Intel Core i7 3970x vs 5820K Benchmark & Comparison

by Nikolas Caven -
Intel Core i7 3970x vs 5820K Benchmark & Comparison

The i7 3970x is now becoming a somewhat dated CPU, and yet is still going for $800 on (at the time of this review).

I thought to myself “is this CPU really worth the money?” and so I began testing it to see if, in fact, the Intel Core i7 3970x is still worth the extreme premium price tag it carries, or if you should just buy a newer, less expensive processor instead for half the price?.

Over the course of this article, I am going to pit the 3970x against the 5820K as well as a few other choice processors available on the market today.

Our Test Rig

  • MSI X79A GD45 motherboard
  • 16GB DDR3 1600 mhz OCZ Gold RAM
  • OCZ Revodrive PCIE SSD
  • 2x Radeon 6670s in crossfire

I will have the i7 3970x CPU clocked at two speeds, 3.50 GHz, and at 4.2 GHz (overclocked)

CPU Tests

No processor benchmark comparison would be without a solid set of tests, I will be using a variety of tests from Passmark Performance Test software.


i7 3970x Compression Test
The i7 3970x does very well in the compression test, both at stock (orange) and at overclocked settings (green).

i7 3970x Encryption Test

i7 3970x Floatpoint Calculations

i7 3970x Physics Test
As you can see, the i7 3970x is still one heck of a processing beast, outperforming all but the i7 5820k in most tests.

i7 3970x Prime Numbers Test
Beats the 5820K by over 9.6% in prime number calculation tests.

i7 3970x Sorting Test

i7 3970x Extended Instructions(SSE) Test
single thread

i7 3970x Single CPU-thread Test
6.5% performance increase over 5820K

The Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition i7 3970x is still a monster of a CPU, but considering that the i7 5820k has nearly the same specifications, and is as fast as the 3970x, for only $400 means that the i7 3970x is NOT a good purchase for $800.

The only benefit that the i7 3970x has over the newer 5820k is the fact that the 3970x has 40 PCI-E lanes, where the 5820k only has 28, but most people will not need more than 16 PCI-E lanes at any one time anyway. What do you think? Would you get

Avatar for Nikolas Caven
Nikolas Caven
Nik is a competitive overclocker at He has been messing with PC's since age 12. Currently living in Minnesota, USA. He loves all technology and loves teaching others how to use it. Whether that is overclocking, getting the most bang for your buck, or solving isssues.
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