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Thread: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

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    Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    There's a new CPU chief in town.
    Read more.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    I don't understand something. Page 3 with the chipset diagram you state:

    "Chip-to-northbridge bandwidth drops by about 20 per cent as Intel switches from QPI to DMI 2.0"

    That seems quite incongruous. 'Northbridge' in X58 just contained the connection to the PCI-E cards. In X79 these are direct to CPU and bandwidth is correspondingly higher.

    CPU to PCH (storage etc.) in X58 was via a 2GB/s DMI link. In X79 it's a 20GB/s DMI link.

    So 'northbridge' to 'northbridge' comparison X79 is 40GB/s vs X58's 25GB/s (both bi-directional), and a 60% increase. A PCH to PCH comparison X79 is 20GB/s vs X58's 2GB/s, a 1000% increase.

    So where does Hexus get its 20% decrease in bandwidth figure from?

    Otherwise, great review
    Last edited by kalniel; 14-11-2011 at 11:07 AM.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Nope, you're right, I was inadvertendly comparing QPI to DMI v2.0. That's all well and fine from a specification standpoint but that's not how, as you've correctly pointed out, the chipset's topography works.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Will the multi-processor Xeon varients feature QPI or DMI for the processor-to-processor links?

    You would think there are enough PCIe lanes on each chip to do away with QPI entirely - as you could use half each chips PCIe lanes in dual-processor systems and three quarters in 4-way systems for chip-to-chip communication without sacraficing any lanes for external communication - but I imagine drop-in compatability with s1567 would be possible if it features QPI even if the PCIe lanes would then go to waste.
    Last edited by Michael H; 14-11-2011 at 08:41 PM.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael H View Post
    Will the multi-processor Xeon varients feature QPI or DMI for the processor-to-processor links?
    2x QPI. Servers still have need of PCI-E slots for storage accelerators and GPGPU.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    2x QPI. Servers still have need of PCI-E slots for storage accelerators and GPGPU.
    80 PCIe lanes avaliable in a dual-socket system though, 160 in a quad - which would largely be going to waste - QPI does have the advantage of a simpler layout for motherboard.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    I don't think I am going to have one of these, despite the fact that my wife is willing (bless her!) to buy it for me for Christmas -- those two unused cores suggest that an 8 core model will turn up in the next year or so, and that's the CPU I want.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I don't understand something. Page 3 with the chipset diagram you state:

    "Chip-to-northbridge bandwidth drops by about 20 per cent as Intel switches from QPI to DMI 2.0"

    That seems quite incongruous. 'Northbridge' in X58 just contained the connection to the PCI-E cards. In X79 these are direct to CPU and bandwidth is correspondingly higher.

    CPU to PCH (storage etc.) in X58 was via a 2GB/s DMI link. In X79 it's a 20GB/s DMI link.

    So 'northbridge' to 'northbridge' comparison X79 is 40GB/s vs X58's 25GB/s (both bi-directional), and a 60% increase. A PCH to PCH comparison X79 is 20GB/s vs X58's 2GB/s, a 1000% increase.

    So where does Hexus get its 20% decrease in bandwidth figure from?

    Otherwise, great review
    Actually in X79 it's 20Gbits/s, not GBytes.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Actually in X79 it's 20Gbits/s, not GBytes.
    Well spotted. Sneaky Intel changing units.




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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Something else I've just noticed on that diagram - look at the RAM bandwidth for the X58 system. It should be GB/s not Gb/s.

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Anyone else had this problem?
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTAyNzE

    Sounds like Vcore might be set too low?

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    Re: Reviews - Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Something else I've just noticed on that diagram - look at the RAM bandwidth for the X58 system. It should be GB/s not Gb/s.
    Heh yes! Even Intel are confusing the two. Serve them right for trying to market-speak specs.

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