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::>Processors > 2014 > 09 > Intel Core i7-5930K

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16-09-2014


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Intel Core i7-5930K processor: review and testing

Late summer and early autumn always was a hot time in the IT-industry, because this period includes large proportion of various announcements and events. AMD Company has pleased the gamers with the adding to the family of graphics cards AMD Volcanic Islands by the solution AMD Radeon R9 285, based on the graphics core AMD Tonga Pro. Its eternal rival NVIDIA is preparing a response in the form of launching a new series of graphics cards NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9xx. Processor market can not boast of the same activity, but here the beginning of autumn was marked by loud event - the release of the platform Socket LGA2011-v3 and a new generation of high-performance processors Intel Haswell-E.

Intel Core i7-5930K

Despite the fact that the top solutions of the families Intel Sandy Bridge-E and Intel Ivy-Bridge-E still have no equal in terms of performance, they are already obsolete. The same can be said about the entire platform Socket LGA2011. Chipset Intel X79 Express do not meet modern requirements of high-performance system. In some ways, the manufactures tried to solve this situation by soldering third-party controllers for ports SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0. However, the new platform and new micro architecture were required. Thus, the appearance of a new family of high-performance processors has become almost a accomplished fact. There was only one question: "When?".

The answer was the August of this year. Maybe someone would think that Intel is too delayed announcing the line Intel Haswell-E. However, there are quite objective reasons: it was necessary to run in the practice a new microarchitecture Intel Haswell, and to allow memory manufacturers to saturate the market with solutions of standard DDR4.

Intel Core i7-5930K

The main innovation in the family of Intel Haswell-E was the appearance of the 8-core device, whereas previously popular Intel processors for desktop systems include a maximum 6 cores. The second improvement has touched the memory controller: there was a transition from the DDR3 to DDR4 with higher bandwidth. According to the company all this allows to achieve growth at the level of 79% compared with the 4-core solutions. The only pity is that to date there are not many software that fully takes advantage of multi-core and multi-threading principles. Therefore, in the real world the performance difference may not be as impressive. But this is a question for developers of application because the processor manufacturers have already done everything possible to increase the speed of the PC. But the actual performance of new product we will consider later on during testing, but for now let's focus in more details on the theoretical part of the question.

Micro architecture features

The heart of the family of processors Intel Haswell-E is 8-core semiconductor chip. Apparently, in the less powerful models (Intel Core i7-5930K and Intel Core i7-5820K) with 6 cores, the other two will be locked. Following its strategy «Tick-Tock», during the production of solutions Intel Haswell-E the company Intel used 22-nm process, but modified microarchitecture: from Intel Ivy Bridge to Intel Haswell.

Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Haswell-E processor chip

Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Ivy Bridge-E processor chip

As a result, all of the improvements at the structural level, introduced in processors Intel Haswell (as well as their successors: Intel Haswell Refresh anf Intel Devil's Canyon) have moved here: support of instructions AVX2 and FMA3, increased cache performance of the first and second levels, the presence of voltage transducer on the side of CPU.

Intel Core i7-5930K

As we noted earlier, the maximum number of cores was increased: 8 for Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition vs. 6 in the previous flagship Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition. Taking into account the technology Intel Hyper-Threading, in the output we get 16 independent streams instead of 12. Increased number of cores affected the amount of cache in the third level (L3). Now its volume can reach as much as 20 MB.

As for the memory controller, then in addition to the transition to standard DDR4, frequency of supported modules was increased. The manufacturer guarantees the stable operation of the memory modules at speed up to 2133 MHz. The representatives of Intel Ivy Bridge-E have the value of 1866 MHz. Although it is obvious that by acceleration it is possible to achieve better results. At least some manufacturers of memory offer sets of modules capable of operating at frequencies 3000 and 3333 MHz. The configuration of the controller has remained the same: 4 channels with a maximum memory capacity up to 64 GB.

Naturally, such indicators have affected the complexity of the processor. So an 8-core modification of Intel Haswell-E includes 2.6 billion of transistors, while the flagship of family Intel Ivy Bridge-E has only 1.86 billion. Also chip size was increased: from 257 mm2 to 356 mm2. In order not to increase its dimensions the manufacturer refused to integrated graphics as its cost is $ 400 - 1000?

