You can guess how this one's gonna go: top marks for performance and a shriek of despair when it comes to value for money. Is there anyone out there who really needs an over-sized six-core CPU that requires its own chubby LGA-2011 socket and tailored X79 chipset before it'll even switch on in the morning? Could people seriously be persuaded to drop a grand on merely incremental improvements in technology, such as 15MB of L3 cache and a bigger 600MHz Turbo Boost for stock clock speeds up to 3.9GHz? Well now, let's not get distracted. Even if there were no market -- which there is -- Intel would probably carry on releasing world-beating desktop chips simply to remind us that its rivals can't, and we'd probably carry on reading about them. So here goes, a bunch of reviews covering both the i7-3960X and i7-3930K variants, which together represent the absurd awesomeness of Sandy Bridge E and are on sale at Newegg for $1,050 and $600 respectively:
AnandTech: bemoans the absence of an on-die GPU, criticizes the X79 chipset, and dislikes the "performance/functionality tradeoffs"
PC Pro: sedately noted that the i7-3960X shows an "improvement" over i7-2600K in real-world benchmarks, and that "AMD must be sweating."
HotHardware: regards the 3960X as an "excellent overclocker" despite its vast power consumption, and says it combines with the X79 chipset to make "the most potent" desktop for gaming, content creation or productivity.
Tom's Hardware: describes the 3960X as a "symbolic king in a crowd full of value," and the 3930K as the processor moneyed enthusiasts should be lusting over.
ExtremeTech: says "the 3960X is a great chip on a solid platform," but cautions that only the most demanding gamers and content creators need this kind of power.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]