Intel's $1000 flagship CPU exists again, in the form of the 3960X Extreme Edition

Subject: Processors | November 14, 2011 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: Intel, sandy bridge-e, x79, 3960x extreme edition

It has been a while since Intel has released a CPU at $1000, which has felt a little strange as historically they've had a flagship processor in that price range.  Sangy Bridge E spells the return to this price point with the Core-i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU.  The basic stats will make you drool, 6 cores and 12 threads of 32nm, 130W TDP CPU with a base clock of 3.3GHz, Turbo speed of 3.9GHz and 15MB of shared cache.  The benchmarks however leave something to be desired; certainly it is faster than the original Sandy Bridge but it does not leave the competition eating its dirt.  Single GPU gamers probably won't even notice a change from previous chips, however with the extra power of the 3960X paired with the amazing amount of PCIe lanes available on the X79 series of motherboards, multi-GPU users may benefit much more from this chip.  That still doesn't change [H]ard|OCP's final comment about this chip, "Sandy Bridge E, maximizing BitTorrent ratios, one desktop at a time."

Catch Ryan's full review here.

H_coolSBE.png

"Intel debuts its $1000+ Extreme Edition 3960X processor parroting how great it is for the gamer and enthusiast. With 6 cores and 12 threads, a new motherboard and chipset platform, and quad channel DDR3, Intel as done the impossible, given us everything we don't want, and nothing we do want."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

Sandy Bridge-E is just what you expect

Introduction

It has been more than three years since Intel released the first Core i7 processor built around the Nehalem CPU architecture along with the X58 chipset.  It quickly became the platform of choice for the enthusiast market (gamers and overclockers), and remained in that role even as the world of processors evolved around it with the release of Westmere and Sandy Bridge.  Yes, we have been big supporters of the Sandy Bridge Core i7 parts for some time as the "new" platform of choice for gamers, but part of us always fondly remembered the days of Nehalem and X58. 

Well, Intel shared the sentimentl and this holiday they are officially unveiling the Sandy Bridge-E platform and the X79 chipset.  The "E" stands for enthusiast in this case and you'll find that many of the same decisions and patterns apply from the Nehalem release to this one.  Nehalem and X58 was really meant as a workstation design but the performance and features were so good that Intel wanted to offer it to the high-end consumer as well. Sandy Bridge-E is the same thing - this design is clearly built for the high-profit areas of computing including workstation and servers but those that want the best available technology will find it pretty damn attractive as well. 

cpu1.jpg

But what actually makes a Sandy Bridge-E processor (now going with the Core i7-3xxx model naming scheme) different from the Sandy Bridge CPUs we have come to love since it was released in January of this year?

The Sandy Bridge-E Architecture

The answer might surprise you, but truthfully not a whole lot has changed.  In fact, from a purely architectural stand point (when looking at the x86 processor cores), Sandy Bridge-E looks essentially identical to the cores found in currently available Sandy Bridge CPUs.  You will see the same benefits of the additional AVX instruction set in applications that take advantage of it, a shared L3 cache that exists between all of the cores for data coherency and the ring bus introduced with Sandy Bridge is still there to move data between the cores, cache and uncore sections of the die.

Click here to continue reading our review of the new Sandy Bridge-E processor, the Core i7-3960X!!

X79 Motherboard Roundup Video Preview

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: x79, video, msi, Intel, gigabyte, asus

I am sure by now you have been reading our review of the new Sandy Bridge-E processors, in particular the Core i7-3960X, but we only had a brief mention of the various X79 motherboards we had in-house in that article.  (Which if you haven't read yet, you definitely should!)

Over the course of the last 14 days or so, we have seen and played with:

  • ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
  • ASUS Sabertooth X79
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro
  • MSI X79A-GD65 8D
  • Gigabyte X79-UD3
  • Intel DX79SI

mbsetup.jpg

We will have reviews of all of these boards in the coming days, but I wanted to at least make sure you saw each of these motherboards in our video roundup and preview.

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more on the X79 platform and Sandy Bridge-E!!

