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Intel Corp.'s Core i7-series microprocessors have been the highest-performing chips on the market for many years now. Apparently, Intel is so confident about the brand that even the next-generation high-end code-named Sandy Bridge-E microprocessors will continue to carry it.

Intel's forthcoming microprocessors presently known under Sandy Bridge-E name will retain the Core i7 trademark and will not switch to something like Core i8 or Core i9, according to a confidential document seen by X-bit labs. Despite of revised form-factor and micro-architecture, Intel seems to believe that sustaining the good-old brand will make it easier for the end-user to recognize the new high-end and Extreme-series microprocessors. Intel may have different motives to retain the well-known brand.

Based on documents seen by X-bit labs, in Q4 2011 the world's largest maker of chips plans to introduce at least three different Sandy Bridge E-series microprocessors: two fully unlocked models with six cores, 15MB or 12MB of cache, 3.30GHz or 3.20GHz clock-speeds as well as one quad-core partially unlocked model with 10MB cache and 3.60GHz frequency. The enthusiast-class central processing units (CPUs) will have quad-channel memory controllers and will require mainboards based on Intel X79 core-logic with LGA2011 socket.

Intel's current-generation Core i-990X Extreme Edition processor has six cores, 12MB of cache, works at 3.46GHz in default mode and can overclock itself to 3.73GHz thanks to Turbo Boost technology. Given the fact that its successor will function at 3.30GHz and will have maximum Turbo Boost speed of 3.9GHz, it looks like Intel pins a lot of hopes onto the new micro-architecture that will enable higher performance of the Sandy Bridge E-series chips compared to existing CPUs and does not want to boost clock-speeds to the skies. Indirectly, this may indicate that the company is confident that its six-core Sandy Bridge-E chips will be competitive against eight-core AMD FX-series "Zambezi" microprocessors powered by Bulldozer micro-architecture.

According to Intel's internal estimates, Sandy Bridge E-series microprocessors will account for about 1% - 2% of Intel's desktop processor shipments by volume in 2H 2011. By contrast, Sandy Bridge chips for mainstream PCs will represent a half of Intel's desktop shipments in the second half of 2011.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Intel, 32nm, Sandy Bridge E, Core


Comments currently: 15
Discussion started: 06/10/11 08:11:23 PM
Latest comment: 06/15/11 01:36:01 AM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads


LGA2011 is going to be an even bigger waste than LGA1366 was. While 1366 launched far ahead of S1156, and those who originally purchased their i7 920/930s got their money's worth, what's the point of spending $300 on a motherboard, $500+ on SB-E when hardly any games take advantage of more than 3-4 threads? A $225 2500k @ 4.6ghz will be within 3% of any 6 core SB-E processor in real world games. And if you take a look at the beating modern cards take in Witcher 2 (and expect to take in BF3), it only makes sense to buy a $225 2500k and invest the rest into the fastest graphics card setup you can afford.

I suppose that's why this platform is aimed at workstation users.
1 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 06/10/11 08:11:23 PM]
- collapse thread

Games are becoming more threaded than you might think
BF3 being one of them requiring 8 threads or more and even the classic Bioshock used 12+ threads
Even then you could also make Fallout 3D series(3 and New Vegas) use more than 8 threads

In actuality most games that came out after the first i7 EEs usually had the ability to edit the core/thread amount used
1 0 [Posted by: seronx  | Date: 06/10/11 10:47:08 PM]
What? Bioshock at most used 2 threads. Just because in Task Manager it utilized 4 cores, didn't mean it was threaded beyond 2 cores.

You can even see Bioshock 2 not benefiting from 4 cores:

C2D 2.66 is only 4 frames behind a C2Q. That's not good scaling to me.

Can you provide a link for any game that fully uses more than 4 threads today? I might think of ArmaII. Sure games like Resident Evil 5 scale up to 8 threads but you can make it completely GPU limited on a 2500k.

Also, can you provide proof that BF3 will require 8 threads? That's impossible since probably only 5% of PC gamers have an 8-threaded CPU.

Even the latest games like Witcher 2 use at most 4 threads, but they are GPU limited anyway; so it's irrelevant when your GTX580 is doing 20-30 fps with Ubersampling.

There is no way in the world at 2500k @ 4.5ghz is going to be a bottleneck in BF3 before a GTX580/HD6970 will be.

By the time at least 50% of games will need more than 4 threads, we'll already be on Haswell and even beyond that, where Sandy Bridge will be outdated. Future proofing has never worked on the PC and never will. We had Q6600 all the way in 2007 but it wasn't until BF:BC2 in 2010 that people started to recognize limitations of dual-cores in modern games. You could have purchased a dual core in 2006 (say E6400 for $225) and then just upgraded to Core 750/860/920, which are far faster processors than Q6600 was. Similarly, a 2500k today will easily survive a GTX680/780 upgrades before you need a new CPU.

Most importantly, you can see how fast CPU technology evolves. Not long ago $1000 980X rules the market. Now a $320 2600k trades blows with it half the time.

