The Lineup

Intel will initially launch quad-core SKUs on the desktop. Ivy Bridge will be branded as Intel's 3rd generation Core microarchitecture and use model numbers below 3800. The 3800 - 3900 series are reserved for Sandy Bridge E for the time being, while the 2000 series refers to last year's Sandy Bridge parts. Just like we saw with Sandy Bridge, Ivy will be available in fully unlocked (K-series), partially unlocked (any part with Turbo support) and fully locked (anything without Turbo support) SKUs.

What we know about the lineup today is summarized in the table below:

Processor Core Clock Cores / Threads L3 Cache Max Turbo Intel HD Graphics TDP Price
Intel Core i7 3960X 3.3GHz 6 / 12 15MB 3.9GHz N/A 130W $990
Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz 6 / 12 12MB 3.8GHz N/A 130W $555
Intel Core i7 3820 3.6GHz 4 / 8 10MB 3.9GHz N/A 130W $285
Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 4000 77W $332 est
Intel Core i7 3770 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 4000 77W $294 est
Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.8GHz 4000 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3570 3.4GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.8GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3550 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3470 3.2GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.6GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3450 3.1GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.5GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i5 3330 3.0GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.2GHz 2500 77W TBD
Intel Core i7 2700K 3.5GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.9GHz 3000 95W $332
Intel Core i7 2600K 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.8GHz 3000 95W $317
Intel Core i7 2600 3.4GHz 4 / 8 8MB 3.8GHz 2000 95W $294
Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 3000 95W $216
Intel Core i5 2500 3.3GHz 4 / 4 6MB 3.7GHz 2000 95W $205

Unlike the initial Sandy Bridge launch, both fully and partially unlocked Ivy Bridge parts will ship with Intel HD 4000 graphics - although that's still reserved for the high-end on the desktop. I am also seeing movement towards removing core-count restrictions on turbo frequencies. Today max turbo is defined in most cases by the highest frequency you can reach with only one core active. I would not be surprised to see Intel eventually move to a setup where max turbo can be reached regardless of number of active cores and just base it on current power consumption and thermal conditions.

Chipset Support

Ivy Bridge uses the same LGA-1155 socket as Sandy Bridge. Provided there's BIOS/UEFI support from your board maker, you can use Ivy Bridge CPUs in older 6-series motherboards. Doing so won't give you access to some of the newer 7-series chipset features like PCIe Gen 3 (some 6-series boards are claiming 3.0 support), native USB 3.0 (many 6-series boards have 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers) and Intel's Rapid Start Technology.

Chipset Comparison
  Z77 Z75 H77 Z68 P67 H67
CPU Support IVB
LGA-1155
IVB
LGA-1155
IVB
LGA-1155
SNB/IVB
LGA-1155
SNB/IVB
LGA-1155
SNB/IVB
LGA-1155
CPU Overclocking Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
CPU PCIe Config 1 x16 or
2 x8 or
1 x8 + 2 x4
PCIe 3.0
1 x16 or
2 x8 PCIe 3.0
1 x16 PCIe 3.0 1 x16 or
2 x8 or
1 x8 + 2 x4
PCIe 3.0
1 x16 or
2 x8 PCIe 3.0
1 x16 PCIe 3.0
Processor Graphics Support Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Intel SRT (SSD caching) Yes No Yes Yes No No
RAID Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
USB 2.0 Ports (3.0) 14 (4) 14 (4) 14 (4) 14 14 14
SATA Total (Max Number of 6Gbps Ports) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2) 6 (2)
PCIe Lanes 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s) 8 (5GT/s)

The big change this year is that all 7-series chipsets support processor graphics, while last year Intel had the silly P vs. H split until Z68 arrived and simplified everything.

Ivy Bridge Architecture Recap The State of Ivy Bridge Silicon
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  • Mithan - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Most gamers don't spend money on the I7 lineup, prefering to buy the Core i5 series and invest the extra money into more GPU. Reply
  • just4U - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    It's not only the extra money.. Apparently the 2500K does better in a fair number of games over the 2600K (in part.. i think due to Hyper Threading) and the graphs seem to support that (altho maybe not for the reason I mentioned)

    Looking at the 3700 series though it beats out both the 2500K and 2600K so I think that one is going to be of special interest to gamers.. moving forward.
    Reply
  • auvrea - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    bump Reply
  • nuha_te10 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I'm afraid the next Haswell will be Tock- Reply
  • Arnulf - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Why ?

    If the statement "the significant gains we're seeing here with Ivy will pale in comparison to what Haswell provides" is true then I'm looking forward to Haswell very much. I'll finally be able to dump discrete GPU as I only use relatively mdoest dislay resolutions, and instead pour the money into even quieter cooling solution. Silence, sweet silence :)
    Reply
  • Articuno - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Nice to see AMD winning where it actually matters for most consumer applications. Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Browsing? Reply
  • Fujikoma - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    You crack me up... that was truly a funny response.
    Seriously though, Llano isn't that bad for a generic/cheap build. I did pick one up to build a machine for my mom. The mobo and the proc. were justified by the price. I knew it wouldn't be powerful, but it's fairly energy efficient, has decent graphics and the money I saved went toward the ssd. Most people I build/fix computers for, don't come close to using them to their potential, so price becomes the biggest factor. Would I buy one for myself? No, I'll stick with the i7 I currently have and when I build my next machine, it looks like it'll be an Intel also.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Thanks. :)

    I quite agree, Llano is awesome for what it does and provides an excellent platform for most users.

    I'm just tired of the assumption that GPU grunt is more powerful than CPU.

    It's true that most of my friends and family would be perfectly happy with the GPU muscle in a Llano chip. That said, they'd also be perfectly happy with the iGPU in something like a i3 2100.

    As for myself I'm using an i7 2600K, running at stock, but then I have somewhat different requirements.

    I'd not hesitate to recommend either Llano or Intel chips with iGPU solutions, it all depends on the person really.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    ...'GPU grunt is more important that CPU'... would probably read better, looking back.

    Ah well, you get the point I'm sure.
    Reply

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