As shared over the weekend, the i7-3960X setup with 16GB of quad-channel memory and a Serial ATA 3.0 SSD is the first desktop I've had running where the Linux kernel can do a default configuration build in under 60 seconds. When the i7-3960X is running at 4.5GHz, the 3.1 build takes just 49 seconds on average. The FX-8150 Bulldozer took 89 seconds to build the Linux 3.1 kernel, the i5-2500K required 105 seconds, and the i7 970 and i7 990X Gulftowns took just over one minute.
Building PHP with GCC 4.6 on the i7-3960X can be done in 20 seconds or less.
With the always-interesting 7-Zip compression benchmark, the i7-3960X in its stock configuration was 11% faster than the i7-990X and 59% faster than AMD's top-end FX-8150 Bulldozer. When pushing the Sandy Bridge-E product to 4.5GHz, the performance improved by an additional 18%.