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Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Sandy Bridge-E CPU ReviewA few weeks back, we took a look at the Core i7-3960X, Intel’s first desktop processor to feature the company’s Sandy Bridge-E microarchitecture. If you're unfamiliar with the chip, Sandy Bridge-E is the ‘tock’ in Intel’s tick-tock release schedule cadence that bridges the gap between first-gen Sandy Bridge-based processors and next year’s Ivy Bridge microarchitecture. Sandy Bridge-E shares many of the same features of the original Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, but as the “E” denotes, SBE is a more extreme derivative, targeted at enthusiasts.

We briefly discussed the Core i7-3820 we’ll be showing you today in our Core i7-3960X coverage, but didn’t have a chip on hand for testing. The Core i7-3820 is based on the very same die as the higher-end Core i7-3960X, but two of its cores (and some cache) have been disabled...

Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Sandy Bridge-E CPU Review


"I like that you pushed the 3820 to its limit in overclocking, I say that cause usually or always you are very conservative when it comes to that department. What I find odd is the power consumption numbers , Idle and Load results seem a little to high compared to other reviews."

Marco C

With regard to power, my testbed still used a GTX 200 series card, which has much higher idle power than newer GPUs. The delta between idle and load should be similar, however.


Marco C wrote:

The delta between idle and load should be similar, however.

"Yes, totally true. Thanks for the response. "


Marco C wrote:

With regard to power, my testbed still used a GTX 200 series card, which has much higher idle power than newer GPUs.

"Actually, I researched a bit, and I came to the conclusion that the higher consumption numbers are based on the Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard. Other reviews used a lower end Mobo like the DX79SI or the Asrock Extreme4-m. The extra bells and whistles in the Deluxe have a little more Watt usage which is highly justifiable."


Great review, so excited about the stuff Intel has and will be putting out. I would like to point out though on the first page of the review it seems you listed the specs for the i7-3960 instead of the 3820.

Anyways, keep up the great in-depth reviews!


Wouldn't it be cool if the disabled cores and cache could be enabled like some AMD processors.


no quicksync 😮 using that amount of watts for the little performance gained over the 2700k? come its not faster than the 2700k when in all your bench the 3820 had higher scores than the 2700k O_O

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You guys listed the specs for the 3960x not the 3820 :-P


Corrected, thanks. Sorry for missing that.


No problem. acarzt and I, trying to correct  human mistakes, which is always good to notice and notify so people dont get confused 🙂 good job on the review anyway I liked...Joined this website yesterday and noticing something and posting it just make me proud :)


Oh just noticed you live in  MA, Me too! are you  The owner of this site?


When will the 3820 be available?

Intel set the price at $285 but everyone seems to want to charge $315 for these things. It looks overpriced to me. It makes more sense to pick up a 2700 or 2600. The tiny bit of performance increase is not worth the cost and extra power consumption. Piledriver and Ivy Bridge are only months away too. Not sure what Intel is thinking here.


I don't know where this will fit.

For heavy-duty encoders/editors/content creators the 3900 series are the way to go(and even the 2700k will do well).

For 'regular" folks and gamers, an i52500k will do the job and if you want more performance an i72600k is there (no point in spending about $100 more for a speed bump in the 2700k)

I'm not happy bulldozer's bringing up the rear even in it's supposed strong points (threaded workloads) but Piledriver should go some way towards correcting that, if the notebook demos are anything to go by.

This is what happens when there's no real competition: Intel can release something to cover every concievable user type and price point, even when it makes little sense to do so.


It looks like this will by my next CPU. I already have a MSI X79A-GD45 from a Facebook win and just ordered a Corsair Vengeance 4 x 4 GB ddr3-1600 kit.


Would really like the unlocked 3930K but I might have to settle for this proc 🙂 to go in that nice MSI X79 mobo.