Hail the Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa Core Processor… Or Maybe Not
by - Casey Nolan | 4 years ago
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Besides being a writer, I am a gamer as well. Not just any amateur gamer, but a pretty professional one at that. So you’d understand if I am talking about GPUs, CPUs, overclocking configuration guides and etc. As a matter of fact, I had a friend who would derive arithmetic calculations before buying processors or graphic cards for that matter. To be honest that’s f****ng nerdy and I never did it myself.
Speaking of the processor power, I have got Intel Core i7-3930K CPU right friggin now by my side. It is a great processor; there’s no doubt about it – But something tells me that you’re gonna want to read more about it in details. Besides, a lot of people have complained about the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2 GHz “best price” issue.
In all fairness, this is a high end CPU. You have to spend a little extra to get the performance. Yes, there will be whizz kids who’re going to say, “Hey for $550+, you can get a better CPU as compared to the Core i7-3930K.” But then again, you can’t make everyone smile; there’s always going to be someone who’d bitch for no apparent reason or whatsoever.
That being said, there are some processors that are better and slightly cheaper than the Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core. I will talk about them later on in some other article at ‘The National’. For now, let’s roll up our sleeves and see what this Core i7 CPU is all about.
Good Luck Comes in Multiples of TWELVE! The Intel Core i7-3930K has it All:
Over the course of few years, I have dabbled in building different PCs. I admit, they were not the best of their kind, but as much as my pocket stretched, I would spend that much into buying either an Nvidia card, or RAMs or good quality processors.
This “quality” terminology really depends on the kind of money you can spend. If you can spend a thousand bucks on a GPU, it would imply that you’re going to end up with an overall phenomenal graphics and performance power.
Now coming over to the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20 GHz CPU talk, it is the best of its kind. Intel has also released the Core i7 3960X, which is 2% better than its predecessor because of minor performance edge here n’ there. On the flip side, you can overclock the Intel Core i7-3930K chipset to get an extra 130% performance boost. Keeping other things, such as room temperature, GPU power, power supply and CPU coolants in perspective, you will have no trouble overclocking any Intel or other company CPUs.
The i7-3930K CPU runs in 12 threads, hence the expression: good luck comes in multiples of 12. Actually, it was 10 minus because I read it in one of the Simpson comics when Homer’s relatives were talking about luck. They said that good luck comes in multiples of threes, which is basically the whole story behind this passage.
Anyhow, I’d recommend topping off the Intel Core i7-3930K processor with some high performance RAM. The more memory you have under the casing, you will love the turbo charged loading times. In fact, I will suggest that you buy Corsair Memory or any other high quality DDR3 memory unit.
Caution for Over-Clockers: It is a good thing to know that you can overclock the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2 GHz processor. However, as fun as it may be, over clocking is still considered a risk at large. In fact, I wouldn’t be lying by saying that whenever I overclock my CPU or the GPU, it gave me heart palpitations.
So to avoid a heart attack for real, please buy the Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan for your Core i7-3930K processor. Why do you need this plan? Intel guarantees a replacement unit if your existing Core series processor burns out due to overclocking. The plan only costs $35. It would be a shame to see someone spending well over $500 for a CPU and then not spending 35 bucks on a power protection plan.
I am what you might call a hobbyist over clocker. Summer season can be a real pain in the ass at my place. I have a top floor apartment and air conditioning is a little cranky at times. I have spent most of my savings on gaming – so I have to make sure that things are running smooth ‘n cool.
Stressed at the 100% overclock mode, the Intel Core i7-3930K processor reached 48 Degree Celsius after running for over an hour. By that time, the processor had 6 of its cores running alongside internal cooling fans in my casing. The first 30 minutes were okay, but as it reached beyond the one hour mark, the cooling fans started emitting a slow whirring noise.
Overall the processor was still cool. I have an extra CPU coolant installed right on top of my Intel Core i7-3930K CPU, which is a good thing for hardcore gamers. You never know when and where your system is going to need a gust of cool breeze. After 50 Degree Celsius temperature, things get slightly “warm.”
