The folks at Digital Foundry bring an interesting performance comparison between Intel Core i7-6700K vs Core i7-5820K vs Core i7-5960X processors, four, six and eight cores respectively, but I believe we are aware of the fact that, more cores always doesn’t mean better.

Core i7-6700K Vs i7-5820K Vs i7-5960X Better Choice For Gaming?


You Might Like: Intel Core i7-6700K Vs i5-6600K Vs i7-4790K Vs i7-3770K Vs Core i7-2600K

The Intel Core i7-6700K  is based on Skylake architecture manufactured @ 14nm supporting LGA1151 socket and consisting of 4 physical cores and 8 threads running at base / turbo frequency 4.00 / 4.20 GHz with a TDP of 91W. The Intel Core i7-5820K is manufactured under Haswell-E architecture @ 22nm for the socket LGA2011-3 comprised of six physical cores and 12 threads running at a base frequency of 3.30 / 3.60 GHz with a 140W TDP. Finally, i7-5960 is also manufactured on architecture, but offers eight physical cores and 16 threads to base / turbo frequency of 3.00 / 3.50 GHz keeping 140W TDP.

Processors based on Haswell-E architecture are featuring more cores, and also have the advantage of access to Quad-Channel DDR4 memory configuration that allows these processors to achieve a higher bandwidth, while in the case of Core i7- 5960X it has also access to two PCIe x16 lines. As you can see from the below results of few extensive games analyzed in the highest quality, showcasing that, the most expensive does not mean the best.

Titan X OC (Average FPS) i7 6700K / 3000MHz i7 6700K 4.6GHz / 3000MHz i7 5820K / 3200MHz i7 5820K 4.6GHz / 3200MHz i7 5960X / 3200MHz 5960X i7 4.4GHz / 3200MHz
AC: Unity 88.4 89.3 84.2 84.6 84.4 84.6
Crysis 3 124.4 124.7 119.4 120.8 124.4 125.5
Grand Theft Auto V 89.4 92.7 79.0 86.7 81.9 90.3
Far Cry 4 120.4 125.9 92.0 104.5 84.8 95.4
Shadow of Mordor 141.0 142.9 139.6 139.5 139.9 139.9
The Witcher 3 105.8 106.4 103.4 103.4 103.5 103.8

As you can see, the Intel Core i7-6700K processor is best for gaming, since running at a base clock with a DDR4 @ 3000 MHz memory it exceeds all tests of the Core i7-5820K (Overclocked to 4.60 GHz) besides being supported with a Quad-Channel faster (3200 MHz) configuration. If we go to the Core i7-5960X Oced to 4.40 GHz, it only beats i7-6700K in the Grand Theft Auto V and Crysis 3 with a difference of 1 FPS only.

Without doubt, the vast majority will not have been surprised, as the LGA1151 platform is for gamers, while the LGA2011-3 platform is more focused on professional environment.

The i7-6700K is currently the best gaming CPU because it will not bottleneck even if we coupled it with a configuration of GeForce GTX 980 in SLI, even so, it is still beating i7-5960X @ 4.40 GHz despite offering two PCIe x16 lines (x16 / x16), while it goes to x8 for LGA1151. Now, with the DirectX 12 games, we will see if extra cores will take advantage, if that happened, the i7-6700K would be the worst option.

GTX 980 SLI (Average FPS) i7 6700K / 3000MHz i7 6700K 4.6GHz / 3000MHz i7 5820K / 3200MHz i7 5820K 4.6GHz / 3200MHz i7 5960X / 3200MHz 5960X i7 4.4GHz / 3200MHz
AC: Unity 107.7 108.9 104.3 104.9 104.1 104.2
Crysis 3 117.6 124.6 119.7 122.6 120.7 1230
Grand Theft Auto V 88.0 93.5 77.9 89.6 80.9 92.6
Far Cry 4 124.3 128.0 91.7 103.11 85.8 98.6
Shadow of Mordor 167.3 170.3 160.0 167.0 165.7 168.1
The Witcher 3 113.2 116.5 108.2 110.3 108.4 109.2