Select any two CPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-4960X 6-Core 3.60GHz Core i7-880 Quad 3.06GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 44% 18%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 25% 59%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 46% 14%
FIFA 21 48% 10%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 37% 34%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 14% 84%
Watch Dogs Legion 25% 59%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 37% 34%
Grand Theft Auto VI 9% 94%
Genshin Impact 58% 11%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-4960X 6-Core 3.60GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i7-880 Quad 3.06GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i7-4960X 6-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i7-880 Quad, and so the Core i7-4960X 6-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i7-880 Quad when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i7-4960X 6-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i7-880 Quad. 6 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Core i7-880 Quad is more than enough for gaming purposes.

The Core i7-4960X 6-Core has 4 more threads than the Core i7-880 Quad. Both the Core i7-4960X 6-Core and the Core i7-880 Quad use hyperthreading. The Core i7-4960X 6-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-880 Quad has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i7-4960X 6-Core and Core i7-880 Quad are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i7-4960X 6-Core has a 0.54 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core i7-4960X 6-Core.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core i7-4960X 6-Core has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i7-880 Quad, which means that it, at worst, wins out in this area, and at best, will provide superior gaming performance and will work much better with high-end graphics cards.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i7-880 Quad has a 35 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i7-4960X 6-Core. However, the Core i7-4960X 6-Core was created with a 23 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core i7-4960X 6-Core is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by a small amount.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameIvy Bridge-ELynnfield
MoBo SocketLGA 2011/Socket RLGA 1156/Socket H
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date01 Nov 201330 May 2010
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores6vs4
CPU Threads12vs8
Clock Speed3.6 GHzvs3.06 GHz
Turbo Frequency4 GHzvs3.73 GHz
Max TDP130 Wvs95 W
Lithography22 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature67°Cvs73°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size384 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size1536 KBvs1024 KB
L3 Cache Size15 MBvs8 MB
Max Memory Size-vs16 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

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Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

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Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore i7-4960X 6-Core 3.6GHz is an extreme processor based on the 22nm, Ivy Bridge architecture.

It offers 6 Physical Cores (12 Logical), initially clocked at 3.6GHz, which may go up to 4.0GHz and 15MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 130W.

Compared to Core i7-3960X there's an overall 7% performance boost. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.
Core i7-880 Quad 3.06GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 45nm, Nehalem architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (8 Logical), initially clocked at 3.06GHz, which may go up to 3.73GHz and 8MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

Its performance is very good and sufficient for any of today's games.