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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  • - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    how are you getting your productivity numbers/percentages ??? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Also note that I limited my voltage to a ~15% increase. I believe with more voltage it's possible to go higher, but you really start driving power consumption up at that point.

    Take care,
  • zartok - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    I saw on they were able to run it 3.45GHz on 1V and on 4.26GHz on 1.38V (or 1.33V can't tell that well due to the image size), without even trying hard. So are sure that it's the CPU that's limiting the OC and not something else eg the motherboard? Reply
  • Bolas - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    How does this cpu compare to the 6-core 32nm Xeon server chips that are launching around the same time? Any cost information on those yet? I mention this because I'm seriously considering EVGA's new dual socket W555 motherboard, which requires the dual QPI cpu's. Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    Is Intel offering 18 months no interest no payment plans for this? I really want one but I also want to eat and live in something besides a box for the next six months. Good article and nice to know the X58 boards we already have should work with nothing more than a BIOS upgrade. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    This processor isn't for you then.

    It's for people who have nothing better to blow money on AND have money.
  • DrMrLordX - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    This is mostly a paper launch since few people will pay $1k for a CPU. As has been said so many times in the CPU/OC forums, keep your eyes out for the 32nm Xeon quads that will be appearing for LGA1366. They won't be 920 d0 cheap but they will be cheaper than the 980 and probably OC pretty well.

  • erwos - Thursday, March 11, 2010 - link

    If it's in the channel, it's not a paper launch. Period, end of story. Just because you can't afford it doesn't mean others can't. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    It's not that it's unaffordable . . . it's just that I'm not that crazy. Close, but not quite. Reply
  • JumpingJack - Friday, March 12, 2010 - link

    Maybe a career change that pays more :) ... j/k. Reply

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