Overall and FV
So we have covered a lot of information. I know as I write this I am exhausted from all of the benchmarking, writing, photographing, video, editing, ect. Even in my deteriorated state I am still genuinely excited about both the i7-3960X and the X79 platform as a whole. Sandy Bridge has been amazing, but as an enthusiast platform it was very limited. Finally getting more PCIe Lanes is a major step forward for gamers and enthusiast. The i7-3960X is now the top dog by a large margin, now it’s time to see what can be gotten out of it from overclocking. Due to our limited time table to get this published our overclocking numbers will have to wait, but if Sandy Bridge is any indication we have a lot to look forward there.
It’s not all flowers and butterflies though, it’s hard to forget through all of our testing that the i7-3960X comes in at the price that could literally buy you an i7-2600 gaming rig that is more than capable of playing everything on the market. The i7-3960X is obviously for a limited market of people who are willing to spend an almost unlimited amount to get the best. The second thing that bothered me with the i7-3960X was the lack of any cooling solution included at that price point. I know that most people won’t end up using anything included but the heatsink that came with the i7-980X was more than capable. I don’t think it would have been a far stretch to have included the water cooling kit with their flagship CPU. I think that alone would be reason enough to go for the i7-3960X over the i7-3960 for example.
Speaking of the Intel Water Cooling, I was very impressed with their design except one small issue. Going with Asetek means the water cooling uses the same mounting bracket that the Corsair H50 uses, a design that can be a little cumbersome to use unless you have three hands. I would have liked to of seen them go with a Cool-It design for this reason.
What about the Intel DX79SI motherboard that we tested? I was impressed with Intel's offering honestly. This only gets me more excited to play with offerings from Gigabyte, Asus, and all of the other manufactures. If the Intel DX79SI is the base, they will only take the entire platform to a whole new level!
As a whole I have to give the i7-3960X and X79 top honors. I hope we see more CPU’s from Intel on the 2011 socket that will hopefully bring this platform into the price range of the average enthusiast. Until then we will be happily playing with ours!