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Intel Corp.'s next-generation Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" microprocessors for performance enthusiasts will deliver from 12% to 65% higher performance compared to current extreme chips, according to estimates by the manufacturer. Thanks to Sandy Bridge micro-architecture and other improvements, the new chips will offer tangible performance boosts compared to existing offerings from Intel.

According to a document with Intel's performance estimates of the Core i7-3960X processor (six cores, 3.30GHz, 15MB cache) seen by X-bit labs, the forthcoming chip for the LGA2011 platform is clearly faster than its predecessor Core i7-990X (six cores, 3.46GHz, 12MB cache) across a range of benchmarks despite of lower clock-speed amid the same amount of cores due to advantages of the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture over Nehalem/Westmere micro-architecture, quad-channel memory controller and other innovations.

An engineering sample of LGA2011 processor

The rough estimates of performance advantage of the Sandy Bridge E-series Core i7-3960X compared to the model Core i7-990X are the following:

  • +13% in Cinebench 1.5
  • +12% in POV-Ray 3.7
  • +36% in 3DMark 11 Physics Test
  • +15% in ProShow Gold 4.5
  • +34% in SPECint_rate base 2006
  • +65% in SPECfp_rate base 2006
  • +111% in Sandra 2011B/Multi-Media FP sub-test
  • +92% in Sandra 2011B/Memory Bandwidth FP sub-test

While performance estimates hardly draw any clear picture about performance in real world applications, it is clear that the new Extreme-series chip from Intel will have a clear advantage over predecessor across a range of demanding programs.

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, according to documents seen by X-bit labs. 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 plans to refresh the LGA2011 lineup in Q2 2012.

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, Core, LGA2011, Sandy Bridge-E, Sandy Bridge E


Comments currently: 14
Discussion started: 09/07/11 08:57:04 PM
Latest comment: 11/15/15 08:42:28 AM
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You know intel could make a lot more money if they would drop their last gen processors in price like AMD does.
1 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 09/07/11 08:57:04 PM]
- collapse thread

Intel set their prices at the level to sell everything what she is capable to produce. Intel will decrease prices either when she'll be able to produce more or the demand'll go down.
1 0 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 09/08/11 08:16:55 AM]
No they couldn't, intel actually manages to sell people obsolete hardware at full price for drop in replacements. Intel makes tons of money that way and has no reason to drop prices on those older parts. Customers will pay same price for obsolete hardware to do a drop in CPU replacement and avoid swapping out RAM and mobo as well (additional cost)
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 09/09/11 02:10:48 AM]

Old news. I have seen this 1,5 month ago and many sites where putting a "+47% on average" on the article titles which is misleading I believe. That "up to 65%" is not really better in my opinion to be honest.
In reality "Sandy Bridge-E" will give about 15% extra performance in real life, which is pretty good, if not excellent for a cpu that it is already the fastest in the world.

They are not going to do it for 2 reasons.

First they don't wont to kill AMD. If they kill them, then they have no excuse. They will be the absolute monopoly in X86 which means that either they will have to give licenses to others to make X86 cpus, or split the company in two. FTC is watching.

Second they want to survive as a company. When you are trying to make money, not just for a year, but for a lifetime, you don't give the good hardware to someone cheaply. If you do then he will be happy with it for let's say 5 years which means that for 5 years he is in no need to buy anything from you. You just lost him as a customer for 5 years. You also didn't make enough money from him because you gave him your hardware cheaply.
But if you put high prices then he is going to buy a more cheaply and mediocre processor. He will be forced to buy again in 1 or 2 years which means that you haven't lost him as a customer for a long time.
8 0 [Posted by: john_gre  | Date: 09/08/11 12:44:44 AM]
- collapse thread

Your statement must read by AMD's boys. So they know why AMD still survive. Although I also still use B55 for some reason.
1 2 [Posted by: jpunk  | Date: 09/08/11 03:45:31 AM]
@ john_qre

