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Is the 3930K really worth £200 more than the 3820?

Soldato
Joined
8 Mar 2007
Posts
10,938
OK so as a 3820 owner I'm biased but say for 99% people the answer is no.

Firstly the 3820 is a very good overclocker. I think a lot of people are being hoodwinked by the 'K' suffix due to the deserved reputation that line of CPUs got on the 1155 platform and as a result subconsciously assuming the 3820 must be a locked down processor not worth bothering with. In fact it's unlocked to 44x with a very good strap tolerance (I have it at 125Mhz), you can hit well over 4 GHZ 24/7 stable easily (the standard clock is 3.6 after-all) and over 4.6 if you persevere a bit. I've seen numerous reports of 3820s running stably at 5GHz including from Paradigm on this board.

From what I've seen a similarly clocked 3930K achieved a mere 10GFlops more than my 3820 did on IBT (110 GFlops vs 120 GFlops) and the 3820 seemed to be able to achieve more stable plus 4.5GHz clocks as well (just from the various posts and forums I've read) which is probably due to the fact is easier to stabilise 4 cores than 6. Generally speaking as more cores are added the standard clock of each core is slower than the previous generation with less cores (as is evident by the fact the 3820 has a stock 3.6Ghz speed whilst the 3930K is 3.2)

And that's the only major difference from what I can see, the 3960K has 6 cores and opposed to 4 on the 3820. No game is going to use more than 4 cores and most software will barely use two. When dual cores first appeared almost no software could utilise them and their individual core performance was quite a bit lower than the mid to high range single core processors at the time so in the real world they actually performed worse than their single core counterparts for quite a while. I think we're in a similar situation with CPUs with more than 4 cores currently.

Don't get me wrong, if I won the lottery this week I'd be ordering myself a 3960X but for most people (inc me pre-hypothetical lottery win) money is an object and an important one at that. I'm seeing on various forums quite a few people who obviously only have a certain budget and are opting for the 3930K but then skimping on the other parts and going mid-range on them and will lose overall computer performance as a result. I used the £200 I saved by not giving into temptation by going for the K series to buy a couple of 120GB SSDs which I'm now running in RAID and I can say that has a far more noticeable effect than anything the £450 3930K would give me over my £250 3820.

So I guess in a little way I'm trying to justify my purchase and I'm sure they'll be 3930K owners who will tell me I'm a noob with a sh*te processor but hey, they probably think the same as me about 3960X owners, who in turn think the same as them about both of us!
 
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Soldato
Joined
5 Sep 2010
Posts
24,786
Cost and worth are two different things.

Worth is subjective.

If it's not worth the extra cost to you then you have your answer.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
8 Mar 2007
Posts
10,938
Cost and worth are two different things.

Worth is subjective.

If it's not worth the extra cost to you then you have your answer.

OK, do you think it is 'worth' an extra £200 to most people who buy it then given your perceived ideas about how most people use their PCs and what software they use.

Or put another way, give me examples of users (on average salary) you think the extra £200 would be worth their expense.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Sep 2010
Posts
24,786
It's worth the extra £200 to those who bought the 3930K unless they just bought in complete ignorance.

That worth may be because they actually do something which gets better performance than they would get from a 3820.

It may be purely £200 worth of e-peen.

It may be a bit of each.

Whatever the reason it was "worth it" to those who bought a 3930K
 
Associate
Joined
6 Apr 2009
Posts
1,912
Location
Liverpool
To be honest i dont think it is when you can overclock the 3820 to around 5ghz....you do get 6 cores to the 4 on the 3820...but in this day there are not really any apps that justify the 6 cores....so imo its not worth the extra money....spend it on graphics or a ssd drive.... lol just read your sig....spend it in the pub you have a great setup already.... let me waste my money catching up to you lol
 
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Associate
Joined
2 Feb 2012
Posts
440
If you're doing any form of H264 video encoding, the 6 cores will be 33% faster than the 4 core version. For me, that would make it worth it.
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Oct 2005
Posts
4,018
Location
London
As a 3930K owner, Im more than happy with mine and consider it worth the money. I spent 1800 on my build, but I was coming from a Pentium D, so thought I deserved a treat and Im amazed at just how fast this rig is, though to be fair, a bulldozer system would feel quick compared to my previous one
 
Caporegime
Joined
26 Aug 2003
Posts
37,247
Location
Cheshire
I went for the 3820 as it was all I could really justify to myself with a price/performance ratio.

I'd have loved to go for a K or an X CPU, but I decided that with my usage profile, the increase in cost, and the reduction in overall overclockability, I'd get better "worth" out of a 3820.

It's hard enough trying to convince 90% of people on OcUK that it was worth the step up over a 2500K (seriously, the 2500k isn't the answer to world hunger and AIDS in Africa, and I wish people would stop using it as the de-facto answer to every "rig" thread). But the minimal difference in cost between a high-end 1155 board/2600k combo and the 3820/good X79 board combo was negligible.

I'm happy with my overclock, although with a bit of spare time on the horizon I might see just how far I can push it as a one off/benchmark session. But 5GHz will definitely do me for day-to-day running!
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Jun 2010
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5,158
Location
Scotland
If you're doing any form of H264 video encoding, the 6 cores will be 33% faster than the 4 core version. For me, that would make it worth it.

In theory it would take two thirds the time.

Wouldn't that be 50% faster?

8 cores = 16% per core

2 extra cores = 33% extra juice.

Where does the 50% come from?

P.S. I'm being serious and curious, my maths isn't great and not trying to be a wise guy. I deliberately rounded up the above figures.
 
