Intel’s Core i7-990X Extreme processor

Friggin’ Sandy Bridge, the golden child. My Westmere brothers and I are the biggest, baddest PC processors on the planet, and somehow, she still gets all the glory. Everybody is all, “Sandy this, Sandy that,” even though she’s slower than us. I say: if being second-rate and cheap were the keys to success in the world, everybody would be driving a Kia.

Well, look at the golden child now, hiding in inventory while her motherboards get replaced. Such a sad sight. People forget that “proven technology” isn’t just a euphemism for old, unwanted junk. My ICH10R south bridge may be a little seasoned, but at least it didn’t come out of the chute with a congenital defect. Plus, any little problems were ironed out several steppings ago.

They were originally going to introduce me last year, you know. I was ready long before the great Miss Bridge, but nooo, they didn’t want me getting in the way. I’ll tell you what, you can bet your fancy stock options they’re happy to have me to fill the gap now. Sure, it’s been a year since they rolled out my brother the 980X Extreme to great fanfare, and I’m only a 133MHz upgrade on his base and Turbo peak clock speeds, but that still makes me the fastest thing this side of the Larrabee cancellation.

I hate to brag, but with six cores at 3.46GHz, a Turbo peak of 3.73GHz, 12MB of L3 cache, and three channels of DDR3 memory, I’m kind of a big deal. Add in the fact that my upper multipliers are unlocked so that I can be overclocked, and you can see why my asking price is one dollar short of a grand. If you still don’t get it, just know that the valedictorian at your high school would probably have a nerdgasm over me. That’s the sort of response I tend to provoke among dudes who know what I am. And ladies, of course. Both of them are pretty excited, too.

Check out my “990X” tat in that picture up there. Just got that last week before going out for review. Pretty sweet, eh? I had ’em make the “X” extra large to remind people how extreme I am. I think it works pretty well. I might get a sleeve around the edges of my cap next, if I can find the right design. That’s a big commitment, though, and I want it to be right, so I’m taking my time.

My new digs

One of the benefits of being the sweetest piece of silicon known to man is that you get to hang pretty exclusively with with your peers in other fields. I’m in no danger of getting stuffed into a crappy HP enclosure with integrated graphics and half as much RAM as you’re gonna need to keep Windows from paging constantly. Instead, I drop into slick setups like the one above, with that near-silent Thermaltake Jing cooler and a motherboard with more ports than Oakland.

That board is brand-new, too, by the way. Intel is officially calling it the DX58SO2, but its real name is “Smackover 2″—that’s, heh, a back-handed reference to my utter domination of the competition. Nobody tell the FTC; those blowhards have zero sense of humor.

My X58 chipset already has way more PCIe lanes than Sandy Bridge, but if you must have the very latest in I/O standards, this board has two SATA 6Gbps ports and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. That’s probably enough for you geeks. Between you and me, I told them they should give it more ports of both types, but they didn’t want me showing up Miss Golden Child. Sheesh. As if Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte won’t hang three controller chips and 14 ports off of each of us. At least I have the PCIe lanes to handle it.

Here’s a shot of the PCIe ports, just to remind you that, although I’m a top-of-the-line model, I’m not too classy to engage in a three-way—SLI or CrossFire setup, that is, you perv.

That’s all good, but I do have a beef with something. Check out those plus and minus buttons right there on the motherboard. Get this: those are for raising and lowering my base clock in 1MHz increments. I said before I have an unlocked multiplier, but apparently that’s not good enough. We have to put buttons right on the board where any idiot can press them, and let me tell you: I am happy to overclock via the multiplier. I was made to do so. But raising my dang base clock hurts. Makes my PCIe lanes go all tingly and numb, and my memory controller gets a throbbing headache. Besides, who sticks his finger into a running PC, except for one of those sadistic freaks with the liquid nitrogen? Don’t get me started on them.

My understanding of what comes next is that I’m supposed to give you a little tour of my performance and such. I’ve had this jackwagon running all kinds of silly tests on me for the past couple of days, and now we’re going to look at the results. I’m not sure what good it will do to show you page after page of me kicking the tail of every other PC processor on the market, but I guess there might be a few folks out there who don’t know the score yet. I’m not one to deny them the chance to soak in my glory, so let’s get on with it.

