Intel Core i7-3930K Review
So the Intel Core i7-3930K. Following exhaustive and extensive testing we only have one question uppermost in our mind.
Who on earth would bother to buy the i7-3960X?
When we tested the i7-3960X it was a quantum leap ahead in all of our CPU based results and we were left stunned by how much Intel had managed to improve upon the already excellent i7-990X. Of course it was brutally expensive as all top-end Intel CPUs are.
The Core i7-3930K is, and let there be no doubt at all about this, just as mind-blowing in performance but for only 60% of the cost.
At stock we're talking a couple of percentage points behind its bigger brother. You could buy this, drop it in to a X79 board of your choice, and have more power available than you could know what to do with. Overclocking is a similar story and although it doesn't hit the same heights as the i7-3960X it's still unquestionably within touching distance despite the 150MHz deficit.
If you looked at the £800 i7-3960X and dreamt about owning that power but couldn't afford it, the £450 i7-3930K is, as far as we can tell, the same processor. There is no reason to spend the extra money. What exactly is your £350 buying? Well it's buying a 6 instead of a 3, a X instead of a K, and 3MB of cache. Do you want to pay £100 per megabyte of cache for no discernible difference? Us neither.
Yes we could go on about how great it is, but what's the point. It's stunning. Sell your granny and a kidney. You're getting so much performance it's almost a bargain and so near to its bigger brother it has nearly rendered it pointless. We're delighted to award the Intel Core i7-3930K our Gold Award.