Monday, November 14th 2011

Intel Releases Core i7 ''Sandy Bridge-E'' Processors

Intel today released its Core i7-3000 series processor family, codenamed "Sandy Bridge-E". These new processors, along with the new Intel X79 chipset, make up for an entirely new platform. The processors are an upscale of the Sandy Bridge architecture found on chips in the LGA1155 package. The Sandy Bridge-E silicon measures 20.8 x 20.9 mm, with a humungous transistor count of 2.27 billion. In its Core i7-3000 configuration, the silicon has up to 6 cores, up to 15 MB of L3 cache, four DDR3 memory channels, and 40 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes ("some" devices "may" support Gen 3.0, Intel's words).

Sandy Bridge-E has the same instruction set as Sandy Bridge, which includes SSE up to version 4.2, AVX, AES, and features Turbo Boost 2.0, HyperThreading. It's the memory controller that's complete upscale. It features four independent 64-bit paths to DDR3 DIMMs, making it a quad-channel DDR3 IMC. DDR3-1600 MHz is natively supported. There are three models, the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition leads the pack with a clock speed of 3.30 GHz, 3.90 GHz top Turbo Boost speed, and 15 MB of L3 cache. It has 6 cores and 12 threads with HTT enabled. This chip has all its multipliers unlocked and is geared for overclocking. It is priced at US $990 in 1000 unit tray quantities, though retailers might draw a decent margin for the boxed parts.

The next best chip in the series is Core i7-3930K. With clock speeds of 3.20 GHz and 3.80 GHz (Turbo), this chip has a slightly smaller L3 cache size of 12 MB, though it is still unlocked and geared for overclocking. Like the i7-3960X, this is a 6 core / 12 thread chip. This chip commands a price of $555. Touted to be the most affordable model, the Core i7-3820 is a quad-core part drawn out of disabling two cores (there's no evidence so far that they can be unlocked). With HTT enabled, this chip offers 8 threads. Its L3 cache is further reduced, to 10 MB (still higher than any preceding Core i7 quad-core model). Unfortunately, this chip is "partially unlocked", meaning that its base clock multiplier is locked, though you can still effectively overclock it by tinkering with the base clock. What's even more depressing is that this chip won't be available until Q1 2012. It is supposed to be priced in the $299~$399 range. This means that the only people building Sandy Bridge-E desktops this Christmas will be the ones with at least $600 to spare for a processor.

Moving on to the platform itself, the processor is built on the new LGA2011 package, it's the largest CPU package by dimensions, in recent times. Over its 2011 pins, the processor gives out four DDR3 memory channels and 40 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes, a DMI 4 GB/s connection to the X79 chipset, and a large number of pins handling power. The X79 chipset itself doesn't differ much from the P67 chipset in terms of the kind of connectivity it offers, except support for Intel Smart Response SSD-caching technology.
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81 Comments on Intel Releases Core i7 ''Sandy Bridge-E'' Processors

#1
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
by: n-ster
It was never supposed to see an improvement in games though.... Maybe in multi-GPU though
This is true, granted it's the games that aren't using the CPU's resources.
Posted on Reply
#2
Over_Lord
News Editor
by: n-ster
It was never supposed to see an improvement in games though.... Maybe in multi-GPU though
Minor improvements for 3 way GTX580 SLi(E reads for excessive) over Core i7 990x, mostly same.

Worth 990$?

No
Posted on Reply
#3
n-ster
by: thunderising
Minor improvements for 3 way GTX580 SLi(E reads for excessive) over Core i7 990x, mostly same.

Worth 990$?

No
Why do you guys seem to always quote the extreme version for the "worth" argument? Is a Bugatti Veyron worth the 1.7 million euros to drop kids off at school? Is an i5 2500K worth it for grandma that never uses the comp and when she does it is to check the time? Is the i7 2600K worth the extra 100$ for gaming? The Extreme version is not for everyone, far from it

K answer me this now... What is a better buy... i7 3930K or i7 970? i7 3960X or the 990X?


kthxsbye
Posted on Reply
#5
xenocide
by: n-ster
Why do you guys seem to always quote the extreme version for the "worth" argument? Is a Bugatti Veyron worth the 1.7 million euros to drop kids off at school? Is an i5 2500K worth it for grandma that never uses the comp and when she does it is to check the time? Is the i7 2600K worth the extra 100$ for gaming? The Extreme version is not for everyone, far from it
Get out of here with your logic.
Posted on Reply
#6
AsRock
TPU addict
Looks crap for games BUT isn't WOW very CPU dependent ( last i heard anyways ) and it does tend to shine there so maybe with games later on next year maybe see it boosting games still ?.

I would love to see a benchmark done with DCS games even more so KA-50 as they lean pretty heavy on the CPU.. Love to see how it does in Arma 2 or even Arma 3 when it's out too.
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#7
Delta6326
No mention of USB 3.0? it just says usb 2.0 :shadedshu
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#8
v12dock
x86 you are disappointing me
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#9
kid41212003
The Xeon version supposedly to have 8 cores. True?
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#10
shb-
Anyone who says this is another bulldozer somehow misses that chip still uses SB cores, and its no secret, never been one. So single threaded perf should be the same as 2600 +-, and it is. Noone expected IPC incereses like in bulldys case. I read those reviews and everything is just as i expected. Same as 2600 in single thread, eats competition in multi thread. And it has more pci-e lanes for those who want both multiple gpus and multiple pci-e ssds :toast:

And it is released only 10months after mainstream sb parts. Not 4 years after ; ).
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#11
bear jesus
The only disappointment i see is the 2 disabled cores, other than that it is what it is supposed to be, sandy bridge with more cores and more memory channels.

