Overclocked Results

As part of our reviews here at AnandTech we have recently been including a section on overclocked results, because in the end a +10% overclock does not always mean an extra +10% on performance. For our overclocking escapades mentioned earlier in the review, while we were able to achieve 4.6 GHz on the Core i7-5960X, the sweet spot was around 4.3 GHz at a very comfortable temperature. This leads to a +43% overclock over the base frequency, similar to what we saw with Sandy Bridge-E overclocking.

For our overclocking tests, we are using the same graphs as in the last two pages, but adding the data from our overclocked Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge-E, Haswell and Haswell-E CPUs as well, tested fresh for this review on our latest benchmark suite.

In the past overclocking was all about getting the same or better performance for a lower cost, however with Ivy Bridge-E due to its lower frequency, it was a battle to keep on par with Sandy Bridge-E. Now that Haswell-E has the same frequency deficit (200 MHz) but a +8% increase in IPC, it begs the question if Sandy Bridge-E users with good 4.8 GHz+ CPUs should consider upgrading (for anything other than more cores and an upgraded chipset).

SYSmark 2014

SYSmark 2014 - Overall, Overclocked

SYSmark sees the biggest uplift in its media and office benchmark suites when overclocked, although the financial suite does enjoy the more cores to put the 5960X ahead.

HandBrake v0.9.9: link

HandBrake v0.9.9 LQ Film, Overclocked

HandBrake v0.9.9 2x4K, Overclocked

Interestingly the overclocked 5960X does aid low quality conversion, showing that with enough frequency all the cores can be constantly fed with data. The 5960X takes the top two spots for 4K conversion.

Agisoft Photoscan – 2D to 3D Image Manipulation: link

Agisoft PhotoScan - Total Time, Overclocked

Photoscan also enjoys overclocking in combination with the cores, but the 3960X overclocked will beat the 5960X at stock despite the extra cores of the 5960X.

Dolphin Benchmark: link

Dolphin Emulation Benchmark, Overclocked

Dolphin prefers single threaded speed, so the Haswell CPUs at 4.7 GHz win here. Haswell does well in Dolphin's emulation overall, hence why the older extreme processors, even when overclocked, are further down.

WinRAR 5.0.1: link

WinRAR 5.01, 2867 files, 1.52 GB, Overclocked

More top spots for the 5960X, with the two extra cores at stock beating the other extreme processors.

Hybrid x265

Hybrid x265, 4K Video, Overclocked

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 - Single Threaded, Overclocked

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded, Overclocked

3D Particle Movement

3D Particle Movement: Single Threaded, Overclocked

3D Particle Movement: MultiThreaded, Overclocked

FastStone Image Viewer 4.9

FastStone Image Viewer 4.9, Overclocked

When overclocked to 4.3 GHz, the 5960X would seem to produce a similar experience in FastStone to the 4790K at stock. This makes sense as the 4790K at stock is 4.4 GHz in turbo mode.

POV-Ray 3.7 Beta RC14

POV-Ray 3.7 Beta RC4, Overclocked

Gaming Benchmarks

F1 2013

F1 2013 SLI, Average FPS, Overclocked

The overclocked 5960X scores a few points in minimum frame rates, giving another +20% while in SLI.

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite SLI, Average FPS, Overclocked

Bioshock average frame rates seem to get a small boost when overclocked, but minimum frame rates are more responsive to the 84W and 88W parts. The variation might be more indicative of the benchmark as a whole, as it only takes one errant slow frame to produce a low result in the minimum FPS results.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider SLI, Average FPS, Overclocked

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs SLI, Average FPS, Overclocked

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 SLI, Average FPS, Overclocked

Gaming Benchmarks Intel Haswell-E Conclusions


View All Comments

  • swing848 - Thursday, September 4, 2014 - link

    Regarding your statement about game benchmarks, "It makes sense that we should test this with 4K in the future".

    You did not say how far into the future, in the near future it makes NO since. The video card you used was an 770; there is no way that GPU can handle 4K at high game settings, even medium settings will bring it to it's knees. First of all it is a mid-range GPU, secondly, it does not have enough local memory.

    Lower resolutions more indicate what the CPU can do because the GPU is not overtaxed therefore not becoming a factor.

