Customer Reviews: Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K
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on February 6, 2012
I waited up at night for these to go on sale. I bought one on launch day and have been using it 24/7 since late November.

This CPU is amazing, it clocks to 4.8 GHz on water @ 1.34v and never gets above 60c even 24/7 prime95 stress test.
It runs 16GB of DDR3 @ 2133 with no problem, with 9 CAS, all at stock memory controller voltage (I'm lucky on this one!)

Yeah, it was a bit expensive, but who cares... its the bleeding edge of technology and you're always going to pay more for something like this.

If you're going to be building a super powerful system this is the CPU for you. The 3960x is not worth the extra cost.
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on January 18, 2013
This is the workhorse CPU in Intel's lineup. It's the lowest cost six-core Intel processor you can buy.

This processor uses the workstation-oriented LGA2011 socket, as opposed to the LGA1155 socket used with Intel's mainstream-class processors. There are some differences in capability between the platforms that should be taken into account when deciding what processor to buy that are at least as important as the differences in the CPU itself.

Reasons you should buy this CPU:

- If you have heavily-threaded workloads that can take advantage of extra cores. Compiling code, video editing, etc.

- If you have the need for a large amount of memory and/or more memory bandwidth. The LGA2011 X79 chipset supports up to 128GB of memory, and typically most motherboards will come with 8 memory slots, supporting two sets of quad-channel memory. Most LGA1155 boards by comparison support up to 32GB of memory, and come with four memory slots, supporting two sets of dual-channel memory.

- If you are planning to use multiple high-end videocards. The extra pins of LGA2011 allow X79 boards to natively support 40 PCI express lanes, whereas the LGA1155 platforms are limited to 16.

Reasons you shouldn't buy this CPU:

- The platform is more expensive. This CPU currently costs $250 more than an Ivy Bridge 3770K. A LGA2011 motherboard will cost you about $150-200 more than an equivalent LGA1155 board. You'll probably also want to buy a quad-channel memory kit for compatibility reasons, and quad-channel memory kits carry a price premium as well.

- If you want maximum performance out of primarily single-threaded applications. On a per-core basis, the 3770K is faster than this CPU in addition to being cheaper.

- If you want to use integrated graphics or QuickSync. This processor does not include integrated graphics, so you must install a separate video card.

I have personally owned this processor for a little over a year now. I have been running it overclocked to 4GHz with a Corsair H100 watercooler on it close to 24x7 for that period of time. I bought it primarily so that I could compile code in Visual Studio faster when working from home, and it has definitely proven itself worthy for that purpose. I have a dual-processor Xeon machine at work - which is admittedly aging a bit now - but I was still amazed by how much my home machine powered by this processor is faster than it.

I have not encountered any stability issues or other problems with the processor in the time that I have owned it. In short, I have no complaints. It's a great processor if your needs match up well with the capabilities of the processor and its supporting platform.
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I build a lot of high end computers and I wanted to build my fastest one yet. I chose this chip over the 3960X as it is about $450 cheaper but only about 2% difference in performance. This chip when overclocked offers 130% more capability than an overclocked AMD 1100T. I have built many 6 core computers and tested them all in overclocked mode.

Right out of the box and installed this CPU was 7.8 rated by Windows out of a possible 7.9. This compared to a 7.6 rating for an AMD 1100T overclocked to 4.2 GHz.

It runs in 12 threads and looks to your system as a 12 core CPU. Couple this with a good motherboard and your DDR3 memory will operate in Quad Channel operation and you will not believe the power and speed.

If you buy this chip or the 3960X I recommend that you immediately purchase the Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan. This guarantees you a replacement CPU if yours should fail while being overclocked. The plan cost $35 and it is well worth it for the hobbyist overclocker. Go to this site to sign up for the plan, [...]

I have not overclocked mine yet as I am setting up all of my software and files. I want to make sure that everything is stable before I start tuning the system. My unit is running very cool using a Corsair H100 cooling system with 4 Corsair fans for a push/pull cooling system. At idle it is literally at 19 to 22 °C. At the standard set up I stressed it at 100% on all six cores for an hour with only two fans and I reached 48 °C and with all four fans I only reached 38 °C in 30 minutes. I had the cooling system set on the high mode and it was still quiet. The fan speeds only increase in speed as the H100 senses that the CPU needs it and it didn't kick in until I reached 48 °C.

Here is the rest of my computer build for your information. Please note that I did change the direction of several of the fans to balance the incoming and outgoing air flow to optimize the cooling. Using 4 fans on the top of the case pulling in cool air also cooled the Power controlling circuitry on the ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard and the Corsair memory DIMMs.

