Thursday, November 1st 2012

Top Intel Ivy Bridge-E Core Processors To Still Pack Six Cores

Intel's 2011-launched Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" HEDT platform is based on a 32 nm silicon that's common with Xeon E5 series processors. While the silicon physically packs eight CPU cores and 20 MB last-level cache (LLC, or L3 cache), client Core i7 processors are configured with only a maximum of six cores, and up to 15 MB L3 cache. According to a MyDrivers.com report, the maximum core count won't change with next-generation 22 nm Ivy Bridge-E Core i7 processors.

Ivy Bridge-E will be an upscale of Ivy Bridge. Similar to Sandy Bridge-E, the silicon will feature up to eight cores and 20 MB L3 cache. In its Core i7 avatar, however, the chip will be configured with no more than six cores, and no more than 15 MB L3 cache. The new chip will introduce IPC improvements, PCI-Express Gen 3.0 certified root complex (one which NVIDIA will approve of), higher CPU core clock speeds, and support for faster memory.

TDP could be the only reason Intel isn't willing to unlock cores 7 and 8 on client processors. Eight core, 20 MB LLC-laden Xeon E5 models based on today's 32 nm silicon, with 130W TDP, barely manage to scrape the 3.00 GHz mark. Given that, the prospects for Ivy Bridge-E client CPUs to run with all cores and LLC enabled, and yet deliver higher clock speeds than predecessors were always going to be low.

Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge-E" HEDT processors are compatible with existing socket LGA2011 motherboards (subject to BIOS update), and are slated for Q3-2013.Source: MyDrivers
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111 Comments on Top Intel Ivy Bridge-E Core Processors To Still Pack Six Cores

#1
ironwolf
*hands out tissue* This news will probably make some people cry. (or scream and shake their fist)
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Inb4 Intel fans blame AMD's lack of competition for Intel's lack of progress.
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#3
LAN_deRf_HA
And I shall mock thee purchasers from atop my Haswell tower.
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#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: LAN_deRf_HA
And I shall mock thee purchasers from atop my Haswell tower.
Aye, build her to full-ATX specifications.
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#5
Live OR Die
Thats a bummer i guess they have no need to increase the number of cores yet.
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#6
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
I don't see myself upgrading my 3820 any time soon, even if Intel was going to release an 8-core IVB-E CPU. A lower cost 6-core chip could be nice though.
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#7
Katanai
TDP my ass! Those cores don't work, that's why they are disabled. At least one of them doesn't function properly. This is Intel trying to push the scraps of their production down consumers throat. I'll bet they will ask a high premium for it too!
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#8
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: Katanai
TDP my ass! Those cores don't work, that's why they are disabled. At least one of them doesn't function properly. This is Intel trying to push the scraps of their production down consumers throat. I'll bet they will ask a high premium for it too!
Have any proof of that? I think I smell a troll. :slap:
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#9
nickbaldwin86
Sounds good... 6 fast intel cores still smoke AMDs slow 8+ cores

More cores doesn't = faster ;)
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#10
radrok
If they are so concerned about TDP they should just release an unlocked 8 core CPU that meets the 130W target by having lower clocks.

I am so disappointed Intel, really, it seems we are going backwards instead of progressing.
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#11
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
by: radrok

I am so disappointed Intel, really, it seems we are going backwards instead of progressing.
No it is AMD that has been going backwards, Intel has been moving forward. You can blame AMD for this. There is a major lack of competition and Intel is giving some one a chance to play catch up is all. :twitch:
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#12
Jizzler
by: radrok
If they are so concerned about TDP they should just release an unlocked 8 core CPU that meets the 130W target by having lower clocks.

I am so disappointed Intel, really, it seems we are going backwards instead of progressing.
Yes!

And while they're at it, they should use one of those spare QPI links to put another 8-core die on die for single-socket 16C/32T!
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#13
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: btarunr
Inb4 Intel fans blame AMD's lack of competition for Intel's lack of progress.
Maybe Intel has realized that there is no demand for tons of cores on desktop computers. Fewer cores with higher clockspeeds yield better real world performance in most circumstances than more cores.
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#14
mtosev
and what is intel planning next? 8 core cpus or are they thinking about making a 12 core cpu?
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#15
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
Not that I wouldn't like more cores, but until cores > 4 with as much performance per core as intel provides are available on my hobbyist budget I'll be out of luck :ohwell:
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#16
lilhasselhoffer
Anybody not see this coming?

If we remove the thermal paste issue from IB, you're still stuck with what amounts to an incremental improvement of SB. With an incremental improvement you've got enough room for either higher frequencies, or more cores. If you try to do both you break the TDP limits you set for yourself.

As an owner of a 2011 rig, I'm sad but not surprised. "Everyone" is predicting the death of the desktop PC. The payback Intel get for putting their best foot forward (read: enthusiast aimed silicon) is, on paper, getting smaller and smaller. They have little to gain by investing in more substantial platforms.