Our testing methods

The jackwagon ran every test at least three times, and then he reported the median of the scores produced.

The test systems were configured like so:

Processor
Athlon II X3 455 3.3GHz

Phenom II X2 565 3.4GHz

Phenom II X4 840 3.2GHz

Phenom II X4 975 3.6GHz

Phenom II X4 1075T 3.0GHz

Phenom II X4 1100T 3.3GHz

Pentium
Extreme Edition 840 3.2GHz
Pentium
G6950 2.8GHz
Core
i7-990X 3.46 GHz
Core
2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz
Core
i3-560 3.33 GHz

Core i5-655K 3.2GHz

Core i5-760 2.8GHz

Core i7-875K 2.93GHz

Core
2 Quad Q9400 2.67GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte
890GPA-UD3H
Asus
P5E3 Premium
Asus
P7P55D-E Pro
Intel
DX58SO2
North bridge 890GX X48 P55 X58
South bridge SB850 ICH9R ICH10R
Memory size 8GB
(4 DIMMs)
8GB
(4 DIMMs)
8GB
(4 DIMMs)
12GB
(6 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair

CMD8GX3M4A1333C7

DDR3 SDRAM

Corsair

CMD8GX3M4A1600C8

DDR3 SDRAM

Corsair

CMD8GX3M4A1600C8

DDR3 SDRAM

Corsair

CMP12GX3M6A1600C8

DDR3 SDRAM

Memory speed 1333 MHz 800
MHz
1066 MHz 1333 MHz
1066 MHz
1333 MHz
1333 MHz
Memory timings 8-8-8-20 2T 7-7-7-20 2T 7-7-7-20 2T 8-8-8-20 2T
7-7-7-20 2T
8-8-8-20 2T
8-8-8-20 2T
Chipset

drivers

AMD
AHCI 1.2.1.263
INF
update 9.1.1.1025

Rapid Storage Technology 9.6.0.1014

INF
update 9.1.1.1025

Rapid Storage Technology 9.6.0.1014

INF update 9.1.1.1020

Rapid Storage Technology 9.5.0.1037

Audio Integrated

SB850/ALC892 with

Realtek 6.0.1.6235 drivers

Integrated

ICH9R/AD1988B with 

Microsoft drivers

Integrated

P55/RTL8111B with

Realtek 6.0.1.6235 drivers

Integrated

ICH10R/ALC892 with

Realtek 6.0.1.6235 drivers

Processor Core
i7-950 3.06 GHz

Core i7-970 3.2 GHz

Core i7-980X Extreme 3.3 GHz

Core
i3-2100 2.93 GHz

Core i5-2400 3.1 GHz

Core i5-2500K 3.3 GHz

Core i7-2600K 3.4 GHz

Atom
D525 1.8 GHz
AMD
E-350 1.6GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte
X58A-UD5
Asus
P8P67 Deluxe
Jetway
NC94FL-525-LF
MSI
E350IA-E45
North bridge X58 P67 NM10 Hudson
M1
South bridge ICH10R
Memory size 12GB
(6 DIMMs)
8GB
(4 DIMMs)
4GB (2 DIMMs) 4GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair

CMP12GX3M6A1600C8

DDR3 SDRAM

Corsair

CMD8GX3M4A1600C8

DDR3 SDRAM

Corsair

CM2X2048-8500C5D

DDR2 SDRAM

Corsair

CMD8GX3M4A1333C7

DDR3 SDRAM

Memory speed 1333 MHz 1333 MHz 800
MHz
1066 MHz
Memory timings 8-8-8-20 2T 8-8-8-20 2T 5-5-5-18
2T
7-7-7-20 2T
Chipset

drivers

INF update 9.1.1.1020

Rapid Storage Technology 9.5.0.1037

INF update
9.2.0.1016

Rapid Storage Technology 10.0.0.1046

INF update 9.1.1.1020

Rapid Storage Technology 9.5.0.1037

AMD
AHCI 1.2.1.275
Audio Integrated

ICH10R/ALC889 with

Realtek 6.0.1.6235 drivers

Integrated

P67/ALC889 with

Microsoft drivers

Integrated

NM10/ALC662 with

Realtek 6.0.1.6235 drivers

Integrated

Hudson M1/ALC887 with

Realtek 6.0.1.6235 drivers

They all shared the following common elements:

