Articles: CPU

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Just recently it seemed that the upcoming launch of the new LGA 2011 platform will be Intel’s response to AMD Bulldozer. But reality proved expectations like that to be wrong: AMD developers failed to produce microarchitecture fir for a high-performance segment. As a result, Intel continues to dominate the upper-price segment and to set their rules there. So, the market still sticks to the strategy when the new microarchitectures continue to find their way into the high-end desktop systems only after they have comfortably settled in the mainstream sector.

This strategy doesn’t originate from Intel’s deliberate intention to prevent progressive technologies from moving into enthusiast systems. The real reasons are much more down-to-earth. High-performance desktop Intel platforms are in fact simplified modifications of server solutions, which actually get updated a little later than the desktop products, because their production requires much more thorough preparation. Therefore, it is only now that Core i7 processors in LGA 2011 form-factor based on Sandy Bridge microarchitecture start arriving to the market. And that is still a little ahead of the symmetrical server platform and Xeon E5 processors that are due to be announced only in early 2012.

So far, those users who wanted to build their computer systems around high-performance processors with Sandy Bridge microarchitecture could only choose one of the LGA 1155 Core i7 CPUs. Although we have no complaints about their performance, in some respects these processors are inferior to the LGA 1366 Core i7 solutions based on Gulftown design and Nehalem microarchitecture. Namely, LGA 1155 processors have maximum four cores, a dual-channel memory controller and support multi-GPU configurations with limited bus speed. Therefore, it is quite natural that computer enthusiasts are extremely excited to get their hands on Gulftown analogues built using the new production technology. And finally, this desire may easily be satisfied.

Today Intel announced the new LGA 2011 platform that includes six-core Core i7 processors from Sandy Bridge-E family and a new X79 Express chipset. This platform will most likely become highly desirable for all computer maniacs, because it not only allows you to use the today’s most powerful processors, but also supports PCI Express 3.0 graphics bus and high-speed quad-channel memory. In other words, this is the best thing that is available for a desktop system today. Nevertheless, let’s try to find out how much more superior the new Core i7 model is to everything we have worked with before.

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