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Performance Benchmarks


Benchmarks of the actual new CPUs? Fuggitaboutit! For this actual review we have to subsitute in our archival benchmarks and data from Haswell-E/5960X and historical information,data from several X99 platforms we have tested.

When embargo along with the specs on the new processors, Intel provided some numbers which make certain performance claims. The policy of this website is we will no longer be a proxy for a vendors ‘manipulated’ performance and marketing claims, which are achieved under very specific conditions.

We either reproduce performance results ourselves using a review sample, which is typically issued to media for this purposes or we will not discuss marketing performance numbers at all.
The role of the independent media is not to be a sock puppet, proxy or copy and paste machine for big corporate. Independent media must objectively report on the positive and negative merits of a product or service. Subjective feelings and opinionated points of view are fine as long as the facts are presented for both sides of the topic for and against.

Technology vendors have large departments dedicated to making visually attractive marketing presentations with easy to understand and remember figures such as “30% faster”. Some publications parrot these numbers verbatim as fact on the basis of ‘they come from the manufacturer, surely they are right, they made the thing’ without any attention to any footnotes provided, which may disclaim the performance figure.

Although NitroWare was briefed on Broadwell-E ahead of time (and every other new Intel computing platform in the last six years) we did not receive a review sample for this processor launch.

One might be made available to us in the upcoming weeks and months but by then you, the reader will likely not care as North American and European websites will have already spilt the beans.

An excuse often made is the ANZ region is a small market and therefore receives a small allocation and budget but this is often an excuse which is a cover for a deeper problem in the industry.

Vendors know quite well what the negative talking points of their products are, and in the case of Broadwell-E, it is the mediocre and expected performance increase plus the headline price, therefore a vendor such as Intel can be selective of what it sends out for review especially in certain markets.

While we had a X99 board, Broadwell-E compatible BIOS and benchmarks from Haswell-E based 5960X Extreeme Edition, plus even older Extreme Editions such as the infamous 3960X, the policy of Intel at least for the ANZ market is to collect back as many review samples as possible and not leave them with testers, regardless of the work they have published. This leaves testers in a difficult possition as they can not publish follow up content such as reviews of different motherboards, updates on new features or updates or comparisons when a new generation of product is released. Most importantly, any benchmarks run on a particular setup are void once that system is broken up back into its parts and returned never to be seen again.

8 Core i7 Extreme Edition versus Xeon E5 12 core

Having got that rant out of the way I do have some benchmarks that are relevant for this 10 core i7.

NitroWare sometimes does things differently and for the launch of the 5960X (for which we did have a sample at launch) we compared this part to a dual CPU server using TWO E5-2643 v2 CPUs. 2643 is the two-way, Xeon equivalent of what used to be the Ivy Bridge-E Extreme Edition i7 processor. Due to the way Intel releases their Xeon processors, they do not coincide with the enthusiast-oriented extreme editions so we could not compare processors of the same gen.

This test allowed us to compare a 12 core 24 thread system to the 8 core 12 thread Haswell-E, and given the core count, plus the minor (3%) Instruction per Clock advantage of Broadwell to Haswell this test is still useful

  • 6950X is 3 to 3.5GHz 10 Core 20 Thread Broadwell-E Processor with 25MB Cache
  • 5960X is a 3 to 3.5GHz 8 Core 16 Thread Haswell-E Processor with 20MB Cache
  • 2643v2 is a 3.5 to 3.8GHz 6 Core 12 Thread Ivy Bridge–EP processor with 25MB Cache

In theory, the improved efficiency and horsepower of both the Haswell and Broadwell architecture generations combined, plus DDR4 memory should bridge the clock speed gap to the higher clocked Ivy bridge CPU pair.


Benchmark12 Cores, 24 Threads
Dual Xeon E5-2643 v2
(Ivy Bridge-EP)
8 Cores, 16 Threads
Single Core i7-5960X
Cinebench R15 Multi Core (Score) 1852 1322
Cinebench R15 Single Core (Score) 128 137
Cinebench R15 Multi Core (Ratio) 14.45x 9.63
Blender 2.61 BMW Test (Seconds) 47 60


System Specifications are in the video where as the 5960X system used Gigabyte's X99 Gaming-G1 Wi-Fi motherboard, 4GB x4 Crucial DDR4-2133 RAM, Intel TSX13 Liquid Cooler and FSP 750W PSU. BIOS settings were default.

Cinebench and Blender are both the ideal usage for these high-end CPUs, both render a graphical scene using all the available CPU cores. We can see that despite the clock speed deficiency Haswell has faster cores than Ivy Bridge, however having 12 cores versus 8 still gives a 1.4x speedup, we have 1.5 the number of cores so that’s within reason.

The 10 Core Broadwell 6950X Should fit in between these systems performance wise

But what about the cost and value proposition? The 6950X is $1569 US/$2450 AUD. Well…

The Xeon E5- 2643 has an Intel RRP of US $1552, so two of them is US $3000 for 12 cores at 3.5 or 3.6 GHz depending on the generation of the 2643 part, yet people complain about a 10 Core Broadwell which will run all cores at 3.3 GHz for $1569…

An alternative to the 6950X is the Xeon E5-2687Wv4, a 160W Xeon meant for content creation workstations. It offers the same 3 to 3.5GHz range but with 12 Cores and 24 threads. Guess What? It’s priced at US$2141.

Before someone jumps on me and says hey, $900 difference between types of 12 core Xeons solutions… Two Processors offer double the maximum memory and PCI lanes over a single processor, which is desirable for some professional applications

As of writing this article, some enthusiasts bitter with the 6950X price are suggesting cheaper low clock speed 8 and 10 Core Xeons in the 2.GHz range as a cheaper substitute. You have failed right there, the whole POINT of the Extreme Edition range is the high clock speed. An Almost 1GHz deficit will be noticeable for consumer type applications. Those low clock, low power processors are meant for cloud computing and virtualisation and their highly parallel workloads

Compare apples to apples not apples to oranges.