Given how long it took for games to start using 4 threads, this likely means a quad-core will be sufficient for at least another 3 years. Also with PS4 and Xbox 720 not launching until 2014 or so, most developers are not going to make game engines more multi-threaded than they are today since it's too expensive.
2 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 06/10/11 11:06:58 PM]
All Gaming Evolved titles

"Will" Use 12 threads and more

in Gaming Evolved titles i7 threads are considered cores so an i7 2600K will have 8 cores

How optimized those threads can be are up to the Developer

All I can say is

look at this list and look for Havok threads

By the end of 2011 8 Cores/Threads will be the norm in gaming...
0 0 [Posted by: seronx  | Date: 06/11/11 02:12:44 AM]
Yet not a single AMD Gaming Evolved title since that presentation in 2010 uses 8 threads...

I am not sure how you are getting that 8 Cores/Threads in games will be the "Normal" by the end of 2011. Intel only expects 1-3% of SB-E to be a part of their 2nd half 2011 shipments. So you are now suggesting all games shipping in 2H 2011 will be 8-threaded?

You are also forgetting that current games which are threaded to utilize 4 cores don't even stress all of those cores to 100% either on a stock 2500k, nevermind an overclocked one.

So why would you pay hundreds of dollars more just to "future-proof" beyond 4 cores for games of 2013-2014? Doesn't make sense since by that time we'll have DDR4 and all new sockets and 22nm CPUs, etc.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 06/12/11 10:43:30 AM]
Well said, I couldn't have put it better myself. Going from the lga775 to lga1155, was night and day. The 2500/2600k beats out the 980x more than half the time during gaming. The only thing 980x is useful for is rendering and doing heavy multi threaded tasks. BF3 will be ran with ease with the current SB chips. Ivy Bridge is the only logical choice for gaming when it hits if somebody does not want to go for the current SB's. Considering how consoles is holding back any graphical improvements for games, it will take awhile before any software really pushes the envelope again. The last time this happened was with Crysis, and now possibly BF3. Every other game in existence can still be played on a 775 or AM3 platform with ease at decent settings.
0 0 [Posted by: CloudFire  | Date: 06/13/11 03:33:00 PM]
BTW, not everyone is in terested in games you know. Good processor and graphics cards are used for many other things than gaming. 3D design, Multimedia, Video, Rendering, Animaiton... all kind of good stuff that AREN'T gaming. Adobe CS6 will be released in Q1 2012 and most applications will take use of all available cores. Especially vector based and video!
0 0 [Posted by: AlExAkE  | Date: 06/12/11 02:18:25 PM]
Yes, the tasks you mentioned will definitely benefit from all the cores you can throw at them. I consider those professional applications though. Certainly in those markets, the faster the CPU you have the more time you save! I should have made it a bit more clear that LGA2011 is more targeted for power users like yourself.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 06/12/11 10:01:13 PM]

k why do you guys think that a game only uses 2 cores its because the mainstream (3 on average) market and especially consoles only have 2 cores. now if 6 cores get mainstream than the games will follow. its would be just not economical interesting to do it and the software is always behind the hardware. so if 6 core get mainstream the the games will use 6 cores. the problem atm is that we haven't hit a wall in years so programmers just program inefficient. i would bet that cysis would have run good in its time if it was written in a better code but it would cost to much time to do so).
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 06/11/11 11:56:53 AM]
- collapse thread

PS3 uses 6 to 7 threads/cores and the Wii U will also use 6 threads/cores

Xbox uses 3 threads so xbox is the lowest denominator
0 0 [Posted by: seronx  | Date: 06/11/11 03:19:13 PM]
i think that you can't compare them whit a pc, because they don't use the 87x (or 86 dunno) they use an other kind of architecture. but if it can be programmed the same than the xbox is holding us back. but still the software follows the hardware and not the other way around. for an example why make a program that is like 1TB in size (teaoreticly). it would be stopid because it won't fir on any laptop and maybe on some desktops. but if hardrives where like 1000tb big than it wouldn't be a problem (k bad number but still )
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 06/12/11 04:15:00 AM]
Xbox360 has 3 cores but each of them is dual threaded. Therefore, it's capable of supporting 6 threads at a time.

Also, I didn't realize there was a confirmation of the CPU in the Wii U. All we know it's possibly a Power 7 derivative, but no clock speeds or # of threads it's capable of was announced yet, unless you have juicy info you want to link to
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 06/12/11 10:46:40 AM]

Contrary to opinion most people are not gamers. I dont care how well this performs in a game. I need multithread performance without the cost of going to a high end multi processor server with ists associated costs.
0 0 [Posted by: Olderuser  | Date: 06/12/11 11:02:02 PM]

Still aint worth it if you already have an i7 system,Ivy bridge will be THE ONE!
0 0 [Posted by: ozegamer  | Date: 06/13/11 11:50:20 PM]

Poor people. You actually think these are made for gamers? Bulk of the real users of these hardware (and any computer hardware for that matter) do infinitely more productive activities than play games which aren't even worth a drop of the processing power any processor has. But hey, gamers do spend their money to buy hardware to waste on games so it helps the economy, i guess.
0 0 [Posted by: thoufand  | Date: 06/15/11 01:36:01 AM]


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