I wonder when we will see the full fat 8 core chips in desktop form.
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#12
cool_recep
by: Delta6326
No mention of USB 3.0? it just says usb 2.0 :shadedshu
No problem. With our new Ivy Bridge Platform, you will get USB 3.0 just as low as $999. You will need to buy an Intel Ivy Bridge Processor, Ivy Bridge Chipset Motherboard, New set of RAM modules and probably a new power supply.

Intel.(R) You are our sponsors.(TM)
Posted on Reply
#13
ensabrenoir
?

Maybe I'm missing something...... it beats everything out there right now....so where is the fail. Sb was a beast 2 begin with this is a tweaked. 6 core sb. Maybe sb was too good to start with its hard to top now....but please no where close to being a bulldozer. My only reservation is wether to wait for the true x79 chipset
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#15
the54thvoid
Hardware heaven tested Skyrim and MW3 and the new cpu showed a significant improvement with a gtx 590 over the old i7 980 and SB i7 2600.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1316/pg16/intel-sandy-bridge-extreme-and-x79-chipset-launch-core-i7-3960x-processor-review-skyrim.html

And BFBC2 does well with a 3960

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/intel_core_i7_3960/12.htm

I'm sure someone can pick faults but the only shit thing about this processor is it's price. Otherwise it is the best multi-purpose cpu out there. It's just the chipset that is a bit meh..
Posted on Reply
#17
HumanSmoke
by: kid41212003
The Xeon version supposedly to have 8 cores. True?
Yes, at least some of them.
The Xeon E5 family

Seeing some benchmarks with an EVGA SR-3 and 16 cores/32 threads at it's disposal should be fun.
Posted on Reply
#18
Assimilator
Upshot of this: all the cool kids whose parents buy them CPUs will be migrating to SB-E, which hopefully means I can get a second-hand 2500K + board to tide me over until Ivy Bridge. This QX9650 has served well, but it's showing its age.
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#19
johnnyfiive
by: buggalugs
Yep, major disappointment.

Anand has a review up

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5091/intel-core-i7-3960x-sandy-bridge-e-review-keeping-the-high-end-alive

Fuck you Intel:ohwell:
lol... how is it a disappointment? It beats Sandy Bridge in every benchmark that actually matters for raw CPU performance. Sandy Bridge-e ISN'T a gaming CPU, its a workstation class/level processor, and it does "workstation" types of task's brilliantly.
The only con is that its not affordable by comparison to Sandy Bridge, but it isn't supposed to be either.

That are so many haters/one-minded people on these forums lately, its really hard to read a thread without getting irritated by ignorance.
Posted on Reply
#20
n-ster
fuck intel, they make you believe they are going to take SB-E and add 2 cores to it and they did exactly that. WHY DO YOU KEEP YOUR PROMISES? WHY AREN'T YOU MORE LIKE BULLDOZER :cry:

ZOMG sucks, major fail like Bulldozer cuz it sucks in gaming except it is the best...

I do not see any contradictions /end sarcasm
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#21
Crap Daddy
As expected. The most powerful desktop CPU in the world and it's little brother came to replace the 990X and it's little brother the i7-970 at the same price point (well a little higher prices since they have no competition whatsoever) offering better performance. That's all folks. The market for enthusiasts (this type of CPUs) is estimated by Intel themselves at roughly 1%.
Posted on Reply
#22
shb-
by: Assimilator
Upshot of this: all the cool kids whose parents buy them CPUs will be migrating to SB-E [..] This QX9650 has served well, but it's showing its age.
So your parents bought you a QX9650 (1k chip too iirc) and then you left home :) ?
Joking ofc, cheers.
Posted on Reply
#23
Hayder_Master
I7 3690k It's 600$ on newegg and 700$ on amazon.
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#24
WarraWarra
@N-Ster if they did a 2600k and added 2 cores it would not suck this much, we will have to wait for 2nd release of the 38XX/39XX chips to see anything decent.

I think both Intel with Sandy-e and AMD FX-8150 made a crucial jump but f'd their high end users and PL so expect Intel + AMD claiming major loses or low sales for the April tax year just to BS the IRS/TAX guys and then recover from it with Ivy bridge / AMD ?? processor .

Accounting wise Intel and AMD wrote the Sandy-e and FX-8150 off as a failure's by June 2011 already. Rigging products to fail is a normal here in the USA and is standard practice, everyone does it.

Ivy-bridge and the socket 1150 is the way to go and by that time / mid March 2012 they would have sorted out major software optimization programing and performance issues so choosing by that time would be ideal purchase time and then you can then get the updated / 2nd release AMD79** and NVidia 6** video cards.
Posted on Reply
#25
n-ster
by: WarraWarra
@N-Ster if they did a 2600k and added 2 cores it would not suck this much, we will have to wait for 2nd release of the 38XX/39XX chips to see anything decent
Why would you think that? There are some benches that show as much as 60% improvement over a 2600K on multi-threaded synthetic benchmarks
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