In September, Intel refreshed its high-end desktop platform with Ivy Bridge-E. This chip is a modest upgrade over its Sandy Bridge-E predecessor, and the accompanying X79 Express platform hasn't changed. Intel has a more substantial upgrade scheduled for next year, though. According to DigiTimes' sources, Haswell-E will arrive in the third quarter of 2014.
The new flagship will reportedly boast eight cores—two more than Intel's current top-of-the-line CPU—and support DDR4 memory at speeds up to 2133MHz. It will also come with an X99 chipset that's said to offer native USB 3.0 connectivity in addition to 10 6Gbps SATA ports. Those specifications match details that leaked out this summer, so they're probably legit.
As one might expect, Haswell-E looks set to occupy the uppermost echelon of Intel's desktop lineup. DigiTimes says the top model is slated to sell for around $1,000, just like the Core i7-4960X from the Ivy-E generation. I'd expect X99 motherboard prices to closely match those of current X79 models. However, the total platform cost could end up being a fair bit higher depending on how the DDR4 situation shakes out. New memory technologies typically command a hefty premium, at least early on.
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