Hard drive Corsair
Nova V128 SATA SSD
Discrete graphics Asus
ENGTX460 TOP 1GB (GeForce GTX 460) with ForceWare 260.99 drivers
OS Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Edition
Power supply PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 Watt

Thanks to Asus, Corsair, Gigabyte, and OCZ for helping to outfit our test rigs with some of the finest hardware available. Thanks to Intel and AMD for providing the processors, as well, of course.

The test systems’ Windows desktops were set at 1900×1200 in 32-bit color. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled in the graphics driver control panel.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our testing methods:

  • Many of our performance tests are scripted and repeatable, but for some of the games, including Battlefield: Bad Company 2, we used the Fraps utility to record frame rates while playing a 60-second sequence from the game. Although capturing frame rates while playing isn’t precisely repeatable, we tried to make each run as similar as possible to all of the others. We raised our sample size, testing each Fraps sequence five times per video card, in order to counteract any variability. We’ve included second-by-second frame rate results from Fraps for those games, and in that case, you’re seeing the results from a single, representative pass through the test sequence.
  • We used a Yokogawa WT210 digital power meter to capture power use over a span of time. The meter reads power use at the wall socket, so it incorporates power use from the entire system—the CPU, motherboard, memory, graphics solution, hard drives, and anything else plugged into the power supply unit. (The monitor was plugged into a separate outlet.) We measured how each of our test systems used power across a set time period, during which time we ran Cinebench’s multithreaded rendering test.

The tests and methods we employ are usually publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

Memory subsystem performance

My six cores each have very fast L1 and L2 caches attached, so my cache bandwidth at the smaller block sizes is, uh, prodigious. Yeah, yeah, Sandy B’s fancy internal ring bus gives her an edge at the 4MB size. But look, I’m back in the saddle again at 16MB thanks to my massive 12MB L3 cache. There’s really no comparison.

My memory bandwidth and latency are among the best for PC processors, too, just as expected. Sure, the Core i7-950 scores a little higher in Stream, and the Core i7-875K has the lowest latency measured, but those are fluke performances from aging 45-nm chips with no real future. I’m your best bet all around.

StarCraft II

The jackwagon tested StarCraft II by playing back a recording of an epic 30-minute, eight-player match that he found online and capturing frame rates with Fraps. He decided not to repeat this test multiple times. He says it’s due to the long time window, but I think it’s sheer laziness. Jeez.

Yeah, yeah, so a couple of those “Special K” chips, as I like to call them, managed to eke out a few more frames per second than me in this test. Look, I also wasn’t any faster than the i7-980X, who came before me. I’m obviously being limited by external factors, like the higher latency on my PCIe connection or something—not that you’re gonna notice the difference between 96 and 98 FPS, anyway, Mr. Super Gamer.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Yep, that’s me sitting in my rightful spot at the top of the rankings. Get used to seeing that, folks. There’s gonna be lots of it.

Not that I couldn’t go faster, mind you. The video card and the game engine are surely holding me back. Maybe if the world’s game consoles were based on Intel processors like me instead of weakling PowerPC chips, running a game would be more of a challenge. As it is, I’m left with half my threads idle, running tight loops of incredibly dimwitted A.I. Yeah, cowboy, if you stick your head over the top of the fence again in that same place, he’s gonna shoot you. Duh.

Civilization V

Finally, here’s an example of what I’ve been talking about. Run this game normally with the graphics card doing its thing, and I’m tied for first with those two losers. Turn on the “no render” option, though, and I’m measurably faster—even than little miss Sandy B.

This units test is more of a challenge for a CPU. It involves more of my cores and threads, and so I’m even more of a winner in it.

F1 2010

Nice work, jackwagon. You’ve demonstrated that this test is GPU-limited at four different resolutions. Next up, why don’t you see how quickly I’ll read a 4,200-RPM hard disk? Or maybe test my web page rendering capabilities over a 300bps modem?

