Intel Core i7-5960X 8-Core Haswell-E Processor Review

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Intel Core i7-5960X Processor Overclocking

5960X Stock Speeds

The Intel Core i7-5960X processor runs up to 3.3GHz out of the box, but we wanted to see how much higher that we could get. The big question is, how well does Haswell-E overclock compared to previous gen processors? From what we have been told, the average overclocked frequency for 5960X processors is 4.5GHz. Good samples will achieve 4.6GHz fully stable with less than 1.30Vcore. Lesser samples achieve 4.4GHz with the same voltage. For this review we wanted to see what we could hit with the Corsair H105 water cooler and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we have a good chip!

Intel Core i7-5960X Overclock

The top overclock on this specific Intel Core i7-5960X processor was right around 4.4GHz as we could get it stable at 1.30Volts on the core at either a 100MHz CPU strap with a 44 multiplier or a 125MHz CPU strap with a 35 multiplier. We could get some benchmarks to run at 4.5GHz, but they weren’t stable even with pushing the voltage up to 1.325V. This chip isn’t an overclocking monster, but we’ll take 4.4GHz on an 8-core processor. You’ll likely be able to overclock the Haswell-E K parts (Core i7-5930K and Core i7-5820K) about 100-200MHz higher than what you can get on the 5960X since they have fewer cores enabled. With fewer cores producing heat you should be able to run higher voltages and get better overclocking. At the end of the day this is a 1.1GHz overclock over the stock max turbo speed. This is a 33% improvement in clock speeds!

cinebench overclocked

With the Intel Core i7-5960X running at 4.4GHz we were able to score 1703 on the CPU test in Cinebench. We got a score of 1320 stock, so this is a nice 29% performance gain from our 33% clock frequency jump.


At 4.4 GHz we saw the temperatures at around 40C at idle and then they hit around 75-78C at load. It should be noted that our 4.4GHz overclock was stable in all the benchmarks and real world applications that we ran, but it did blue screen on Prime95. We had Intel XTU open and the Intel Core i7-5960X hit 92C and was still shooting up when the system locked up and crashed, so even with the dual-radiator water cooler we were seeing extremely high temperatures when overclocked with 1.3V being used on the processor. If you wanted to overclock the Intel Core i7-5960X you really do need water cooling and a dual-radiator or triple-radiator water cooling setup would be recommended if you want to run over 4.3GHz. For overclocking 5960X processors it is also recommended that you use a power supply (PSU) that can supply 30 amps to the EPS 12V connector for the CPU. At 4.6GHz it has been found that a 5960X can draw close to 25amps from the EPS12V connector at full load.

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  • Price of DDR4 is bad I bought 32 GB will wait on the other half .

  • I ordered a i7 5930k for my Haswell-E Build, hopefully it arrives by this weekend but for me I just cant justify the cost of the 5960X. 2011-V3 socket will have plenty of new chips coming out during its life span so I expect to see 8-core chips fall to the $400 range in the next year or two. I’m happy with my 2500k but just have the itch to upgrade and would like to to run crossfire 290s now that they can be had for $250 and my current motherboard is PCI-E 2.0 and will run then 8x 8x, plus I could use the extra encoding speed of the new Haswell-E chip. Anyways I’m excited!! great review as always!

    • Korcher

      Sorry pal, I’m from the future and I have to tell you, your assumption is wrong. Looking at the price of the i7 6900k Octa-Core makes me laugh when I read your comment. Its about 1,100$ right now. I don’t think Octa-Cores will drop below anywhere near 400$ or 500$ within the next 5-6 years.

  • Egb

    Do you know if PSU Corsair AX850 can handle 5960X at 4.4-4.6Ghz?

    • yeah, it sure can

    • A friend had one overclocked at 4.4GHz with a 780ti overclocked to I think 1120mhz, and he was drawing about 550 watts at full load.

  • Terry Perry

    Next year Q4 the regular Chips will be out and run DDR4 on new M.B, by then the Ram should come down in Price. No time date only rumor that a 3.5 6 core for 350$ will be the high end. I’ll wait.

  • Jonathan

    You’ve got remnants from G3258 pages in the Overclocking section and likely elsewhere, but that’s the only page I read.