CASE COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
MEMORY Corsair CMZ16GX3MX1600C9G 16 GB matched set time 2 for 32 GB memory
PSU Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W
MOTHERBOARD Asus Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard
CPU COOLER CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
FANS Fan kit for Hydro Series H80/H100 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
GPU CARD SAPPHIRE 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
SSD Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F180GBGT-BK 2.5" 180GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HARD DRIVES Four Seagate - Barracuda 2TB Internal HD Sata II
HARD DRIVES Seagate - Barracuda ST1000DN003 1 TB 3.5" Internal HD Sata III
BLU-RAY DRIVE Pioneer Black SATA Blu-ray Burner BDR-206DBKS
CPU Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)130W Six-Core Processor BX80619i73930K
Microsoft Office Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student 3-User
Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Office Outlook 2010
Extra Case Fan Rosewill RFX-120BL 120mm 2 Ball Bearing Blue LED Case Fan

I highly recommend this chip as a great buy and one of the top two performing chips available today!
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on February 13, 2013
The i7 3930k is a great chip. However, what we received in the box was an Intel Pentium D made in Malaysia. It was rattling around loose in the package, which made us suspicious. Also the clear seal tape over the box flap was lifted at one corner and had air bubbles under. We've returned it for an exchange. Pretty clearly somebody else did the same thing and sent back their old chip in the 3930k box. This was an Amazon Prime purchase, not a third party. So, stay alert! There is a nice i7 3930k unboxing video on YouTube, which shows how the chip should fit in the packaging:

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on April 28, 2014
This CPU was too fast.

Amazon needs a way to prevent OUIs (ordering under the influence). One morning not long ago I woke up with a terrible hangover, not quite sure what happened the night before. Upon checking my email that morning, I noticed a shipment notification for a Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor. I realized I must have ordered in a drunken blur, and through the haze I indeed remembered placing some kind of order.

I was shocked, but decided to go ahead and let the order go through. After all, I had been debating this purchase for weeks and just didn't want to shell out the dough for this wicked CPU. After all, I told myself, I already had a quad-core 2700k overclocked to 5 GHZ, why would I need the 3930k with six cores and amazing stats?

But it was on the way. The 2700k at 5 GHZ was already a beast, and I found through practice I could reign it in and handle it, so thought I was ready for this 3930k and its hexacore awesomeness... well I was wrong.

To make a long story short, the power of my PC outfit with this CPU literally destroyed my mind. It was far, far beyond my control. I wrestled it for hours in epic battles through various intense games and applications, certain I could reign it in, but in the end it left me a quivering, sweating mass, as blood and drool sprayed forth from me in profuse waves. I don't want to go into the detail of the things I saw while this CPU rendered 12 threads of everything I threw at it at billions of calculations per second, but suffice it to say mortal human minds can't handle it.

In summary, I am sending it back -- it is too fast. I need to give it 5 stars because it is truly amazing. Words of advice: Do not OUI, and do not think other fast CPUs you have used have in any way prepared you for this one -- they have not.
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on December 6, 2013
Pros: Extremely fast, doesn't run too hot, easily overclocked

Cons: A bit pricey

I went with the 3930K for a new computer in May 2012, and to this day (December 2013), it still runs just as well as day 1. Even though Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Ivy Bridge E CPUs have since been released, I don't see a reason to upgrade. The six cores turbo-boosted to 3.8 GHz is more than enough for most people. I originally built this machine for gaming, but have since converted to a development workstation. Although targeted at gamers and enthusiasts, this chip would be overkill for gaming. Since I run a lot of multi-threaded applications, this CPU is perfect for me. This CPU is pretty expensive, but when there's virtually no competitors, there's not much that can be done about it.

I don't have a need to overclock, but I tried it out, and it was very easy. Playing with the unlocked multiplier yields really good results. Without trying much, I was able to get to 4.5 GHz with a heatsink/fan pretty easily. I imagine it can get close to 5 GHz when watercooled.

I paired this CPU with the Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard and cooled it with the Noctua NH-D14.
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on November 29, 2011
I've been a long time buyer of AMD cpus due to the price to performance ratio. Within the last year however I have been running more virtual machines on my pc and have been in need of more CPU cores and wishing I could go beyond 16G of RAM on my AMD boxes.

I had been on the verge of buying a new Bulldozer to upgrade from an AMD Phenom II 1090T six core, but realized that even after spending an additional $270 I was only going from 6 cores to 8. I wanted to leave at least two cores and 8GB of RAM dedicated to the host OS, then put the remaining RAM and CPU cores to Virtual machine use.