Factors that Justify the Core i7-3930K Intel CPU’s High End Value:
People have mixed comments about the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2 12 MB Cache processor. While some Intel enthusiasts honestly appreciate the company’s hard work into introducing this product to the market, there are people who say that the CPU is “a fodder for chumps with too much spare change.”
The i7-3930K has the Sandy Bridge Processor technology. It is faster, it is stronger and it is here to play some serious games. At the same time, I have a feeling that the i7-3930K Intel processor is not the ultimate foundation for an ideal gaming machine. It is true that the Sandy Bridge is Intel’s flagship technology so far. However, saying that the i7 is just the perfect fit for it; nope, that won’t be the right thing to say.
First Reason: In threaded apps, the Intel Core i7-3930K is faster than the 990X iCore7 series processors. This is one of the reasons as to why affluent buyers would want to spend top dollar for this particular processor. You can buy the i7 Core 2600K, but that won’t be as much effective as the 3930K series. The latter is by far the fastest single processor available these days.
Other brands, such as AMD compare well with the Intel Core i7-3930K CPU. If I were to compare AMD processors, it would take an entire day’s writing. I am not ready yet for that kind of marathon.
Second Reason: Okay, I am letting the cat out of the bag now – You don’t have to spend the money on this CPU. It is okay, I understand that you will feel a little conscious, or perhaps impugned, but still, that’s a lot of cash to blow here. You want to make it right, you want to buy not just the Intel Core i7-3930K for the best price, but you are in need of side accessories too.
We’ll talk about the most convenient accessories that are a fit, if not a perfect, match for the Intel Core i7-3930K series processor. Back when this CPU was launched, it was all about the highly anticipated Sandy Bridge chipset. In fact, “Sandy Bridge” became such a popular name that it impacted the price factor a little too much.
You know that you want the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2 for cheap price, but you want it scaled down to something affordable. Thus the second reason; the i7-3930K is compatible to a degree where you don’t have to spend too much on a new Motherboard and good quality RAMs.
The Motherboard, RAM and Intel Core i7-3930K Combo:
Over at NewEgg.Com, they have the Intel DX9SI Motherboard, available at a very affordable price. It recently hit their shelves for $280. At the time of its launch the Intel Core i7-3960X was available for $1050. Now you have to buy some neat memory, which is ideally supposed to cost you $800 worth of 16 GB DDR 1333 Bus Speed kits.
The G-Skill 16 GB DDR3 2133 MHz Ripjaws X Series RAM | So Effin Cool
This isn’t an insane configuration, for which you will end up paying almost $1050 + $280 + $800, which roughly goes a little over $2,000. The RAMs suck. Yes, it is a 16 GB DDR3 combo for $800, but you have to look at the bus speed. The rule of the thumb is that even if you have a low memory RAM, your bus speed should be high.
1333 MHz was cool when it was first introduced. Now we have 2133 MHz RAM Kits. Skip the $800 and go for the 16 GB RAM Kits by G-Skill. They have the 2133 Mhz bus speed and the same memory capacity as that of the $800 1333 Mhz RAM. Plus, the bill totals to a palatable $1530, which isn’t too shabby.
‘The National’ Test Bed for Intel Core i7-3930K Processor?
I personally chose the test bed after researching a lot. My first priority was to choose a Motherboard and a RAM that anyone could easily afford. The second priority was not to compromise on performance while doing the aforementioned.
Here’s a relatively neat configuration for the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz CPU. You can add more to it if you have that kind of money. By the way, the following accessories are directly available at Amazon. I have linked the product names to their Amazon pages so you would have no trouble finding them immediately.