Metro 2033

I’m not participating in this sham. Look, I’m fast enough to run any game you could name perfectly well, but there’s some overhead associated with having a few threads ping-ponging around between my many cores on the whim of the Windows scheduler. Between that and the GPU limitations, I’m totally getting jobbed here. Either we can move on to some applications that make full use of my six cores and 12 threads, or I am finished.

Source engine particle simulation

There. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? A properly threaded particle simulation ripped from a game engine lets me show what I can do.

Productivity

SunSpider JavaScript performance

Yawn.

7-Zip file compression and decompression

Check me out here putting Sandy in her place.

Sandy, that’s not a bad showing, just barely beating out the Phenom II X6 1100T and everything. Adds drama. I can’t help but think it would be stronger, though, if your architects hadn’t blown so much of your transistor budget on lousy integrated graphics. Haha!

TrueCrypt disk encryption

Yep, all six of my cores can accelerate AES encryption, and TrueCrypt takes advantage. That’s why I’m pushing through nearly 5GB/s in the AES tests, as are some of the other newer Intel CPUs. I’m the fastest overall, though—and best in every single sub-test. Total carnage.

Image processing

The Panorama Factory photo stitching

Right. Due to her fancy new “architecture,” Sandy B. manages to tie with me by executing more instructions per clock on her four cores. Nice. Friggin’ tocks get all the glory. I can stitch your panoramic image together in 11 seconds, just like her, and I’ll save the results to disk reliably, too. So there.

picCOLOR image processing and analysis

I have to say, I like this little image analysis benchmark. Runs on lots of threads and, well, the results speak for themselves, don’t they?

Video encoding

x264 HD benchmark

Windows Live Movie Maker 14 video encoding

Hey, I’m all for being thorough, stepping through the different dimensions of the desktop PC usage model, and all of that other junk. I’m down with showcasing my considerable talents, too. But isn’t this cornucopia of benchmarks losing a little steam by page 11? Good grief.

3D modeling and rendering

Cinebench rendering

POV-Ray rendering

Valve VRAD map compilation

I would like to thank the academy, my architects, designers, and all of the hard-working software developers who took the time to make their software multi-threaded. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with you all.

Scientific computing

MyriMatch proteomics

These two egghead benchmarks can be complicated to explain. If you want to learn more about them, go here.

STARS Euler3d computational fluid dynamics

Yeah, I can do the scientific computing stuff, too, better than Sandy or any of the rest of ’em. My three memory channels are a major advantage here, obviously.

Power consumption and efficiency

Time for a look at power efficiency. I dunno what they’re even doing here, really, but the jackwagon tells me the two sets of results for the ridiculously slow Atom D525 and AMD E-350 processors differ in a couple of ways. The primary set comes from a configuration just like my own, with a discrete GTX 460 graphics card and our 610W standard PSU connected. The second set, labeled “Brick PSU,” was captured with only integrated graphics in use and a laptop-style power brick.

So, yeah, totally unfair. Typical.

Take a look at those idle power draw readings for me. The nimrod doing the testing was initially confused when he got a look at those—actually thought something was wrong with my config. After way too many hertz passed, a little light bulb (seriously small, like a minor fraction of my TDP) finally went on over his head and he realized—the variability at idle where my power draw bounces up and down is a good thing. The drops represent power savings compared to the i7-980X, which he’d earlier tested on a Gigabyte X58 board that didn’t have the same power-saving mojo as my Intel DX58SO2. Yeah, the plot looks a little messy. Deal with it.

See? On this newer mobo, my idle power draw is way lower, on average, than the i7-980X’s. Heck, I’m right in line with that Phenom II X6 that has two fewer DIMMs onboard.

Yeah, I do draw more power under load than, well, anything, but so what? Don’t tell me you’re some kind of punk eco-weenie who wastes cycles worrying about such things. Please. If you start that, they’ll make me give my halogen-free spiel again, and I don’t think I could stand it. All I want is a couple hundred watts at peak times to make the magic happen. Surely you can understand that.

Since I finish rendering before anything else and have such nice, low power draw at idle, I end up near the middle of the pack here. Get in, get out, and get low is my motto.

