Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core CPU Review – Get Ready for Some Great 5.0 GHz Speeds!


“What is the difference from the 2700K?” seems to be the question of the day with respect to this CPU. The differences between the six-core processors on the X79 compared to the four-core P67 processors are obvious. Between the four cores 2700K and the 3820 contenders, the answer really isn’t all about the architectural differences in the chips themselves.

The difference really comes down to the chipsets that the processors reside in. The LGA 2011 (X79) motherboards have several key advantages over the LGA 1155 (P67) generation. The X79 is designed specifically for the enthusiast crowd while the P67 is for mainstream users.

Chief among the differences between these chipsets is the integrated PCIe 3.0 with 40 PCIe lanes. In comparison, the 16 lanes of the P67 are meager and for users who are requiring very high PCIe bandwidth, the X79 chipset is an obvious choice. Our testing of high powered RAID controllers and Multi-GPU setups, for instance, will benefit greatly from the extra PCIe lanes.

For manufacturers, the extra lanes also afford them more room to leverage add-on features such as extra SATA controllers for an increased number of SATA ports. It isn’t uncommon to see X79 motherboards with up to 12 SATA ports, much like our ASRock motherboard used for testing. The extra bandwidth that is needed for the additional two controllers, the Marvell SE9220 and the SE9172, are brought to us by the PCIe lanes. At the end of the day we end up with 8 x SATA 3 ports, along with 4 x SATA 2 ports for the motherboard.

For those with large storage requirements, from casual to SMB (Small/Medium Business) users, this can be a tangible benefit. USB 3.0 and other non-native specifications can also easily be integrated from third party providers with negligible performance impact. The ASRock motherboard is again a perfect example of great implementation, with 8 USB 3.0 connections, and 4 additional USB 2.0 ports.

blankThe connectivity available from the X79 chipset is just insane!

The Patsburg chipset also brings with it much higher memory bandwidth and the capability to scale up past 32 GB of memory. The Quad-Channel Memory channels gives users a big added boost in bandwidth, and the extra memory capacity can be very useful. With memory currently at rock bottom pricing, there couldn’t be a better time for users to load up with RAM. In the past using RAM disks for caching has been an expensive niche proposition, but we are certainly seeing this scenario with end-users more frequently.


Another aspect of this chipset that is commonly overlooked is the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST) Enterprise 3.0 that is utilized. These drivers and GUI control the various functions of the SATA ports and manage RAID configurations.

The previous generation of LGA 1155 includes IRST, but not the Enterprise version. The enhanced functionality that is enabled via the IRST Enterprise drivers will come to fruition with the next stepping of the X79 chipset. This will provide some enhancements moving forward with this chipset, and possibly speaks to more longevity from the Socket 2011.

These capabilities overall allow the X79 Patsburg to provide a quasi-enterprise level chipset at a much lower price, and without the user being forced to use a server motherboard with 2 CPUs. For enterprise, SMB, and those users looking for the ultra-high end performance from a single chip solution, this chipset is the obvious choice.


  1. blank

    Speed is too far away to reach to it,

    I do just fine in i5 2450

    I’ve yet to experience those numberss

  2. blank

    Did the article really saw there is a 5.0Ghz Overclock profile in BIOS?

  3. blank

    125×40 = 5000 = 5Ghz 😉 the chip will do it on any board regardless of “overclocking profile” but I have a feeling that this is a “great” chip and could be a dime a dozen. cant wait to try one myself, I might be buying one soon but would not be pairing it with this board.

  4. blank

    Yup, there is a 5.2 as well!

    Dont underestimate this board fellas, shes a beauty!

  5. blank

    Guys, you erroneously marked the i7-3820 as i7-3820K here:

    Just a heads up.

    And thanks for posting this today. Thanks to your post, I am buying this baby tonight! SB-E FTW – thanks to i7-3820. Just don’t have enough cash to throw away for the other SB-E, and not enough patience to wait for IvyB.

  6. blank

    “5.0 overclock with 1.48 Vcore is rather good”
    I have a 2500k at 4.7 ghz Vcore 1.3. I could get 5 ghz at 1.48, but,
    You DO know that you will be buying a new cpu after a few days
    or months when you fry it. 1.48 volts is way over spec, and will
    definately rapidly degrade your cpu or kill it completely. It’s OK
    for a power benchmarking run, but not 24/7

    • blank

      I understand your hesitation, and some heavy OCs arent for everyone. I have seen people run 1.5 for 24.7 for years on the X58 chips!

  7. blank

    Thanks for the CPU review and benchmark, very good review and insightful test results. One last thing, you guys tested with 1866mhz RAMs, no? The i7-3820 can only support up to 1600mhz, do you guys think this is a bit disheartening for the cost? Anyone got some thoughts? What I have with me is 16gb G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series at 2133mhz (unopened, will be used on LGA2011).

    I’ve been stuck deciding between 3820 and 3930 (budget issue, therefore I’ll never even consider the 3960x). The problem with the 3930k is the unstable demand along with its restocking issue. I can afford the 3820 now, but I really am not sure which CPU to consider. I decided to start building an LGA2011 rig back in December and since then started buying parts.

    I really would just want to start running LGA2011 as soon as possible. People recommend I settle with 3820 and upgrade to the 3930k when I can afford it. If it’s a matter of patience vs. cost, I think patience is starting to dissipate. Help D:

    • blank

      even though the chipset only supports 1600 you can easily go to whatever speed yoiu need (within reason). 1866 and 2000 are just a bios change away 🙂
      personally, i wouldnt wait!

      • blank

        Hey Paul,

        Thank you! I’m sold, I purchased it after reading your comment. I look forward to using this CPU. Thanks again!

  8. blank

    Dask I just built a system using the 3930K with 16GB G.Skill RAM at 2133 and made the system blue screen till we clocked it back to 1600MHz

    • blank

      Oh, damn. I thought something like that would be happening. Since the RAM’s clock speed should be somewhat in par or in an input that the processor wants to cooperate with, I think. But lucky, you! I’m still waiting for the semester to finish so I can focus on building my LGA2011 rig.

  9. blank

    Hello, would this processor be viable for streaming? Other technology I have: Evga GeForce GTX 670 4GB, Asus – Sabertooth X79 Desktop Motherboard.

  10. blank

    I have a 3820 with an ECS board and Mushkin 2133 ram and this will not overclock at all when I try to raise voltage +40, mabey I am not high enough but am afraid to use any higher voltage. I like add a little voltage and get a little o/c. I don’t like, burn up the cpu by not knowing what to do. I am going to buy some PC16000 and hope it works. Then hope I find some recommendations for this board, I have not seen even one yet and ECS, they don’t communicate, except once.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *