Intel i7-5960X Extreme Edition Review – Welcome to the granddaddy of Intel’s range of CPUs. Priced at more than triple that of its nearest Intel brethren, this is as expensive as it gets… but you’d be slightly insane to part with your moolah for this brute.
The reason it costs so much is that it’s Intel’s first eight-cored CPU for the consumer market. It’s built on Intel’s 22nm process, and is comprised of 2.6 billion transistors. Unlike all of Intel’s other consumer chips, it uses the LGA 2011-3 Socket design, which is currently tied to the X99 chipset. Sadly this means upgrading from your old i7 2700K to this CPU isn’t possible without buying an entirely new motherboard, and X99 also requires DDR4 memory, making this one painfully expensive upgrade process.
While having eight cores is nice, and should yield real boons when DX12 lands, it brings thermal issues to the table. After all, eight cores runs hotter than four, so to get around this Intel has had to drop the frequency of the cores. When Intel’s Turbo mode kicks in, the maximum official frequency supported by this CPU is just 3.5GHz, well below the 4.4GHz of Intel’s $400 i7 4790K. This means it’ll actually perform considerably worse in games that don’t make use of more than four cores… which is most of them (unlike GTA V, which seems to love extra cores). As such, we simply can’t recommend this chip unless you’re also going to be making heavy use of multi-threaded applications such as video editing or 3D rendering. Unless you’re moonlighting as a 3D renderer or video editor, this chip is simply overkill for your games.
- Eight cores
- Relatively low TDP
- Extra PCIe great for quad-GPU PC
- Slower than i7 4790K in most games