The only item that has not changes was the distribution of lines PCI Express. Their number reaches 40 pieces (х16+х16+х8 или х8+х8+х8+х8+х8). They conform to the standard PCI Express 3.0. Thus, the solutions Intel Haswell-E perfectly suited to create powerful gaming configurations with multiple graphics cards.

Platform Socket LGA 2011-v3

Intel Core i7-5930K

Implementation of the new micro-architecture and capability expansion brought the replacement of the platform. The processor is the main element and includes the main controllers. It ensures the correct operation of the periphery: the sound and disk subsystems, network controllers, USB connectors, as well as expansion slots PCI Express 2.0. Exchange of data between them is carried out via a bus DMI 2.0.

Intel Core i7-5930K

In comparison with Socket LGA2011 the capabilities of the platform Socket LGA2011-v3 increased in almost all respects.

Intel Core i7-5930K

As for the connector, despite the general similarity of design, mounts and even the same number of contacts, it is not compatible with processors Intel Sandy Bridge-E and Intel Ivy-Bridge-E.

Lineup

Intel Core i7-5930K

Lineup of processors Intel Haswell-E includes three models: Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition, Intel Core i7-5930K and Intel Core i7-5820K. In the market they will replace the relevant solutions of the family Intel Ivy-Bridge-E: Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition, Intel Core i7-4930K and Intel Core i7-4820K.

According the table, only the flagship is equipped with 8 cores. Other processors have 6 cores, including the entry-level Intel Core i7-5820K. Apparently, Intel took into account user claims regarding the 4-core Intel Core i7-4820K, which according performance is virtually identical to Intel Core i7-3770K. Now, the difference between the top-end processor Intel Core i7-4790K and youngest member of high-performance solutions (Intel Core i7-5820K) will be more noticeable.

Increased number of transistors brought growth in heat: from 130 to 140 W. Moreover, in order not limit this figure, the manufacturer in some cases had slightly reduced the operating frequency. This is especially evident in the flagship of series Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition, which is in the nominal running at 3000 MHz, and in turbo mode at 3500 MHz. Let’s remind that this value for predecessor, Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition was 500 - 600 MHz higher depending on the operating mode. However, all new products remained unlocked multiplier, so in case of need the extra speed can always be obtained by overclocking. And the availability of high-quality thermal interface between the chip and the lid of the processor also has a positive impact on their overclocking potential. However it is important to take care of the cooling system, as the cooler is not supplied.

Intel Core i7-5930K

To relieve the user from the search for the cooling system with sufficient efficiency, the manufacturer offers to buy a proprietary water cooling system «Intel TS13X». However, looking at its characteristics, it is better to think about buying a good air cooler like the Noctua NH-D15.

Finally, the most important is the cost of new products. The flagship of the series is $ 1,000. 6 core Intel Core i7-5930K and Intel Core i7-5820K are much cheaper - $ 583 and $ 389 respectively. These models will make up the lion's share of sales, and Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition will be used by overclockers, gaming fans and fans very powerful configurations.

Note that the above is a recommended price for batch from 1,000 pcs. Retail price will be 10-15% higher.

Processor Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Core i7-5930K

Unfortunately, for testing we could not get the flagship of the series, so the familiarity with a lineupf Intel Haswell-E we start from 6-core model namely Intel Core i7-5930K. For more details we have decided to provide a complete specification of the new item in the form of a comparative table to its predecessor Intel Core i7-4930K.

