Intel Core i7 5820K Review
Allow us to step away from the CPU world for a moment. Graphics cards usually have the problem of too broad a range. At the very top you have the models that people who want enormous frame rate monsters. Just below that are the models for people who want the best but can't afford it. At the other end are models for people who don't understand how good IGP have become. All the models that fall between them are, roughly, pointless. For a tiny bit more money you can get something better, and following that logic continues until your planned GTX550 becomes a GTX970.
'What has this to do with the Core i7-5820K?' we hear you ask.
It suffers from the problem of blandness. It's just not good enough at anything to stand out, or be worth the money. That isn't to say it's without merit. It's an Intel CPU and they are all good at what they do and you wont be disappointed with any of them. It's just, why would you buy this particular model?
If you're in the world of workstations and enterprise solutions but can't afford the eye-wateringly expensive Xeons then the i7-5960X is absolutely barnstorming and, relatively, cheap. If you want a gaming system then as we've demonstrated on countless occasions you'd be as good with a Pentium G3258 and then spend the rest on a beefy GPU as you would getting a 5960X. If you're not quite at the extreme ends of the "need" spectrum and want a good all-rounder then the 4770K or 4790K not only are more cost effective to purchase - given the huge price of DDR4 memory - but they overclock far better than the i7-5820K so you get more bang for your buck at a cheaper cost.
The Intel Core i7-5820K is extremely difficult to justify. At stock it's positive sluggish and if you want to overclock it you either have to badly compromise your memory bandwidth or spend a fortune on some very fast memory, and then compromise your clock speed. It might have just been our particular sample, but we'd guess the engineering models are about the best you're likely to get so the retail ones will hardly move mountains.
If you desperately want six cores, absolutely have to have a motherboard that supports DDR4, have such varied tasks as gaming and video rendering then maybe, just maybe, the Intel Core i7-5820K is the right CPU for you and that's why it attains our OC3D Silver Award. For everyone else there are better and/or cheaper options available regardless of your primary application.
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