Well, bless my six little hearts. Get a load of those numbers. I finish this job ahead of anyone, so my relatively high power draw at peak simply ends sooner. As a result, I’m one of the most power-efficient CPUs on the planet, by this measure. Where’s your beloved Atom now, Greenpeace freaks? Lingering at the bottom of the pack, that’s where. Betcha didn’t expect this result.

Yes, one model of Sandy B. is even more efficient by a little bit, but she’s also quite a bit slower than I am.

Overclocking

I could see the jackwagon doing the tests getting excited when it came time to overclock me. Your typical nerdgasm type response, like I mentioned. Get this. He boots me up into the BIOS, tries to raise my base multiplier, and the Intel board is all like, “Oh no you don’t. You’ve gotta raise the Turbo mults.” So he toggles down and selects a bunch of exotic multipliers in the thirties, raises my voltage past 1.4V, and reboots. Pretty soon, I’m up in Windows and guess what? No dice on the OC, big boy. I’m at stock clocks. The look on his face was frakking priceless.

He then proceeds to flail about, trying that crazy “config mode” jumper on the Smackover 2 and even resorting to the Windows-based Extreme Tuning software. I mean, who uses that, amirite? No matter what he does, though, I don’t feel my Turbo multipliers changing at all.

Then, this guy is muttering something under his breath about “Intel Extreme,” overclocking, and his own ass. I didn’t quite catch it all, but next thing I know, I’m having my heatsink removed, being popped out of my socket, and getting dropped into a Gigabyte X58A-UD5. In no time, I’m running at 4.53GHz and 1.41875V. The nimrod even got me to boot into Windows at 4.67GHz, but I felt woozy and passed out a couple times, so he finally gave up. Phew. Next boot, I’m recovered and chewing through benchmarks like a table saw through a head of lettuce.

Oh, lookie there. Miss Sandy B. overclocks to 4.5GHz, too, but guess what? I’m faster at stock in all but one test. Then I turn on the afterburners, and it’s freaking over. I’m encoding H.264 video at nearly 60 FPS, while the little runts won’t let you watch it at half that rate.

Incidentally, later on some folks from Intel suggested using an older BIOS with the Smackover 2 to get me overclocked on that board. Apparently the production BIOS had a bug that didn’t allow multiplier changes to stick. Duh. I wanted to go back into the ol’ SO2 for another round, but I was told I had to come talk to you people first. Apparently, somebody thinks he’s on some kind of time schedule. Delusions of grandeur, I guess.

Conclusions

Well, I told you I was the finest PC processor on the planet, and now I’ve backed it up through 16 pages and some ridiculous number of benchmarks. I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but I am probably the zenith of human technological achievement to date. Can’t really think of anything that compares, off the top of my head.

True, I’m not cheap compared to the glorious Miss Sandy B. and her overmatched competition at a third of my price or less. In the grand scheme of things, though, pretty much all desktop computer hardware is affordable. The question is: do you value your time? I’m gonna save you five minutes every time you encode a video versus some cut-rate dual core, and eventually that’s gonna add up to hours of time saved over my lifetime. Even an eco-weenie on a government grant pulls in a pretty good hourly wage. In the right context, my price tag shouldn’t be too hard to justify. I’ve given you numbers that will let you justify it in terms of power savings, too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

I understand I’m not for everybody, though. Some people just don’t get me, and they’re probably going to be all excited when the golden child finally makes her way back to market. Just remember that, even then, I’m your only ticket to a full 16 PCIe lanes across two slots or eight lanes across four slots. I’m still the Extreme one in the family, and I’m gonna be for the better part of 2011, at least.

My next mission? A full-body takedown of AMD’s Bulldozer, yet another new architecture that’s getting everybody all excited. Did you see what I did to the Phenom II X6? They can throw as many of their fancy “modules” at me as they want. They can copy my Turbo Boost mode. They can try to match my 32-nm prowess. I say: bring it. I can’t friggin’ wait.

Comments closed
    • ThorAxe
    • 9 years ago

    Echoing the sentiment of many others, this is one of the best reviews ever.

    Take that Sandy B!

