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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A 12MB L3 Cache: 50% Larger, 14% Higher Latency The Heatsink


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  • Meghan54 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    [QUOTE]where are you getting your xeon pricing info from?

    all i can find from any solid source is the current xeon quad core processors which are running about $2000 on newegg at the moment. [/QUOTE]

    Well, I question your search skills at Newegg, then, if that's all you can find there.

    Just an FYI, Newegg has MANY, MANY sub-$700 Xeon processors for socket 1366, like the W3520, a Bloomfield, for $310, or the W3550 for $600--both Bloomfield quad-core cpus.

    Learn to use search, (ps....main page, cpu/processors, processors-servers, power search, check box socket 1366, look at results. I'm hoping you do understand that there are mouse clicks between step.)
  • formulav8 - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    grow up... Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    no, i saw all of that stuff. i was looking at the six core chips and i typed quad instead.

    but thanks for getting all nasty and sarcastic anyway.
    i'll try to remember about those mouse clicks next time.

    the point i was trying to make is that the xeon line is going to be more expensive than the comparable home desktop CPUs and that it won't be a simple matter of non-server customers just buying xeons that will outclass the current i7 line-up. (specifically to compete against the 6 core model that this review is about)

  • Drag0nFire - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I think the point was that you could get 2x cheap quad core Xeons, and run with 8 cores (16 threads) at a small price premium over the $1000 Gulftown. Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I will keep my eyes open for the Xeon, but for some reason, those typically are quite pricey. This $1k price will fall, hopefully sooner, rather than later.

    I am looking forward to both.

    Thanks for the read, Anand,
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Here's a list of Gulftown quads for LGA1366:">

    The information isn't complete, but you should be able to do searches on the part that interests you most and get the information that you want.
  • iamezza - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    it won't be dropping in price any time soon. Check the chart on Pg 3 - this is the top intel CPU until 2011 and I can't see AMD releasing a CPU that will compete performance wise with it before then. Reply
  • DarkUltra - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    I also miss memory and cache performance tests, and memory overclock results. Reply
  • Kn0xx - Monday, May 17, 2010 - link

    well, this new 6 core comer, will be ( probably ) the entry design for 128 -bit processors that Intel are already working on it.

    128 bit need new multi-core structures. so ..980X is an example of how can a 128-bit core would be =)
  • unmaskedtruth - Sunday, May 23, 2010 - link

    does anyone know if protools le 8.0 is multi-threaded? for recording pro music, is it going to be able to take advantage of "6cores" if i was to go i7-980x route? or is quad-core more than sufficient? cause there is i7-930 which is cost like 80% less than the 980x. what do you guys suggest? Reply

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