Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme and X79 Launch - Core i7-3960X Review
There is no doubt that Intel's 990X CPU which runs on X58 motherboards is an impressive product. CPUs based on the architecture have been around since 2008 and with each new model enthusiasts and professionals have been able to achieve exceptional performance but there has been one issue... for some time now Intel's own Sandy Bridge CPUs, the 2nd Generation Core processors which sit in the midrange segment, offer such good performance that it is hard for many people to justify the extra cost for models like the 990X. In fact those who wish to use the latest SATA 3 SSD were better buying a chip like the i7-2600K as its Z68 based motherboards offered native support for the faster drive interface.
When the 990X was released it was clear that this was one last hurrah for the architecture and today we see the next evolution in Intel's high end processor range. Based on the Sandy Bridge architecture the Extreme version brings extra cores and memory channels to the marketplace and today we will be running the new CPU and motherboards through a selection of real world tests, including media encoding, image manipulation and gaming on the GTX 590.