When it comes to the Core i7 3960X and the DX79SI there is no doubt that each of these is not cheap. The DX79SI will retail somewhere around $300 and the Core i7-3960X is already retailing between $1,049.99 and $1,099.99 depending on where you look. When you take that, and the fact that the CPU does not come with any thermal cooling solution, you begin to question where the value really is.
The board itself, really doesn't lend itself to the ~$300 price and the processor is expectedly expensive, but comes without any cooling. Yes, it will still come with a coveted 3-year warranty, but without a cooling solution you are either forced to spend ~$100 and buy the Intel solution or go elsewhere and buy your own, and frankly from our own experience we'd recommend you take that $100 and spend it on an H100 because it'll give you the best overclocking for your money, especially on this processor.Conclusion
The Core i7-3960X and the DX79SI are most certainly a deadly combination for any kind of task that you may throw them at. With 16GB of fast memory and a good GPU, these parts can easily be combined to make the ultimate anything rig. The truth is that the Core i7-3960X is such a capable processor that it is really a shame to see that Intel spend more time and effort on the chipset side of things and make the platform as a whole shine. We really wish that X79 wasn't going to live up to the bad rumors, but it did indeed and as such, it feels like a glorified P67 with more RAM and PCIe lanes (both of which are really CPU dependant now, not chipset). But either way, if you want the bar-none fastest machine today, you have to get it with a Core i7-3960X and an X79 chipset. It is not perfect for reasons above, but it is as close as it can get.
As such, we must award the Core i7 3960X with our Editor's Choice Must have purely based upon its sheer performance and dominance of almost everything we could muster to throw at it.
We would also like to thank Intel, Kingston and Corsair for providing the components that we needed for this review and you can expect a review of the Kingston and Corsair RAM kits soon.
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