Intel Releases Core i7-3820by Kristian Vättö on February 14, 2012 2:05 PM EST
Intel has finally filled out the Sandy Bridge E lineup by releasing the Core i7-3820. The initial Sandy Bridge E lineup launched back in November 2011 and it consisted of two SKUs, the i7-3960X and i7-3930K. While the i7-3820 wasn't released until this week, we reviewed it over a month ago, so head there for a longer analysis. The table below summarizes the current Sandy Bridge E lineup:
|Processor||Core Clock||Cores / Threads||L3 Cache||Max Turbo||Max Overclock Multiplier||TDP||Price|
|Intel Core i7 3960X||3.3GHz||6 / 12||15MB||3.9GHz||57x||130W||$999|
|Intel Core i7 3930K||3.2GHz||6 / 12||12MB||3.8GHz||57x||130W||$583|
|Intel Core i7 3820||3.6GHz||4 / 8||10MB||3.9GHz||45x||130W||$294|
The short summary is that i7-3820 is Sandy Bridge E on a budget. In terms of CPU performance and price, it's equivalent to the i7-2600(K) but provides higher I/O performance due to the quad-channel memory and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Anand summed it up nicely in his review, so we'll just repost here.
There are three reasons why you'd want the Core i7-3820:
- You need PCIe 3.0 today and/or you need more PCIe lanes than a Core i7-2600K can provide.
- You need tons of memory bandwidth for a particular application.
- You want a 2600K but you need a platform that can support more memory (32GB+).
So in general, most users will be better off with a LGA 1155 based platform. While the i7-3820 is actually cheaper than the i7-2600K, the total price of the platform is not. LGA 1155 based motherboards go for as little as ~$50 (e.g. Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2). If you want more features such as Intel Rapid Storage Technology, you can get a Z68 based motherboard for around $90 (e.g. ASRock Z68M/USB3). In contrast, the cheapest LGA 2011 based motherboard starts at $210. Unless you benefit from the extra features that Sandy Bridge E offers, your money is better spent else (e.g. on an SSD).