Power and Heat
When it came to power, as a whole the Core i7-3960X consumed around 235W under full load and at idle it sipped 112W. The processor itself, though, at idle consumed 15.7 Watts with only 3 Watts actually coming from the cores and 12.7 Watts coming from the uncore. At load, though, the CPU managed to consume 103W with 86W coming from the CPU cores alone.
You can also compare these stock power consumption numbers against our overclocked ones below.
If you're having a hard time figure out those 4.86GHz power consumption numbers, the CPU package as a whole is consuming 168.76W and the cores alone are consuming 143.49W and you can easily see the idle numbers illustrated in the graph above.
When it came to temperatures, the Intel provided liquid cooling solution did a pretty good job at keeping the CPU cores under load in the mid to high 50's with the cores hitting the high 80's low 90's at 4.86GHz. We were happy to see that the Intel liquid cooling was able to keep up with the processor at 4.86GHz even when it was nearing the tmax of the processor.
If you plan on overclocking this processor on this board as highly as we did, though, we would probably recommend looking at something like an H100 or better as that will run much cooler and give you more overclocking headroom if you want to have it. The Intel liquid cooling thermal solution isn't bad at all and definitely serves well as a mild overclock cooler, but anything above 1.46V is asking for trouble as that will likely push the CPU over its thermal threshold without proper cooling.
Stock CPU at 100% load
4.86GHz temperatures where we hit 91C on one of the cores, explaining why the motherboard needs to have better voltage control.
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