Intel's Next-Gen "Sandy Bridge-E" Extreme Chip to Boost Performance by Up to 65% - Estimates

Intel's Core i7-3900 Extreme Chips to Speed Up Performance Computing

by Anton Shilov
09/07/2011 | 08:35 PM

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:

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.