The Roadmap: Sandy Bridge in 2011

Like Bloomfield, Gulftown may end up having a relatively long lifespan at the top of the charts. Below is Intel’s current desktop roadmap through the beginning of 2011. You’ll notice that when Sandy Bridge arrives, it’s going to be limited to two and four core configurations. Performance per core will improve, but it doesn’t look like we’ll see an ultra high end version of Sandy Bridge until at least Q2 or Q3 of next year.


A wafer of Gulftown

The verdict isn’t out on whether or not Sandy Bridge will require a new motherboard. It is possible to make the chip work in existing LGA-1156 motherboards, but that requires additional validation that Intel may not be willing to commit to at this point. The decision isn’t final yet and Intel is telling its partners to expect a new chipset (6-series) and thus new motherboards to support the chip at this point.

The next point of interest is the Core i7 970, which is apparently a cheaper Gulftown due out next quarter. It slots in above the Core i7 960 and 870, meaning it may be priced somewhere in the $600 - $900 range. The very first Extreme Edition carried a $740 price tag. I’d guess that we’d see a 3.2GHz default clock speed on that part.


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  • DarkUltra - Saturday, March 20, 2010 - link

    I would love to see a task manager screenshot during the different multi-threaded benchmarks, also games, so we can see how it utilizes the six cores and two threads per core? Reply
  • drewintheav - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    The INTEL i7 980X has dual QPI's and will run in a dual socket mainboard!!!

    Such as the EVGA W555 / Classified SR-2
    Reply
  • magnes79 - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    Where did you get that information from? On intel website it says 1 QPI. from what I know and what always was the case all i7 series are single QPI's.
    THats why you have Xeon series with double QPI.
    Please do not post incorrect information, because people get stuck with expensive equipment not able to use it properly.
    Reply
  • Aenslead - Saturday, March 13, 2010 - link

    This has got to be THE most worthless, useless, expensive pice of silicon I've ever seen. An average of 13% performance increase in SOME apps AND a decrease in gaming?

    Give me that 1k, and I'll get myself a GTX480, an SSD, and some DDR3 modules that will give me 2x, 3x or Xx times more performance in EVERYDAY use.

    Thank goodness for CUDA, Stream, OpenCL and all that cr4p.
    Reply
  • Cableaddict - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    Aenslead,

    I think you're missing the whole point of this cpu. It wasn't built to go fast. It was built to due serious multi-tasking. The pro A/V crowd will buy these in droves.

    I can't wait to get one for my digital audio system. It will be worth every penny.
    Reply
  • Aenslead - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    I understand your point.

    I do video editing myself as well as some animation, but thanks to Furry Ball (Maya) and Elemental plugins for AE and Premiere, I've come to love GPU power more than ever.

    I've seen what's comming for CS5 and I do not see CPU playing an important role there.

    I see very few people, like yourself, actually finding bennefit from these product launches - same goes to PII X6, although I believe this one will be FAR better priced and far more atractive.

    Best,
    Reply
  • dastruch - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Now that's what I'm saving some money for. Reply
  • - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link


    Wondering how the i7 980X would do against a 6 core Opteron,Tech Report did some benchmark numbers when the 6 core Opterons (server) first came out,going head to head againt Xeons..interesting results when you compare the new i7. This is a rough estimate, but if AMD's 6 core is based on the 6 core Opteron this could be interesting..

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/11">http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/11

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/7">http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/7

    complete report
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/1">http://techreport.com/articles.x/17005/1
    Reply
  • - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    asH Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    I'm somewhat confused as to why, on your review, the PII X4 965 seems rather greedy, but on Toms' review of the i7-980X, AMD's offering does much better.

    Toms' test setups for the X58:
    Gigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) X58 Express, BIOS F4
    Corsair 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333

    Yours:
    Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
    I'm going to presume Corsair DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)

    Toms' test setup for AM3:
    Asus M4A79T Deluxe (Socket AM3) 790FX/SB750, BIOS 2304
    Corsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333

    Yours:
    Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-UD5P (AMD 790FX)
    I'm going to presume Corsair DDR3-1333 2 x 2GB (7-7-7-20)

    Toms' has the PII X4 965 idling 21W lower than the 980X and 32W lower at load (using Prime95), however you have the 965 idling 10W HIGHER and using 4W more at load. Is Prime95 just favouring AMD or is there some sort of problem with your 790 rig? I will concede that the AMD rig will be using less RAM on the Toms' setup which may account for some of the difference.

    One thing to note: up the resolution on a CPU-limited title such as Left4Dead and the performance gap narrows markedly. Enable AA and there's no difference at all. For graphically intensive games and/or highest settings, it won't make sense to fork out $1000 no matter how good the CPU.

    It'd be nice to see how good this CPU is with multiple graphics cards... :)
    Reply

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