With an AMD FX-8150 I could only get 6 cores left, and since 8GB RAM sticks are very expensive, I could only get 8GB of RAM out of the 16 my board could hold with 4x4GB sticks after taking 8GB for my host OS. This meant that at most I could get 4 single core virtual machines with about 2GB of RAM each.

I decided to wait to look at the new L2011 offerings from Intel before buying AMD again, I'm glad I did. Intel's CPU has 6 physical dual cores giving me effectively 12 CPUs. The motherboard I'm using with the CPU has 8 DDR3 slots meaning I could fill it with 4GB sticks giving me 32GB.

I now have 10 cpus and 24GB of RAM for my virtualization needs, meaning I can run 10 Virts with about 2GB of RAM each easily. Perfect for my needs!

While it cost a lost to get to this level of PC (Mboard, CPU, RAM) exceeding $1000 total, I feel that I know have a system that I can easily get four years out of.

I also fired up Photoshop and the thing is just super quick on this CPU.

Here's what my build looks like:

ASUS Sabertooth X79 Motherboard
32GB RAM - 8 x 4GB of Patriot DDR3 DIMMs
Intel Core i7-3930k CPU
Corsair Force 10GT 120GB SSD for my OS boot disk

Overall I ended up getting a 7.7 Windows 7 experience index.

In conclusion, I'd recommend this if you have apps that are heavily threaded and can use the cores, for needs that can fit on an AMD build, I'd go that route since it costs a lot less. If you have general productivity needs, go with an AMD build and save some cash, if you need a beast machine and you're investing for the long haul, then this processor can only be bested by it's slightly bigger brother.
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on May 6, 2012
I upgraded to this cpu from a Q6600 and let me tell you that the difference is amazing. Even when this chip is under load while rendering video in Sony Vegas my computer is very responsive. I am running it at stock clocks for the time being just to break it in. This cpu is strong enough to even play almost any of the most demanding emulated games around (LLE sound Tales of Symphonia and Zone of the Enders) at playable frame rates. If you are thinking about getting the 3960X DON'T! It only has a very small boost in performance for nearly twice the price, stick with this one.

An interesting factoid though, this and the 60X were originally 8 core cpus. Intel disabled two cores for some reason, probably because AMD is not pressuring them in the slightest to compete. I do not know if it is possible but Intel may enable these at a future date (hoping they do anyway).

This chip can handle nearly anything you throw at it and at reasonable temperatures. Under full load it maxes out at 58C using the Corsair H100 and idles at 26C to 30C. It has some massive over clocking potential, the highest stable clock I have read about was 4.75Ghz; some have made it to 5Ghz but not stably.
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on February 17, 2014
For now i have at stock speed. I'm using this primarily for rendering in 3ds Max Design, both mental ray and Vray and i'm happy with the results.
Coming from a six core AMD Phenom, this thing is amazingly fast. For now i'll stay with Intel as it is much faster for my purposes.
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on March 30, 2016
Thanks to customer non-support at Asus, it took me the better part of 4 years to get my "new" computer up and running. Of course, I didn't work the problem continuously, but I finally have a usable, and stable Core i7-3930K based computer. A few words to the wise. If you have a high efficiency power supply then you can't use a typical UPS. You need a pure sine wave UPS. I have one by Cyber Power, and it seems to be working fine. A modified sine wave UPS will, at best, cause your computer to freeze, which is what happened to me, when I was updating my BIOS. That's how it took four years to get my system up and running.

Now that I have it running, I like it, a lot, even though its about 4 generations behind. I have a Nocuta NH-D14 Heat Sink/Fan on it, and even at 3.8 GHz overclock, it runs cold. I'd run it faster, but my memory is too slow to overclock any faster. I did get the memory to run stably at 1866 MHZ, and that bumped the memory User Exp. Rating to 7.9, but even at 3.8 GHz, the User Exp. Rating for the CPU is still 7.8 (which isn't all that shabby). Of course, now that I have a stable system, I'm starting to lust after 32 GB of 2400 MHz SRAM. That's a lot less expensive a speed upgrade than going to Haswell,, and having to replace my MB, and SRAM with DDR4 SRAM.

Before the BIOS got corrupted, I used it for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and it needed a smaller percentage of resources than MS FSX did on my 2.67 GHz i7-980 HP-Pavilion. On the HP, I have run into situations where FSX consumes almost 100% of the resources with one display. My goal is to have a 3 display setup, so I essentially need 3X the processing power of my HP. (Worst case, anyway). The 2 additional cores, and the over-clocking give me a theoretical improvement of about 2.2X over the HP.
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