This is an amazing processor, every penny is worth it, even with the 3970x being the best cpu on the market, but the overclocking room is just no match for the 3960x!
I have so far easily overclocked mine 3960x to 4.8ghz with no hassle, and there is no limit providing you use a very good watercooling system. With the silicon lottery talk going on out there kind of worried me a little, but it seems that one I got has no problem. With the right settings in the Bios you can push it past 5ghz! but even with the H100i the temp is a little high, if you mod your cooler and put more than 8 fans on it for push pull then you can bring it down 10 degrees which is fine running 5ghz around 85degrees on full burning with prime95.
Just a point out for those out there thinking of buying this CPU, make sure your motherboard is good enough (expensive enough), and make sure your RAMs are quality and fast, the higher you overclock the CPU the faster the demand is for your RAMs, anything less than 2133mhz will cap you at a max 4.4-4.6ghz (running stable).
On Cinebench the CPU itself scored a MASSIVE 13.38 points!! that is 1.69 points higher than a Xeon W5590 (thats a 4-5000 pounds processor!) CPU currently running at 4.6ghz for best performance with 3d rendering.
I used this Intel Core i7-3960X as part of a custom built system for 3D rendering. This is a blisteringly fast CPU.
Rock solid stability under 100% load for days at a time.
It is a pricey CPU however if speed and stability is what you need this is the best of the best. Longer term, performance means that games and standard apps will run fine using this CPU for quite a few years.
Have you ever noticed your processor holding things back, slowing down your work? With this beast in your machine, wait no more! It makes sense however, if your going to drop in one of the world's fastest processors, then one needs to add fast ram and plenty of it (32GB), and I find SSD works a dream too. Your graphics card ought to match - so expect to spend close on £2.5k if you are going to do this processor justice and see the benefits (speed) it can bring.
Speed?! Well, not strictly true given my experience when using Adobe's Lightroom 4. It uses masses of CPU and yet, on my new super-fast box, still one has to wait 3-5 secs for an image to process, was less than 1 sec in LR3! Don't blame the CPU, its badly written software in my opinion as everything else is almost instantaneous on the new box. Will say however, my old box had a Core2Duo Extreme processor in it. It is only 10-20% behind behind my new box when it comes to processor-intensive applications, so does one need to spend so much money? Your choice. Should I have upgraded? No!