    • niinja2
    • 9 years ago

    So you have a 1000 dollar cpu and 200 dollar gpu

    “Not that I couldn’t go faster, mind you. The video card and the game engine are surely holding me back.”

    well maybe you should get 330 dollar cpu that performs in games the same as 1000 dollar cpu and for the price difference buy two radeons 6970 in crossfire for 800 bucks.

    Oh wait, your 1000 dollar chip can unzip a file a bit faster…. yeah that’s the way you waste money.

    Btw radeons in crossfire have much higher computing power ( like 20 times the CPU in ideal cases, in practical 2-3 times faster) , so stronger GPU’s can wtfpwn 990x in simple multithreading applications like transcoding that can run on GPU’s. Eventually all of those simple “multithreading” apps where you win with 990x will be run on GPU’s.

    btw most of the applications still use single threading sadly. And few those that use multithreading rarely use 12 threads lol.

    In short , 990x wins only in multithreading applications , and a descent gpu can beat the strongest cpu’s there. So get a good cpu and a good or strong gpu.

    But if money is not the problem , yeah get 700 bucks more expensive cpu , you can unzip your file 20 sec faster… or buy food for a small African country for 6 months.

    • trieste1s
    • 9 years ago

    This is a very refreshing style, and yes, I was one of those “nimrods” wondering what was wrong with the Power at Idle graph.

    • DarkUltra
    • 9 years ago

    How about a screenshot of task manager and core utilization on the various games and benchmarks? Then we can see how they utilize the six cores and twelve threads.

    • dgz
    • 9 years ago

    Now that is some good writing. Good job, sir. You somehow managed to turn an extremely predictable review into a diamond of text.

    • poee
    • 9 years ago

    I loved this article!

    “I can stitch your panoramic image together in 11 seconds, just like her, and I’ll save the results to disk reliably, too. So there.” Yes.

    • eternalmatt
    • 9 years ago

    I couldn’t help but lol at the bottom of page 7 [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/20486/7[/url<]

    • Krogoth
    • 9 years ago

    Awesome approach on an otherwise mundane review (a 4-8% clockspeed boost from 980X). 😀

    • ColeLT1
    • 9 years ago

    Reminds me of a “Woot” product writeup, haha.

      • Tamale
      • 9 years ago

      exactly what i thought too

    • Saribro
    • 9 years ago

    At the risk of a public lynching: I don’t like it one bit. Next time I’m reading a subheading like that, I’ll just skip the review, thanks.

      • sparkman
      • 9 years ago

      Bump. I agree. This should have been an April Fool’s Day review.

    • beck2448
    • 9 years ago

    Boy, talk about beating AMD like a red headed step child. Wow!

    • Flying Fox
    • 9 years ago

    Page 2 needs to be in the same tone too. 😉

    • LoneWolf15
    • 9 years ago

    Spoken like a CPU that’s just jealous that Miss Sandy B. is getting it on a lot more under the bleachers than her. After all, there is some appeal to being cheap and easy. 😉

    Good review.

    • Silus
    • 9 years ago

    Great review as always, but the way it was written, is really top notch and original! Very well done Scott 🙂

    • vadim
    • 9 years ago

    Nice CPU, great review! Thanks TR!

    • Grayscale
    • 9 years ago

    “I hate to brag, but with six cores at 3.46GHz, a Turbo peak of 3.73GHz, 12MB of L3 cache, and three channels of DDR3 memory, I’m kind of a big deal.”

    After that point, I had to read the article in the voice of The Scout from TF2. Great article!

      • PsychicMuffin
      • 9 years ago

      Psht, I chose Ellis from L4D2

      • DrDillyBar
      • 9 years ago

      I was thinking KITT myself.

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      That CPU is a spy!

      • internetsandman
      • 9 years ago

      Honestly I didn’t have a voice for it in my head. But now that I’ve read this comment, I simply HAVE to re-read it in scouts voice XD

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    You know Scott… while I’m pretty sure everyone now assuredly knows you were a ditzy highschool girl in your past lifetime and I’m sure we’ve all convinced you to be artistic with your articles, I’m not quite sure I’m ready to take on another article exactly like this in the near future. That and there is a reason I really hate the ditzy highschool types with a passion.

