Sandy Bridge E details, performance data leak out

All the motherboard makers we talked to at Computex this year told us that Intel's X79 chipset and "Sandy Bridge E" processors were due in the August/September timeframe. That window is fast approaching, and the Turks over at Donanim Haber have come upon some official-looking slides that reveal how one of the new CPUs will perform versus the Gulftown-based Core i7-990X.

If the slides are legit, Sandy Bridge E will arrive on the shoulders of the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition. The CPU will have six cores and 15MB of cache, putting it 3MB ahead of the 990X. Interestingly, the Gulftown CPU actually has a higher base clock speed than its incoming replacement: 3.46GHz versus 3.3GHz. The 3960X has a higher Turbo peak, though. It'll scale up to 3.9GHz, while the 990X tops out at 3.73GHz. One of the slides also mentions a Core i7-3930K, which lacks Extreme branding but still features an unlocked multiplier.

According to the slides, the i7-3960X is 12-15% faster than the 990X in Cinebench, POV-Ray, and ProShow Gold. There are much bigger gains in SPEC CPU2006 and in Sandra's multimedia and memory bandwidth tests. In the latter, the 3960X's quad-channel memory controller offers more than double the bandwidth of the triple-channel 990X.

Despite the fact that the X79 chipset seems to have been designed primarily with servers in mind, all the big-name motherboard makers have enthusiast-focused desktop boards in the works. If they're cheap enough, and the i7-3930K strikes a good balance between affordability and overclocking potential, the X79 might be able to lure power users away from Intel's current Sandy Bridge offerings.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
View options

This discussion is now closed.