SB-e was supposed to be a revelation. If you cut the two unused cores off the die, and actually had the connectivity they've just started to deliver on at launch, it might have been. As it stands, SB-e was just a slightly bigger 1155 offering. IB-e is likely to be the same, but so late that IB in the 1155 socket will have been replaced by 1150 offerings. Too little, far too late.


Back to the topic at hand. Intel having two "defective" cores is unlikely. They have 8 core offerings on the server side already. The 130 watt TDP is the wall they work against. Their initial planning was for 8 cores. To cut those 2 cores out, after the initial designs hinged upon them, is an unreasonable expectation. It's easier to have the two cores removed after production, than to completely restructure the design. IB is inheriting this issue, because they chose to ramp up frequency rather than having more cores. Given that very little on the market now prefers cores over frequency, the choice is understandable. I can't support it myself, but it is understandable...


Edit:
Screwed up. Socket 1150 is Haswell, not socket 1156. Fixed.
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#17
repman244
by: Aquinus
Have any proof of that? I think I smell a troll. :slap:
The 6 core desktop versions is made of the same die as an 8 core Xeon version, they lock 2 cores (probably defective) and sell it.
It is very very unlikely they use a completely different die since it would drive the costs up through the roof.

by: lilhasselhoffer
Anybody not see this coming?

If we remove the thermal paste issue from IB, you're still stuck with what amounts to an incremental improvement of SB. With an incremental improvement you've got enough room for either higher frequencies, or more cores. If you try to do both you break the TDP limits you set for yourself.

As an owner of a 2011 rig, I'm sad but not surprised. "Everyone" is predicting the death of the desktop PC. The payback Intel get for putting their best foot forward (read: enthusiast aimed silicon) is, on paper, getting smaller and smaller. They have little to gain by investing in more substantial platforms.

SB-e was supposed to be a revelation. If you cut the two unused cores off the die, and actually had the connectivity they've just started to deliver on at launch, it might have been. As it stands, SB-e was just a slightly bigger 1155 offering. IB-e is likely to be the same, but so late that IB in the 1155 socket will have been replaced by 1156 offerings. Too little, far too late.


Back to the topic at hand. Intel having two "defective" cores is unlikely. They have 8 core offerings on the server side already. The 130 watt TDP is the wall they work against. Their initial planning was for 8 cores. To cut those 2 cores out, after the initial designs hinged upon them, is an unreasonable expectation. It's easier to have the two cores removed after production, than to completely restructure the design. IB is inheriting this issue, because they chose to ramp up frequency rather than having more cores. Given that very little on the market now prefers cores over frequency, the choice is understandable. I can't support it myself, but it is understandable...
I agree with you on the first part, but think about this: where will haswell fit in here?
Because it could end up being almost as fast as the 6 core SB-e (or even Ivy-e), so what's the point of socket 2011 on consumer side?

And I don't see why TDP is a problem, these chips are for people who want the best and will use the best cooling, they already announced a 150W TDP 6 core SB-E.


The 6 cores version probably are defective chips (2 locked cores), it's cheaper to produce only one die and then lock the cores (the same way AMD did it).
Same thing happened on socket 1366 with Xeons, they had 6 core and 4 core versions built on 32nm and both were from the same die.
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#18
dwade
by: mtosev
and what is intel planning next? 8 core cpus or are they thinking about making a 12 core cpu?
Getting the big boys to replace crappy Atom. Intel i7 @ 10w, and even lower in the future. :cool: AMD and ARM might as well team up against the fastest progressive processor giant that is Intel.
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#19
3870x2
by: dwade
Getting the big boys to replace crappy Atom. Intel i7 @ 10w, and even lower in the future. :cool: AMD and ARM might as well team up against the fastest progressive processor giant that is Intel.
Don't forget VIA.

Something happened around the Core technology period that shot them forward, and AMD has never since been able to catch up. Its like they found something that helped them drastically, and AMD can't reproduce those results.
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#20
Octavean
The reality of it is that most enthusiasts were and still are unwilling to pay the going rate for the LGA2011 platform with respect to CPU and motherboard. Even if the entry level Core i7 3820 can be had at Microcenter for ~$229.99 the motherboards are still typically more expensive then the very capable LGA1155 platform and likely the upcoming LGA1150 Haswell platform as well.

Ivy Bridge-E is unlikely to change any of this.

Therefore the LGA2011 platform is basically beyond consideration for many regardless of the number of cores / threads.
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#21
lilhasselhoffer
by: repman244
I agree with you on the first part, but think about this: where will haswell fit in here?
Because it could end up being almost as fast as the 6 core SB-e (or even Ivy-e), so what's the point of socket 2011 on consumer side?