    While I’m sure everyone will be surprised with the newest rendition and flavorful writing style, please limit it to the opening. In the end I found myself so annoyed by the writing style I completely ignored everything you wrote (including the conclusion) and I just looked at the benchmarks (usually it’s the opposite and I enjoy your normal style of writing articles).

    I guess much like the processor, articles like this aren’t for everyone and to be honest it could just be because the processor seemed like a jealous, ditzy, spoiled, highschool cheerleader *shivers*.

      • grantmeaname
      • 9 years ago

      What would he write? There’s just not much to say.

        • Bensam123
        • 9 years ago

        Anything can be bland and boring if you want it to be.

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      I bet you are SO much fun at a party.

        • Bensam123
        • 9 years ago

        This has nothing to do with how much fun I am. People who act annoying in real life (such as the voice Scott uses for the processor) are in fact also equally annoying online.

        It’s not just the voice either, all in all writing like this leaves you combing through the actual article looking for the meaningful information. I don’t think readers should be forced to drudge through something to get what they came for in the first place, that’s counterproductive.

          • moose17145
          • 9 years ago

          Jesus…. who pissed in your wheaties?

          • indeego
          • 9 years ago

          [quote<]This has nothing to do with how much fun I am. People who act annoying in real life (such as the voice Scott uses for the processor) are in fact also equally annoying online.[/quote<] So your saying if you met this annoying processor in real life you pretty much think it'd be annoying? [quote<]It's not just the voice either, all in all writing like this leaves you combing through the actual article looking for the meaningful information. [/quote<] [i<]combing[/i<]? The same style of benchmarks is exactly the same as every other review online. Only the commentary, which is terribly cliched at this point, is different. That is/was the point. [quote<]I don't think readers should be forced to drudge through something to get what they came for in the first place, that's counterproductive.[/quote<] - If they came for insight into how this processor differs (or doesn't) from others, they get that in this article. - If they came for a quick conclusion on the merits of this processor, they can easily skip to the end. - If they came for specific or generic benchmarks, they are there just like every other review. The only thing different is the tone/perspective, which is amusing at best, and mocking TR itself at worst.

      • Mykalson
      • 9 years ago

      Hmm, looks like we’ve found the REAL jackwagon.

      • Rakhmaninov3
      • 9 years ago

      Were you rejected by such a girl in HS or something? I smell bitterness of some kind…

    • Arclight
    • 9 years ago

    Nice job on the review, it’s good to escape from the norm from time to time, especially on reviews for predictable products…..

      • Firestarter
      • 9 years ago

      I didn’t particularly like the style, but that’s a good way of putting it. Otherwise this review would be a snoozefest that could be summarized with “uh yeah, so it’s the fastest desktop CPU for multi-threaded stuffs”.

        • khands
        • 9 years ago

        Haha, yeah, that’s pretty much it unfortunately. I have to agree though about not liking the style overall, I guess it was the lesser of two evils.

    • yuhong
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]True, I'm not cheap compared to the glorious Miss Sandy B. [/quote<] and doesn't have Sandy B.'s new features like AVX.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah, that was pretty much the greatest article ever. I do not think there’s even a remote chance of topping this.

    This should be slashdotted all the way home.

    On a side note, I don’t think I gave more than a glimpse to any single graph due to the deeply engaging text. Who needs graphs when the writing is that good?

    • Nutmeg
    • 9 years ago

    The i7-990X would hold its own here: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MXpIaY-P9U[/url<]

    • My Johnson
    • 9 years ago

    Heh. He said jackwagon.

      • Palek
      • 9 years ago

      Says the guy with the user name “My Johnson.”

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      It reminded me of that Geico commercial with the drill sergant/therapist.

    • oldDummy
    • 9 years ago

    Great Stuff.
    Well done, good break from the norm.

    • Rand
    • 9 years ago

    Terrific, I actually read through this article from start to finish… even if I barely glanced at the actual benchmarks. You managed to turn an otherwise boring and completely predictable array of tests into something well worth reading.