    If you change anything, pick a higher end video card, to make sure the GPU is not bottlenecking tests.
  • M.Q.Leo - Saturday, September 6, 2014 - link

    This generation has not much improvement I think. Especially 5820K, even less PCI-E Lanes there is! :( Reply
  • djemir - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I owned a first generation 2008 I7 running at a measly 2.7Ghz and I can tell you the new motherboard alone having 6GB/s SATA and 10GB/sec SATA interface made up for speed losses not to mention the 4790K running at 4.5GHz on a stable overclock. For photoshop and video the new CPU and motherboard have made a world of difference. Save time and open / read time has been reduced from 3-15 minutes per file down to "wait what I can count it on fingers???!" 7 seconds. That means no more "oh well it's saving let me go to the bathroom or something while I wait for this slow a$$ computer. I'm kind of wanting to kick myself for buying a z97 on the very day that the new x99's came out but when I did a price check it just wasn't worth it. This will hold me over til those crazy prices drop. I looked at bench marks for the 4790k vs the lower spectrum of the newer x99's and it looks like the 4790K does better in Photoshop than the X99 due to higher frequency. I even had to drop 8GB of Ram because my old motherboard had 6 slots and was holding 24GB of Ram in 4GB sticks now my new motherboard only has 4 slots. That made me sad. But even with less RAM the motherboard and processor are much more efficient and they can actually use the higher speeds of my SSDs and my 3GB/s and 6GB/s internal and external hard drives as well. Everyone arguing that their old processors are amazing need to open their eyes. On paper it all sounds like they are very much equal. But people forget that motherboards have been improving as well. I was having consistent blue screen crashes on my old system eve after refreshing the system a few times. This new configuration (Asus with i7-4790k) runs like a champ no blue screens at all, nothing but blue skies. I think Intel needs to just drop their prices a little, I would have prefered to get the 8 core i7 or 12 core xeon Yes that sucker is out there as well but at $1000-2500 for these units it's just not worth the small amounts of improvements vs the price. Whereas the huge increase i felt in performance at a much lower price point was worth the upgrade. Reply
  • untoreh - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    What about benching some games that have decent multithreading? Like games on the bitsquid engine like War of the roses/war of the vikings? Or Natural Selection 2 with its immensive poligon count? No. Lets just benchmark GPU Heavy AAA titles that generally push the GPU Market more than the gaming market. If you wanna benchmark a 8 core CPU with games, you should AT LEAST let them be half with decent MT support. Reply
  • IUU - Thursday, September 18, 2014 - link

    Well, except for gaming..
    Mostly true but not completely true.
    If you play chess, the 8 core version will smoke any 4 core version just for fun.
    There are other games that are not in the front scene right now that are mainly cpu demanding.
    Any fps game currently in the market, is heavily based on showing realism, so it requires graphics processing power,and demanding from a powerful cpu to run such a game faster than the fractions of a second a slower cpu would, is well.. pointless.
    But gaming is vast , bigger than your encoding software, your bitcoin mining, and your much advertised enterprise software. When developed further, it will require what the most demanding scientific applications require and probably more. See that it is already a main driving force(if not the main driving force) of modern supercomputer improvement. And it will be for the future.
    Think of ingame ais, multiple ais, that will interact with the game world like a human would. Think of voice and pattern recognition, of tracking thousands or millions of objects, etc etc.
    If your only aspiration in buying such a cpu is how good it will run current gen games, you wouldn't ever belong in the category of appropriate customers for this cpu. You would rather be excited by the mobile parts, which while anemic compared to the 8-core haswell, are fancy and fashionable and satisfy your vanity.
    Of course it still remains as a problem, because of this sad market turn, the rise in the pricing of the "extreme" parts which puts the most of us off.
  • kelendar - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    The one thing I like about the X99 chipset over my ASUS P8P67 Deluxe are the plethora of SATAIII ports and vastly improved onboard sound. The problem is the SB is a dead platform; there is no upgrade path with it and all boards ever made have few ports. I actually had to buy a separate add-in card but it suffers from being on the PCI-8x port - connect more than 1 drive, and they share the throughput.

    That's why I'm looking at this build. I figure the ASUS Rampage IV + 5820 + 16 GB RAM should set me back about $1,100 but it gives me a bit of future-proofing.
  • Spartan 363 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I just purchased the i7 5930K along with an EVGA X99 Classified mobo with 16 GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 3000 RAM for now along with 2 EVGA GTX 980 Classified for SLI. I purchased both the Classified versions of the mobo and GTX 980's because I love tinkering and overclocking to see what is the best stable clocks I can achieve without heating up my bedroom like my PC were a space heater which would be handy in a month or so as the cold weather returns to Northern VA where I live. My current PC and even my older PC that this build replaced are air cooled for now. I will buy WC blocked and such for my GTX 980's since I have fantastic components for overclocking with the Classified things from EVGA and a CPU that OC's well too on air.