And I don't see why TDP is a problem, these chips are for people who want the best and will use the best cooling, they already announced a 150W TDP 6 core SB-E.


The 6 cores version probably are defective chips (2 locked cores), it's cheaper to produce only one die and then lock the cores (the same way AMD did it).
Same thing happened on socket 1366 with Xeons, they had 6 core and 4 core versions built on 32nm and both were from the same die.
I think we're on the same page. I was saying the IB-e is "...too little, far too late." This is in reference to the fact that IB-e will release very near to the time that Haswell, or socket 1150, offerings hit the market. Competition like that is generally reserved for lower cost older tech versus more expensive newer tech. IB-e versus Haswell may be more costly and perform worse. In my opinion, this is Intel offering its high end customers the one finger salute.

Of course, this is assuming Haswell is worth it. A preliminary assumption, that Haswell will be a substantial advance, may be incorrect. Intel will hopefully make a Haswell that can compete against ARM, while scaling for Desktop applications. The problem is that I can't make that assumption. Intel sees mobile computing as the future, and is already showing a willingness to throw traditional platforms under the bus. Hopefully this is paranoia, but the prophesy of a disappearing PC may become self fulfilling if Intel and AMD don't maintain the PC market.
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#22
repman244
by: lilhasselhoffer
I think we're on the same page. I was saying the IB-e is "...too little, far too late." This is in reference to the fact that IB-e will release very near to the time that Haswell, or socket 1150, offerings hit the market. Competition like that is generally reserved for lower cost older tech versus more expensive newer tech. IB-e versus Haswell may be more costly and perform worse. In my opinion, this is Intel offering its high end customers the one finger salute.

Of course, this is assuming Haswell is worth it. A preliminary assumption, that Haswell will be a substantial advance, may be incorrect. Intel will hopefully make a Haswell that can compete against ARM, while scaling for Desktop applications. The problem is that I can't make that assumption. Intel sees mobile computing as the future, and is already showing a willingness to throw traditional platforms under the bus. Hopefully this is paranoia, but the prophesy of a disappearing PC may become self fulfilling if Intel and AMD don't maintain the PC market.
But it's actually not paranoia. It's clear when you see that the Atom will get a new update (and a very serious one), and they only keep lowering the power consumption on their entire lineup (by clocking them low). They already have a "smartphone" CPU.

The "danger" here is that they don't make unlocked chips, why? Well I guess it's the famous "Because they can" (if AMD doesn't wake up).

It's clear from SB/IB on 1155, they could ramp up the clock and rate them as 125W TDP chips, but they have no need for that.
I'm just waiting to see what kind of stupid limitations Haswell will have
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#23
PopcornMachine
by: btarunr
Inb4 Intel fans blame AMD's lack of competition for Intel's lack of progress.
Not me. I blame NVIDIA for not making CPUs at all! :laugh:
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#24
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This sucks and is directly because of the lack of competition from AMD. No way am I buying a CPU with two cores disabled.
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#25
HumanSmoke
by: repman244
I agree with you on the first part, but think about this: where will haswell fit in here?
Shouldn't be any different to Ivy Bridge vs Sandy Bridge-E (or Sandy Bridge vs Bloomfield before it). Faster single/lightly threaded performance for mainstream desktop where the workload is generally compatible, and more cores/larger cache for heavily threaded workloads for HEDT/WS.
by: repman244
Because it could end up being almost as fast as the 6 core SB-e (or even Ivy-e), so what's the point of socket 2011 on consumer side?
Niche marketing/free PR, and all purpose machines whose workload spans mainstream apps (gaming, encode, surfing for porn/torrents etc) and workstation. C600/602 (LGA2011 2P) are the current pinnacle of that niche market, but I've still built a few for people that like to combine all their hobbies- gaming and benchmarking for example, with a "working" system (my last two builds were for people involved in stock trading as work/hobby who also worked in 3D design fields...and of course, being "work related" builds managed to claim the build, maintenance cost and depreciation against tax).
Other than the workload, everything else comes down to supply and demand.
by: repman244
The 6 cores version probably are defective chips (2 locked cores), it's cheaper to produce only one die and then lock the cores (the same way AMD did it).Same thing happened on socket 1366 with Xeons, they had 6 core and 4 core versions built on 32nm and both were from the same die.
Pretty much. ROI is obviously going to depend on harvesting salvage parts. That has always been the case with processors, although defective cores argument might also include cores that are out of voltage spec in regard to those adjacent but fully functional.
FWIW: 32nm Gulftown/Westmere also had a 2-core variant ( 4 inactive cores), the X5698, that was built primarily for high clockspeed and lightly threaded application. From what I understand, the inactive cores weren't defective- just fused off to allow higher frequency of the two active cores. It also retained all other aspects of the 6-core variants (full cache, max QPI etc.)
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