Overclocking

As I mentioned earlier, all of the IVB-E launch SKUs ship fully unlocked. Intel offers multipliers up to 63x for you to choose from when overclocking. Like SNB-E before it, IVB-E supports specific BCLK straps (125MHz and 166MHz, in addition to 100MHz) for those overclockers looking to get the absolute most out of their chip. At these overclocked BCLK frequencies, PCIe and other buses are properly divided down so they aren't overclocked (although if you increase the BCLK frequency beyond these strap defaults you will once again be overclocking other buses that derive their frequencies from BCLK). In practice, the cleanest/simplest way to overclock any K-series SKU is by increasing the multiplier.

In our review of the Core i7-3960X I managed a maximum stable overclock of 4.6GHz. I've been told to expect a similar average for Ivy Bridge E. Using Intel's RTS2011LC self contained/closed loop liquid cooling solution I could get into Windows 8 as high as 4.6GHz at 1.42V, however my testbed wasn't stable through all of my tests at that frequency/voltage combination. Moving to higher voltages didn't help, so I had to back down on frequency. I ultimately ended up perfectly stable at 4.3GHz, with 4.4 - 4.5GHz possible with better cooling. The added power needed to hit these frequencies was substantial. I measured a 58W increase in average load power consumption at 4.3GHz/1.4V.

From what I've seen, my sample is a bit on the disappointing side in terms of overclockability. Either way, it doesn't look like you're going to be seeing overclocks significantly higher than what was possible with SNB-E.

Power Consumption

With the 4960X delivering around 5% better performance than the 3970X, the only remaining question is how much more power efficient the move to 22nm made things. Using the same ASUS X79 Deluxe board for both parts, I was able to answer that question.

At idle there's hardly any difference between SNB-E and IVB-E. Under load it looks like IVB-E is good for around a 20W reduction in total system power. It's not an insignificant savings, but definitely not enough to warrant an upgrade if you're on SNB-E already. Anyone looking to migrate to LGA-2011 for the first time will want to go with IVB-E as it is the more thermally efficient solution.

Power Consumption - Idle

Power Consumption - x264 HD 5.0.1 Average Load

Gaming Performance Final Words
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  • sabarjp - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Kind of depressing that 3 years of technology only took the compile of Firefox from 23 minutes to 20 minutes. The high-end isn't looking so high these days. Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    So where's the 4820k review? I don't care much about more than 4 cores, but I need more I/O than Haswell offers. (crappy motherboards that offer either 8/4/4 or 8/8/2 are just unacceptable.) I'd like to know how the 4820k overclocks and handles I/O from dual and triple SLi/Crossfire. Reply
  • Eidigean - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Visual Studio unfortunately does not compile in parallel the way you might think. In a solution you may have multiple projects. If one project depends on four other projects, those four will be compiled in parallel; one project per thread. Once the four dependencies are built, it can build the fifth; however, that last project will be built single-threaded.

    Xcode and native Android projects (with gcc) can actually build multiple files from one project in parallel. On an i7 with hyperthreading, all eight logical processors can build up to eight files simultaneously. This scales with more cores very nicely.

    In summary, VS builds multiple projects from one solution in parallel, while gcc builds multiple files from one project in parallel; the latter of which is much faster.

    I'm curious now to see the build times of Firefox for Mac on a rMBP with an i7. Eagerly waiting for a 12 core Mac Pro with 24 logical processors.
    Reply
  • BrightCandle - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Visual Studio is a very poor parallel compilation test. GCC with make -p can really utilise a lot more cores but its not very Windows like to use GCC (although I suspect many developers do that).

    I haven't found many Java builds doing well on multiple cores, and neither Scala. Its the unit tests where I get the cores going, I can saturate hundreds of cores with unit tests if I had them, and since I run them in the background on every change I certainly do get a lot of usage out of the extra cores. But a clean compile is not one of those cases where I see any benefit from the 6 cores. Of course I would hope these days we don't do that very often.
    Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    It is a poor parallel test, but it is a fantastic real-world test for a lot of devs. Reply
  • madmilk - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    About 25 minutes here on an 2.6GHz/16GB rMBP. Pretty much as expected for quad Ivy Bridge. Reply
  • bminor13 - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Parallel file-level compilation is possible in VS2010 and up with the /MP project switch. This is not enabled by default I believe for compatibility reasons. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    A Haswell-E will most likely bring a different pin-count, correct?? So this X79 is a dead end platform any way you look at it. Buying the Quad IVB-E makes almost no sense whatsoever. Reply
  • Casper42 - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Most Intel chips use a Tick Tock release cycle. Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock etc
    Tick is an Incremental upgrade. Same socket and largely same design, but reduced lithography (32nm down to 22nm for example). Sometimes new Instructions but often not.
    Tock is an Overhaul upgrade. Uses same Lithography as the previous gen, but is a new internal architecture, often a new Socket, and where most new Instruction sets show up.
    Then you get another Tick.

    Core 2/Conroe was a Tock and was 65nm
    Core 2/Penryn was a Tick and was 45nm
    Core iX/Nehalem was a Tock and was 45nm
    Core iX/Westmere was a Tick and was 32nm
    Core iX/Sandy Br was a Tock and was 32nm
    Core iX/Ivy Bridge is a Tick and is 22nm
    Core iX/Haswell is a Tock and is 22nm

    So to say that X79 is a dead platform should not really be a shock to anyone. They got Sandy and Ivy out of it. Thats 1 Tock and 1 Tick and now its time to move on. They do this exact same thing in the 2P Server market where people spend $10K or more per server. The fact of the matter is the server market has already pretty much learned. Don't bother upgrading that server/machine, just ride it for 3-4 years and then replace it completely. SATA, Memory and CPUs have all changed enough by then you want to reset everything anyway.
    Reply
  • chadwilson - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Is the IHS soldered or using the cheap termal material? The issue with desktop IB & Haswell overclockability has been proven to be the cheap thermal material between the chip and IHS. If they have a soldered chip to IHS then this will be a decent upgrade over straight IB. Reply

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