AMD has been giving good hardware cheaply for years now ....... and my phenom 2's life is going on 3 years now, so .... the logic in the second part of your statement is flawed because it is purely opinion based, just like my statements, yet people still like to argue over it.
4 4 [Posted by: veli05  | Date: 09/08/11 10:37:43 AM]
First AMD is selling cheaply because it has no other choice. When Intel had only Pentium 4s to sell AMD was NOT a cheap company. If AMD had a choice, prices would have been higher. Much higher. I had payed 350 euros for my first dual core, a 3800+ X2 and the bigger models where selling for 450 to 600 euros. FX processors where going up to 999 euros. AMD's price catalog back then was not much more different than Intel's catalog today.

Second, 3 years ago Phenom II was not exactly the low end or mid range model. So you did invest more to be able to keep your cpu for more time. You didn't bought Athlon II. AMD didn't made as much money from you as they maybe wanted, because of strong competition, and they did lost you for 3+ years as a customer. If you had preferred an Athlon II who knows, maybe you would have bought a X6 by now.
Selling cheaply is not something good for a company. Look how much money Intel makes every quarter and compare it with AMD's earnings. Billions vs millions, and millions is the optimistic scenario.

Now as you said it is just our opinions, but I don't think that I am wrong here. You only have to compare AMD price catalog from 2005-2006 with today's AMD's catalog. Forget Intel. Just compare AMD with AMD. AMD back then was making money for that year and the years to come. AMD today is only making money for today, just to pay the bills.

P.S. Athlon 4800+ X2 (I am going to sell it, no room for it), Phenom 9750, Phenom 9950 and Shempron 140 fully unlocked. Last Intel cpu? Celleron 333!!! Next cpu? AMD.
3 0 [Posted by: john_gre  | Date: 09/09/11 06:39:38 AM]

0 0 [Posted by: T9000  | Date: 09/08/11 02:15:52 PM]

I see Intel is still optimizing their CPUs to run benchmarks.
1 1 [Posted by: bbo320  | Date: 09/08/11 07:07:12 PM]
- collapse thread

With your logic, Bulldozer is an unnecessary upgrade over Phenom II since performance increase in benchmarks has no benefit in the real world according to you?
1 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/08/11 07:31:37 PM]

3 of the benchs are useless AVX. No real program takes advantage from it.

On cinebench, povray, proshow (real scenario for professional users). Aa tiny 15-20%, doesn't worth the upgrade from 980/990X.

Simply pathetic.

No 8 core SB, no need to update your previous high end rig.
1 3 [Posted by: Nintendork  | Date: 09/08/11 07:55:07 PM]

I am not sure about the price of the new SB models and I don't know how to evaluate them or if I will upgrade from my current 2600K that costed me $330.

If the new 6 core SB-E are 15% faster than previous 990X for rendering at the same price point I wont be interested. But if another SB 6 core less extreme with lets say 2.6-2.8 GHz gets to be close to the 990X at much lower price point, lets say around $500 I may upgrade.

But the new quad memory channel also intrigues me and I want to see specific use of this technology on different rendering scenarios.

An example: The 2600K on my new PC renders an 1920HD toonshader image in 45 seconds, but the same image takes more than 2 minutes on my old 2.8 GHz octacore Mac Pro (2008). But using a Mental Ray rendering or software rendering they are within 3 seconds of difference. This is in Maya 2011 on both machines with the same amount of memory.

There are other micro-architecture improvements in SB but I bet the difference is mostly the improvement in the way faster and wider memory subsystem. But you wont see this on a general rendering test.
0 0 [Posted by: jecastej  | Date: 09/09/11 09:17:35 AM]

Still waiting for Core i3 3rd generation performance.
Certainly will be amazing for common desktops.
0 0 [Posted by: StratovariuS  | Date: 09/11/11 08:36:29 AM]


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