A performance enthusiast always wants to know what is coming next.  This morning HardwareLuxx published a rather interesting and official looking Intel slide detailing information about the upcoming enthusiast platform, Ivy Bridge-E.  While we cannot confirm the legitimacy of the slide, it does follow several patterns we had been assuming for a while.

Firstly the launch date is a little surprising.  Initially we have all been discussing October/November, but this slide puts the launch squarely at the beginning of September, between the 4th and the 11th.  This is around the same date as IDF San Francisco, held on the 10-12th September. 

As with previous launches, there will be a strict NDA date for media to publish results and demonstrations.  Judging by what is written there does not seem to be much room for an upgrade to new chipsets, meaning that X79 is still the platform of choice at this time.  I would not mind seeing an X89 with a full set of SATA 6 Gbps and USB 3.0 in the near future.

Alongside release details, CPU-World has posted information on the processor SKUs which are expected to be released.  The top SKU is to be an i7-4960X, featuring 6 cores (12 threads) at 3.6 GHz which turbos up to 4 GHz and a total of 15MB L3 cache.  This is going to be our top end SKU, which normally retails for $999-$1099.  Below this is the i7-4930K, also 6 cores (12 threads) but set at 3.4 GHz with turbo up to 3.9 GHz and 12MB L3 cache.  The final SKU should be the more interesting – the i7-4820K.  The –K moniker suggests this part is unlocked, but unfortunately it is only a quad core (8 threads) part with 10MB L3 cache. 

Ivy Bridge-E SKUs (predicted)
SKU Cores / Threads Speed / Turbo L3 Cache TDP Memory
i7-4820K 4/8 3.7 GHz / 3.9 GHz 10 MB 130 W DDR3-1866
i7-4930K 6/12 3.4 GHz / 3.9 GHz 12 MB 130 W DDR3-1866
i7-4960X 6/12 3.6 GHz / 4.0 GHz 15 MB 130 W DDR3-1866

One of the main benefits of Nehalem but a big issue with Sandy Bridge-E was the lack of a cheap overclocking SKU – while the i7-920 had big success, the i7-3820 eventually came along but it was not enough.  This Ivy Bridge-E low end SKU is going to be directly compared with the i7-4770K Haswell SKU, and the only thing going for it is the quad channel memory support, as it loses at IPC.  All three IVB-E CPUs should come in at 130W TDP, and as an overclocker I am hoping that the Ivy Bridge overheating issues are sorted with the IVB-E processors.

Source: HardwareLUXX, CPU-World





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  • chizow - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Sorry, don't agree with that. Every time I looked at SB-E/X79 it just looked like dated tech. Much happier with Haswell, especially the modern Z87 chipset with full native SATA6G and 6 USB 3.0 ports.

    Intel just loves dragging their feet with these E platforms and I think you'll find fewer and fewer enthusiasts are going to be willing to wait for their releases unless they absolutely need the extra cores. 1.5 years and 1.5 gens behind the mainstream performance desktop platform is unacceptable, imo.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    I agree. It's not like this is obscure tech no one will use. This is absolutely necessary technical advances that should have been easy for Intel to add into X79. Hell, I remember when X79 came out, everyone was complaining about how plain and boring it was. If I remember correctly, Intel had initially intended to offer more with it, but had to scale back because of some chipset snafu that forced them to remove features at the last moment.

    They were supposed to be added back in with the next chipset update, but no one--especially not then--expected to be waiting two years for a new update to the SB-E line or to get NO chipset update even when IB-E came...
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    ABSOLUTELY agree with you there pal.

    But at the end of all the testing, they still hold their own in gaming, and in most other applications / server uses they scream along with all those extra cores, and memory frequency.

    So I'm 60/40 against.... meaning I wouldn't build one unless I needed that memory performance, or the extra pcie channels...
  • bj_murphy - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    My thoughts exactly. What is the point of a so-called "high-end" platform that is consistently an entire generation behind the mainstream parts? Why don't Intel's releases follow a pattern more like Nvidia and AMD for video cards, where the high-end parts come first, followed by more mainstream parts down the road? Reply
  • ludikraut - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Totally agree. With an 8-core Haswell-E in the pipeline, I see not reason to go to an Ivy Bridge E or any other processor. My good ole OCed I7-920 will just have to "limp" along for a while longer, LOL.

  • sna1970 - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Ivy Bridge - E , will have upto 12 cores. coming soon in September. havent you seen the Macpro announcement? Reply
  • ElvenLemming - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    That's Ivy Bridge-EP, the Xeon family. Ivy Bridge-E is the enthusiast line based on the Xeons, but with lower core count and higher clocks, hence still only 6 core at the high end. Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Considering that the new Mac Pro has been announced and will feature 12 cores in a single socket, these 6 core Ivy Bridge-E chips likely use a different die. It'd be wasteful to disable half the cores on a die to get a 6 core chip unless yields are abysmal. This 6 cores chips are likely native 6 core dies with the quad core being the harvested one.

    Perviously SandyBridge-E came in native 4 and 8 core dies with all 6 core chips being harvested from 8 core dies.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Couldn't the 12 core chips by Intel be a return to the integrating two separate dies into one chip a la Q6600-esque melding? That would let Intel keep their 8 core chips, die harvest to 6 and meld two of those into one chip. Sure, it's not pretty or particularly efficient, but it's cheaper than having a special 12 core die and a special 8 core die for different markets.

    It also promises to expand to 16 core dies in the future if they need to. Power sipping isn't as important to customers who need lots of Intel IPC-powerful cores. I didn't say it wasn't important, just not AS important.
  • Kevin G - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    The dual die strategy wouldn't work as well now as you'd be cutting the number of memory channels in half. The Core 2 Quads were able to get away with a MCM as the memory controller was still a shared, separate chip as if it were two sockets. Reply

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