    • Xylker
    • 9 years ago

    I absolutely loved the intro. This is certainly the most interesting review, from a writing standpoint, that I have ever read. Well done, thanks for the fresh tone. Loved it. Really.

    • henfactor
    • 9 years ago

    Legendary review.

    • willip90
    • 9 years ago

    whats going to happen when he goes skinny dipping and gets all wet to stay cool???

    • TO11MTM
    • 9 years ago

    Came for the “—- Was So Cash”

    Leaving dissatisfied =(

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 9 years ago

    I loved this review.

    • drfish
    • 9 years ago

    This review is [b<]EPIC WIN[/b<]! Nice work Scott!

    • redpriest
    • 9 years ago

    LOL, you should change the “Author” to i7-990x

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 9 years ago

    The intro was GOLD! I didn’t finish reading the review. hehe.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    Um, ‘Value’ page conspicuous by its absence…

      • mnecaise
      • 9 years ago

      Maybe because it’s conspicuous in its cost.

    • r00t61
    • 9 years ago

    I come for the benchmarks, but I stay for the writing.

    • GodsMadClown
    • 9 years ago

    It’s like a Woot product description mashed up with a TR CPU review. I agree that there may have been some alcohol as a reagent during its formulation.

    • voodootronix
    • 9 years ago

    Hahahaha f***ing genius, nice one Scott 🙂

    • leor
    • 9 years ago

    Brilliant, just brilliant.

    • Dwarefy
    • 9 years ago

    I had to post my first comment ever on this site because of how funny the article is written.
    Really, I’m impressed and great job on it !

    First though was, is he drunk 😛

    • gbcrush
    • 9 years ago

    Dear Scott “Jackwagon” Wasson.

    Wow, that’s the longest I’ve ever seen you let a piece of tech review itself. What sort of ‘work’ were you doing all the while? Playing more Battlefield games with Miss Sandy Bridge? 😀

    Nicely done.

    • LawrenceofArabia
    • 9 years ago

    I hope we’ll be seeing more of that unique idle power usage in future products. Does Mr. 990X know if this is just a bios setting? or is it somehow more hardware related?

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    Hahaha, very creative read!!

    • ImSpartacus
    • 9 years ago

    That review was wonderful.

    Scott took a review for an old CPU on a dying chipset and turned it into something I actually wanted to read. Bravo.

    Just don’t do it again, ever. Repeat the joke and it all falls through.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    The machines have become self-aware! Bomb them!

    • CampinCarl
    • 9 years ago

    Loved the narrative for this review. I thought it might be a little much at first, but it was solid the whole way. My favorite was the one at the end of page 7.

    • tejas84
    • 9 years ago

    HAHA this has me rolling around the floor in laughter. The narrative is absolutely hilarious.

    The Intel Core i7 990X is officially the Charlie Sheen of CPU’s!

    Oh the humanity

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, I was looking for an explict reference to His Godliness. But it was OK with out one 🙂

      • Rageypoo
      • 9 years ago

      If it is the charlie sheen of cpu’s, you can expect it to mess up half way through its career and die of an overclock

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    Love the narrative. You won’t be wanting to skip to the conclusion on this one.

    WIN.

      • flip-mode
      • 9 years ago

      Indeed, I might have to read every word of this review. Hmm… need to go get some beers…

        • Palek
        • 9 years ago

        At the risk of sounding like a suck-up, I read pretty much every review here at TR from start to finish. The quality of the writing sets TR apart from every other computer tech website. I have not come across a single article so far that was a bore to read. Scott in particular always manages to be witty without sounding like he is [b<]trying[/b<] to be funny. [EDIT] Almost forgot. This article is pure genius. [/EDIT]

    • ultima_trev
    • 9 years ago

    i7 990X contains the AI of SKYNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On a more serious note, I can’t say the price justifies the premium over i7 970, that looks to be the sweet spot.

      • kilkennycat
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed. With the recent Core i7 970 price drop to ~$590 and a decent overclockable MB, it would be insane to fork out another ~$400 for the 990X. That difference alone would pay for the 24GByte of memory essential for those who really want to make full use of the available cores and push the productivity limit of the Gulftown series — as in Adobe CS5, especially Premiere…

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