Model

Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Core i7-4930K

Marking (engineering sample)

SR20R (QFRB)

SR1AT (QF81)

Processor’s socket

Socket LGA2011-v3

Socket LGA2011

Clock speed, MHz

Nominal

3500

3400

Turbo mode

3700

3900

Множитель

Nominal

35

34

Turbo mode

37

39

Basic frequency, MHz

100

100

L1 cache memory, KB

6 х 32 (instruction memory)

6 х 32 (data memory)

6 х 32 (instruction memory)

6 х 32 (data memory)

L2 cache memory, KB

6 x 256

6 x 256

L3 cache memory, MB

15

12

Microarchitecture

Intel Haswell

Intel Ivy Bridge

Code name

Intel Haswell-E

Intel Ivy Bridge-E

Number Of cores / threads

6 / 12

6 / 12

Instruction support

MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, VT-x, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3

MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, VT-x, AES, AVX

Number of PCI Express 3.0 lines

40

40

Supply voltage, V

-

-

Maximum Rated Power (TDP), W

140

130

Critical temperature, °C

-

-

Max operating temperature, °C

66,8

66,8

Technological process, nm

22

22

Technology support

Enhanced Halt State (C1E)

Enhanced Intel Speedstep

Hyper-Threading

Execute Disable Bit

Intel Virtualization

Intel Turbo Boost 2.0

Enhanced Halt State (C1E)

Enhanced Intel Speedstep

Hyper-Threading

Execute Disable Bit

Intel Virtualization

Intel Turbo Boost 2.0

Built-In Memory Controller

Max memory capacity, GB

64

64

Memory type

DDR4

DDR3

Max frequency, MHz

2133

1866

Memory subsystem bandwidth, GB/s

68

59,7

Number of memory channels 

4

4

Max quantity of modules per one channel

2

2

Integrated graphics core

No

No

Design

Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Core i7-5930K

Intel Core i7-4930K

Compared with the solutions of series Intel Ivy Bridge-E, the physical dimensions of the new processors are the same. However, the configuration of heat-spreading lid and location of the contacts on the back side were changed. Furthermore, improvements occurred on electrotechnical level which is primarily associated with the appearance of internal power converter. This simplifies the design of the module VRM on the motherboard, as the processors Intel Haswell-E have only one reference voltage. This technology is well-proven in platform Socket LGA1150, so its appearance in the older series is justified.

As we noted earlier, in the result of all modifications the connector Socket LGA2011-v3 lost forward and backward compatibility with Socket LGA2011. However, the mounting system for the coolers remained the same. In other words, when you change the platform you do not need to buy a new cooling system. The only thing to remember is that TDP level was increased by 10 W compared to the solutions of a series of Intel Ivy Bridge-E.

Performance analysis

Intel Core i7-5930K

During normal operation the speed of Intel Core i7-5930K is 3500 MHz with the reference frequency of 100 MHz and the multiplier "x35". At the time of reading the core voltage was 1.037 V. Thus, the hero of the review is faster than its predecessor (Intel Core i7-4930K) on 100 MHz and requires a slightly smaller power supply for its correct operation: 1.037 vs. 1.080 V.

Intel Core i7-5930K

In the mode of dynamic increase of the frequency using proprietary technology Turbo Boost 2.0 the multiplier increases by 2 points to a value of "x37". CPU clock speed will be increased to the level of 3700 MHz, and the voltage up to 1,071 V. However, this rate was observed very rarely and only at low load.

Intel Core i7-5930K

However, most of the time the processor operates at a frequency of 3600 MHz, and the power supply voltage varies within 1,056 - 1,071 V. As you can see, the mechanism of the Intel Turbo Boost had also some changes. Intel Core i7-4930K in turbo mode was faster at 200 MHz, but the power supply was 1.232 V.

Intel Core i7-5930K

In idle mode the CPU multiplier was reduced to a value of "x12", thereby decreasing the frequency to 1200 MHz. The same behavior was of the Intel Core i7-4930K. However, its speed was 1200 MHz voltage 0.684 V, whereas for Intel Core i7-4930K it was 0,824 V.

Intel Core i7-5930K

Cache memory of Intel Core i7-5930K is distributed as the folows:

  • L1 cache memory: each 6-core has 32 KB for data with 8 associativity channels and 32 KB for instructions with 8 associativity channels;
  • L2 cache memory: each core has 256 KB with 8 associativity channels;
  • L3 cache memory: 15 MB for all cores with 20 associativity channels.

 The capacity of L3 cache memory for its predecessor is 3 MB.

Intel Core i7-5930K

DDR3 memory controller runs in fourl channel mode and supports modules with frequency up to 2133 MHz. Maximum memory capacity is 64 GB.

Testing


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