- RAM: G. Skill 8 GB DDR 1600 MHz Bus Speed – Ripjaws Series ($72.95)
- Motherboard: ASRock X79. ($199.9)
- Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20 GHz 12 MB L3 Cache ($539.99)
Other Retailer Prices of the Core i7-3930K CPU | As Seen at Tom’s Hardware
For the G. Skill RAM part, I would like to say that the 2133 MHz G.Skill Ripjaws X series and the Ripjaws Z series are both available at Amazon within the $160 price range. This is affordable, given that some RAMs will cost you a lot more just because of the company’s brand name and etc. The grand total for all three will be $812.84 (Krrrrrchinnggg)
The Ripjaw 8 GB DDR3 1600 is flashy. It has the teethy look; it is blood red and looks eye catching. For an average performance RAM, it is a decent match for the Intel Core i7-3930K CPU, and yeah, it gets the job done at the end of the day.
If you are thinking that the ASRock X79 Motherboard is too much for $200, you can buy the Z68 based board. The latter is the cheapest so far. This will not be a good match. Especially when the 12 cores will be a little out of Z68 motherboard’s league, you would want to buy something that can toe up to the Hexo Core power of this processor.
The Ethical Overclocking Advice for Intel Core i7-3930K Owners:
There are different ways of overclocking a CPU and a GPU. The noob or the dumb ass way is to play with the device’s overclock settings in the OS environment until you get that “feel”. Worst case scenario would be your CPU overheating to black crisp. This is why; if you remember that I talked about the Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan for $35 only.
Even if you somehow end up burning this CPU, Intel will offer a refund immediately. Overclocking on the ASRock X79 motherboard is a little premature. The fact that this motherboard is not exactly the perfect motherboard for a CPU with this much performance, but you have to make do.
I used the company provided firmware for overclocking. Initially, the Intel Core i7-3930K CPU was set to 4.4 GHz, then it was 4.5 GHz, 4.6 GHz and finally 4.7 GHz. Throughout these overclock settings, the board did not give up. In fact, boot times were relatively fast whenever the new speed was set and the system was restarted afterwards.
However, at the 4.7 GHz settings, the Intel Core i7-3930K CPU will give up under the IntelBurnTest. The name may seem a little scary but IntelBurnTest is programmed to test the CPU limits without actually causing real damage to it. The modest overclock settings for Intel Core i7-3930K to survive the burn test are at 4.5 GHz.
Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20 GHz CPU Overclock Graph as Seen at Tom’s Hardware
If you have never ever overclocked any of your PC components, I will not recommend it. In fact, ask yourself: when is overclocking really needed? Only at times when one or all of the following are true:
- You are a professional product reviewer
- You are reviewing the product for benchmarking reports
- You are playing a high end game at extreme settings
Speaking of high end games, we have a Crysis 3 test bed and extreme setting review coming up in a few days. Don’t forget to read it. Moving back to the i7 Core Intel CPU discussion, you will be getting amazing clock rates from the Sandy Bridge chipset. Sandy is not just a name. When Intel made it, it wanted to make sure that buyers would get their price’s worth.
I did leave out the power consumption factor out of the equation. For the Intel Core i7-3930K processor + decent motherboard combo, you will need a robust power supply. My all-time favorite brand is Cooler Master as they’ve got the most reliable power supplies, CPU casings, coolants and etc. However, I am not holding you to it. If you have a better power supply, go for it.
In conclusion, the Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2 GHz CPU is a great accessory. Only if Intel sold it for $100+, I’d have bought two! Just kidding. This processor will not only give you a nice data rate for benchmark results, but it will also churn out a great performance at gaming and day to day work related needs.
Word from Intel: The Original Manufacturer
The 2nd generation Intel Core i7-3930K Processor (Sandy Bridge-E) is super-smart, ultra-threaded, and absolutely uncompromising, making it the ultimate desktop processor for content creators and gamers. With Intel Hyper-Threading Technology delivering unmatched 12-thread performance across six cores, 4-channel integrated memory controller, and the large cache size for super low latency and quick response times, this processor will perform when you need them to, in the applications that you need them in.
About Casey Nolan
Hello everyone, I am Bilal Malik AKA 'Casey Nolan'; Head Editor and owner of 'Infinarium.Com'. For product reviews, article requests, recommendations, or if you just want to get something off your chest, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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