    Sure,this was a very expensive upgrade, but at least the CPU, RAM and the MOBO will be good for the next 4-5 years just like my old aging i7 920 D0/MSI X58 Pro-E mobo w/12 GB of Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 Triple Channel and that PC had aging SLI GTX 680's that have been great so far, but it was time to upgrade that system, it was a great PC for all these years since I purchased it when the X58 and i7 series first launched back then.

    This upgrade over my aging X58 build is a massive jump as I was running into CPU bottlenecks with my SLI GTX 680 even with the CPU overclocked to a stable 3.8GHZ on air cooling with good temps in mind. I tested my new system with both my old EVGA GTX 680 FTW+ 4GB cards in SLI and a single GTX 980 beats it in games that don;t have as great SLI/Crossfire support and when I placed my second GTX 980, it was overkill compared to the 680's but also using less power at the reference clocks at first. I may get a third GTX 980 but I'm holding out on the possible rumored GTX 980 Ti that may come around Spring 2015 and I hope to get 2 at least for SLI if they are a comparble upgrade like the GTX 780 Ti was over the 780 and I hope to have 6 to 8GB of VRAM on the cards too as I am gaming at 4K and there are times where the VRAM is topped out and more VRAM is needed. I'm just glad the that GTX 980 was such a great buy this time around and made a big difference for those of use on aging GTX 680's and earlier cards. I usually upgrade every 2 years for my GPU anyways. I am currently reading up and also overclocking my new build to to tutorials and such on these components that I have since it's been years since I really used to tinker with voltages, RAM memory timings and of course serious voltage tweaks to the GPUS for better overclocking. I actually miss the old days of my tinkeirng my PC for hours a day when I was younger, but at least I have the weekends off to tinker with my new gaming beast that should last me for a few more years. For now, I'm happy at the performance that I have with a mild overclock and my games run and look fantastic on my new 55 inch LG 55UB8500 4K TV that has HDMI 2.0 so that I can play at 60 FPS, but with my current setup,I'm averaging 40+ FPS in most games on ultra settings with AA set to 2 or non at all since in my opinion, a 55 inch 4K TV is the perfect size foe the resolution and turning off AA in most games makes no major difference in appearance on the screen due to the high resolution, so that's a major plus for 4K gaming and it's easier on the hardware too. That TV only cost me about $1500 in Best Buy during the Labor Day weekend sales. It was a steal for a TV that has great features and most importantly, HDMI 2.0 to take advantage of my GTX 980's in 4K instead of having to use Display Port to HDMI adapters I was using with my GTX 680 SLI to achieve 30+ FPS in a few games at 4K with no AA and such.

    For those that want great performance at 4K, SLI GTX 980's are great and are great for systems that have PSUs typically that can comfortably handle both cards at load with a quality 750W PSU vs needing a 1000W unit for older cards.
  • Spartan 363 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I forgot to mention that I am currently using 2 EVGA GTX 980 SC, but I will be sending them back next week to exchange them for the Classified cards that will be the aire cooled ones, but I am currently running clocks on both my current cards at a mild 1300 mhz OC on the core while the memory is at the factory clocks for now, not bad for air cooling, I know I can push for 1400 to 1500 but I will wait for the Classified cards for that type of OC as I will be getting EK WC blocks for both cards this time. Reply
  • sandwich_hlp - Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - link

    Been trying to decipher Intel roadmaps and the like, to no avail, so... can anyone tell me approximately when the DDR4-supporting Core i5 line is expected to launch? I'm needing to upgrade my aged Core 2 Duo (DDR2!), but I don't wanna hop on the DDR3 bandwagon just as it's being superseded by DDR4... :-/ Reply
  • GGuess - Saturday, December 6, 2014 - link

    There should be a line of discussion of why haven't CPU speeds increased in the past 5years in a significant way. My 5yr old Intel I7 is a 4 core at 3GHz. The ones discussed here are only 6 or 8 cores and run stock in the mid-3 to 4GHz range. So over 5yrs, the CPU capability has not grown 2 to 3times faster, and that only applies to applications that can use the extra cores and hyper-threading. The usual rule we work to is that people won't even notice a 50% speed increase. It has to be 2 to 3 times before it is noticed. Previously, a 3year refresh of a computer resulted in a 5 to 10x computer speed increase.

    With the current barely noticeable 2x, why bother with the trouble of an upgrade? No wonder Intel's and AMD's sales figures are failing to grow.

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