard that supports up to 64GB is a bonus… score again!

Did I mention overclocking? Both the 3930K and the 3930X are completely unlocked and with the Intel Overclocking Assistant you have easy one-step overclocking plus the ability to manually tweak settings and save custom profiles. However, please overclock responsibly! I highly recommend you install some type of advance cooling before you overclock, there are lots of air and liquid cooled solutions available. You might want to have a look at the new Intel Active Thermal Solution RTS2011C, it’s not only for the new LGA2011 socket, it also works with the 1366/1155/1156 sockets as well, we showed this cooler at our Developer Forum and it got great reviews.

So with the 3930K and 3960X you get more cores, more threads, more cache… What’s not to like…

If you are someone who likes performance these new Intel processors and motherboards are what you want. For more information about Intel’s newest processors and motherboards click here.

On a different note, check back on November 24th when I will be blogging, tweeting and facebooking about the world’s biggest computer festival, Dreamhack. Intel will be there along with 15,000 LAN gamers so there will be plenty of excitement around the event and plenty to talk about.

Don Bowden

About Don Bowden

Don is a Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer in Intel’s Corporate Demos Group supporting various Intel events from executive keynotes to trades shows. His latest gig is with the Intel Extreme Masters Gaming Series where he provides general technical support. Don’s an avid gamer, mostly first person shooters, his real passion is on-line racing with which is the closest thing to driving a real race car as you’re going get. Don is also a skier, photographer and avid motorcyclist, making two cross country trips and a trek to the Arctic Circle and back from his home in San Jose, CA.

14 Responses to If you are a gamer you are going to want one of these!

  1. Pingback: Intel Sandy Bridge-E 3960X CPU Review Comment Thread - Page 7 - Hardware Canucks

  2. David Mitchell says:

    Interestingly, I have just bought some new LGA2011 hardware (spent £1200) and have spent the last 48 hours with a giant question mark above my head.

    Previous configuration:

    i7 940 @ 3.9GHz (approx)
    Asus Sabertooth X58
    12GB DDR3 RAM (1866MHz)
    Corsair Hydro H60 Cooler
    2 x GTX 480 SLI
    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB HD

    New configuration:

    i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz (approx)
    Asus Sabertooth X79
    16GB DDR3 RAM (1866MHz)
    Corsair Hydro H60 Cooler
    2 x GTX 480 SLI
    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB HD

    So basically I replaced my motherboard, CPU and memory. Everything else is exactly the same. I am running the latest Nvidia drivers, and all other device drivers are up to date. My operating system is Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. When I benchmarked just prior to upgrade using Unigine Heaven I got an average frame rate of 47 (18.5 min, 117.3 max). After the upgrade the results were an average grame rate of 47.4 (11.2 min, 114.7 max).

    Notice the 0.4 increase in framerate on the new hardware, and the fact that the min framerate was less, and the max framerate was less. I have to say, with Gen 3 I was expecting something a bit more special. I realise I have not upgraded my GPUs but I would have thought I would have at least noticed something.

    My Windows Experience Index is 7.8 and that was the lowest score (CPU). Everything else got a 7.9 so clearly the hardware is being detected as pretty good (even though the Windows Experience Index counts for very little in the world of true benchmarks).

    Can anyone shed any light on whether this is a normal outcome? Should I be getting far more performance than I am or is it completely normal that without upgrading my GPUs, I would see no increase (and if anything a slight drop) in framerates?


    David Mitchell

    • DonBowden says:

      Hello David,

      I’ve forwarded your system info to our benchmarking group in hopes they can help me resolve the issues you are experiencing. It may take a few days to get an answer back but we will get back to you.

      Thanks for reading my blog.



    • DonBowden says:

      Hello David,

      Seems the benchmark you are using focuses on GPU performance so you would not see much of an increase in frame rates so for better frame rates you will need to upgrade your GPU. If you want to test CPU performance the suggestion is to run 3DMark11 which has a physics test designed to show how a CPU will execute the CPU portion of a 3D game.

      I hope this helps,


  3. William says:

    I’ve been really interested in performing this upgrade. There is some extreme feature rich qualities to the X78 that extend past the processor itself. There’s only one problem.

    The motherboards are everywhere but I cant for the life of me find ANYONE who has the 3930K in stock. I have merchant accounts with many major distributors and even popular top notch websites like newegg or amazon apparently wont have it for months. Whats with the supply issue?

  4. Chris says:

    I’m on the same ship as William, can’t find a 3930K to save my life. I have all the parts for the new build just need the processor which i can’t use a stand in part. any info on the delay and when new stock are being shipped out?

  5. Tathagata Thokdar says:

    Can you guys reduce the cost of 3930k atleast! it’s heck costly guys! No point on spending my hard earned money on this combo!! I was planning for upgrade next month but dropped idea!

  6. arjun says:

    intel gives us fantastic tecs. but it’s not ENOUGH, bcz it’s toooooooo costly for middel class peoples. they are also interested in playing games on computer but they have no enough money to pay for i3 i5 i7 and also for graphics card. why you make all thing for rich peoples??????? i collect my 6 month pocket money for purchase P4 processer computer. i want to play GOD OF WAR & RESIDENT EVIL 4 but it’s not open……. can u plz give me a i3 processer in 50 % off with graphic card??????

    • Chris says:

      intel has nothing to do with graphic cards how do you expect them lower the price on them. you don’t need a high end cpu and video card to play games. you can do several options .

      1) High end CPU, low end graphics card and 4GB of ram
      2) Low end CPU, High end graphics card and 8GB of ram
      3) Mid range CPU, mid range graphics card and 4GB of ram

      Also to play games you don’t need to push all of the settings to ultra to play the game. lowering some settings or turning some off will increase your performance. and as for playing God of War on the computer, as far as i know it was never released for the computer.

        • arjun says:

          intel do everything. i said for graphic card bcz they have lots of order from many no. of company…. like hcl, compaq, acer, etc., they have large no. of graphic cards… and intel test their bord wid graphic cards before launching there products…

  7. Chris says:

    For you people complaining about the price of 3930k processor remember this is an enthusiast processor, a high end processor for extreme performance which comes at a premium price. Asking them to lower it is like asking Lamborghini to make a $10,000 car. Remember performance costs. If you can afford sandy bridge-e you are probably better off waiting for ivy bridge chips to come out.