Caporegime
Joined
26 Aug 2003
Posts
37,247
Location
Cheshire
8 cores = 16% per core

2 extra cores = 33% extra juice.

Where does the 50% come from?

P.S. I'm being serious and curious, my maths isn't great and not trying to be a wise guy. I deliberately rounded up the above figures.

Think of it like this. 4 Cores (3820) = 2 Minutes encoding time (or 30s per core)

6 Cores (3960) = 30 seconds x 6 cores = 180 seconds / 60 = 3 Minutes. So it can do 150% of the workload of the 4-core. Hence 50% faster.

This is of course assuming clock for clock.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Sep 2010
Posts
24,786
8 cores = 16% per core

2 extra cores = 33% extra juice.

Where does the 50% come from?

P.S. I'm being serious and curious, my maths isn't great and not trying to be a wise guy. I deliberately rounded up the above figures.

The 3930K has 6 cores, 12 threads.

The 3820 has 4 cores, 8 threads.

In a perfect situation, with both processors at the same speed, the 3930K would get the job done 50% faster.
 
Caporegime
Joined
26 Dec 2003
Posts
25,675
From what I've seen a similarly clocked 3930K achieved a mere 10GFlops more than my 3820 did on IBT (110 GFlops vs 120 GFlops) and the 3820 seemed to be able to achieve more stable plus 4.5GHz clocks as well (just from the various posts and forums I've read) which is probably due to the fact is easier to stabilise 4 cores than 6.

I get over 180GFlops using 6 threads with my [email protected]

IBT does not give comparable results though, for example a 2500K normally gets higher GFlops than 2600K/2700K/3820 because it only executes 4 threads instead of 8, yet if you execute 4 threads on a 2600K etc you'll get a higher score too.

Cinebench is a much better benchmark, I get around 13.4 in that.

Do I need 6 cores? probably not but I love this processor and plan to keep it for a long time... most people don't need 7970/GTX680 etc yet they still buy them. If I had a 2600K/2700K/3820 now I'd probably be wanting to upgrade to Ivy Bridge and you end up spending just as much money upgrading all of the time (Z77 now etc). :p
 
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Associate
Joined
27 Feb 2007
Posts
1,921
Location
Leeds
And that's the only major difference from what I can see, the 3960K has 6 cores and opposed to 4 on the 3820. No game is going to use more than 4 cores and most software will barely use two. When dual cores first appeared almost no software could utilise them and their individual core performance was quite a bit lower than the mid to high range single core processors at the time so in the real world they actually performed worse than their single core counterparts for quite a while. I think we're in a similar situation with CPUs with more than 4 cores currently.

Depends on the software, VMs, rendering, encoding. Intel has targetted high end workstations and enthusiasts with SB-E, it's not all about games.

Don't get me wrong, if I won the lottery this week I'd be ordering myself a 3960X but for most people (inc me pre-hypothetical lottery win) money is an object and an important one at that.

Why? You're interested in gaming and don't see the need for more cores - even if you had the money why would you buy one? You must think it's better in some way...

I'm seeing on various forums quite a few people who obviously only have a certain budget and are opting for the 3930K but then skimping on the other parts and going mid-range on them and will lose overall computer performance as a result. I used the £200 I saved by not giving into temptation by going for the K series to buy a couple of 120GB SSDs which I'm now running in RAID and I can say that has a far more noticeable effect than anything the £450 3930K would give me over my £250 3820.

Your approach is sound, a balanced system is always best. I'd guess that the majority of 3930K owners also have a balanced system, though there will always be exceptions.

So I guess in a little way I'm trying to justify my purchase and I'm sure they'll be 3930K owners who will tell me I'm a noob with a sh*te processor but hey, they probably think the same as me about 3960X owners, who in turn think the same as them about both of us!

No, a 3960X isn't adding additional cores (which is the big difference between 3820 and 3930K) and with overclocking of both chips the benefits are less pronounced over the 3930K.

Let me turn this question on it's head, what made you decide to buy into x79 over z68? A z68 would have been marginally cheaper and offered the same level of performance - I'm guessing there must be some value or worth to you of having x79 otherwise why did you spend the extra?
 
Caporegime
Joined
26 Aug 2003
Posts
37,247
Location
Cheshire
if I had a 2600K/2700K/3820 now I'd probably be wanting to upgrade to Ivy Bridge and you end up spending just as much money upgrading all of the time (Z77 now etc). :p

If I had any of the above I'd not want to upgrade to IB, given that the main performance increase is with the onboard GPU. Even if you could justify upgrading from 2500/2600k to IB, I'm not sure quite why you'd feel the need to downgrade from an X79 platform to a Z77 if you had a 3820.

I will see what IB-E brings to the table however, and might contemplate upgrading the 3820 then, but most likely will wait for the Haswell based enthusiast platform.
 
Soldato
Joined
30 Nov 2011
Posts
11,086
I bought a 3930K for 3 reasons;

a) 3820 wasn't out yet

b) I spotted a 3930K going for under £300 on ebay (not much more than the rumoured price of the 3820 at the time)

and c) I wanted a platform with the best longevity and X79 looks to give me that
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
8 Mar 2007
Posts
10,938
I bought a 3930K for 3 reasons;

a) 3820 wasn't out yet

b) I spotted a 3930K going for under £300 on ebay (not much more than the rumoured price of the 3820 at the time)

and c) I wanted a platform with the best longevity and X79 looks to give me that


:confused: The 3820 is X79.
 
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