Sandy Bridge-E Prices Leaked In Company Bulletin

Subject: Processors | November 12, 2011 - 06:50 PM |
Tagged: Sandy Bridge E, microcenter, Intel, ddr3, core i7, asus

Sandy Bridge-E is almost upon us, and enthusiasts are no doubt salivating over the shiny new motherboards, quad channel memory, and PCI-E bandwidth that these chips offer. Naturally, there are bound to be price and information leaks as the launch date gets closer whether it is due to a PR move by Intel or a leak by a person or company on down the line. One such leak came to our attention recently via a leaked company bulletin. Microcenter, a US based computer electronics store has leaked the prices of some of the upcoming Sandy Bride-E processors.

sandy_bridge.jpg

While Sandy Bridge-E will not officially launch until the 14 of this month,Microcenter is already busy preparing for the launch by setting prices and organizing promotions. One such promotion has come to our attention recently, and involves two SB-E CPUs and a slew of supporting motherboards. The two processors in question are the Intel Core i7 3930K and the Core i7 3960X. The i7 3930K will be sold at $649.99 USD while the Extreme edition i7 3960X part will go for 1,149.99 USD. These prices are limited to one per customer and are in-store deals only. While the prices are a bit higher than expected, the retailer is trying to sweeten the deal by bundling a "free" Corsair H80 sealed loop water cooler with the purchase of any one of the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. While the free H80's price is likely built into the processor's mark-up, it's at least a decent cooler (HardOCP has a review of the water cooler here). Whether it will be beneficial will depend on the user's existing cooler and whether it will be compatible/upgradeable to socket 2011.

The company will also have a "limited stock" of X79 motherboards available at launch, with more stock to become available in the coming weeks after launch. Throughout all Microcenter stores, the following motherboards will be available at the following prices.

  • ASUS P9X79 PRO 2011 ATX $339.99
  • ASUS Sabertooth PX79 2011 ATX $349.99
  • ASUS P9X79 Deluxe 2011 ATX $389.99

Asus must be a crowd favorite over at Microcenter!

A bulletin containing the Microcenter leak ended with a positive note in stating "this launch should provide a tremendous opportunity for some very high end BYO builds for the most extreme enthusiast customer who is wanting the absolute latest and greatest from Intel!" Will you be hitting up a Microcenter at launch to get your Sandy Bridge-E on?

Podcast #178 - EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win, a Puget Systems silent HTPC, Tegra 3 and more!

Subject: Editorial | November 10, 2011 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: tegra 3, tegra, ram, Puget, podcast, nvidia, maingear, Intel, gtx560 ti, evga, corsair, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #178 - 11/10/2011

Join us this week as we talk about the EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win, a Puget Systems silent HTPC, Tegra 3 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:09:50

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:29 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:02:55 EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win
  6. 0:13:25 SilverStone Strider Gold
  7. 0:17:00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  8. 0:18:00 Puget System Serenity Core i5 HTPC Review
  9. 0:28:05 Samsung Infuse 4G Delivery
  10. 0:31:20 Tegra 3 and Asus Transformer Prime
  11. 0:42:30 Maingear Epic 180 Cooler
  12. 0:49:20 64 GB Corsair DDR3 
  13. 0:51:30 Asus 3 Board 900 Series Review
  14. 1:00:00 Ryan pretends to make a difference.
  15. 1:02:40 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Jeremy: Quick defroster
    2. Josh: Nice musics!  http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Video-Music-Amazon-Bonus/dp/B005WV6ZI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320891616&sr=8-1
    3. Allyn: mp3tag
  16. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  17. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  18. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  19. Closing

Source:

The Ultrabook promises to be really big ... in about a year

Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2011 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, asus, acer

Ah, the Ultrabook; Intel's attempt to meet Apple on its own territory and playing by Apple's established rules.  Since there has been so much news and speculation about the new ultramobile platform from Intel some of the information we have been given has degraded into noise.  The original run was very limited, with about 50,000 units ordered by the major manufactures like ASUS.  There seems to have been a second order placed with a much more respectable quarter million units requested by ASUS and Acer, though we don't know about the other players.  However with the products launch resembling an attempt at flight by an under-powered, yet aerodynamically shaped chunk of metal these numbers have been reduced to under 200,000.  DigiTimes predicts that this time next year the Ultrabook might be significantly more attractive, not just because of Ivy Bridge but also because of the release of Windows 8 which seems almost custom built for the Ultrabook.

Wile-E-Coyote-off-cliff.jpg

"Asustek Computer and Acer have recently reduced their ultrabook orders from 250,000-300,000 units originally to 150,000-180,000 units by the end of 2011 due to the unsatisfactory sales during the initial month after their launch, according to sources from upstream ODMs.

Currently, Asustek is offering four Zenbook series ultrabook models in the retail channel, priced between NT$36,000-49,000 (US$1,194-1,625), while Acer is competing with its S3 series models with prices at NT$31,500-42,000. Because global notebook demand still has not yet seen any recovery, ultrabooks, which have a rather higher price range compared to mainstream models, did not see as strong sales as expected, causing Acer and Asustek to both drop their product orders by 40%."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes

Gigabyte Infusing X79 Motherboards With 3D UEFI BIOS

Subject: Motherboards | November 6, 2011 - 04:11 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, x79, pattsburg, Intel, SB-E, sandy bridge-e, uefi

Many motherboard manufacturers have phased out the old school BIOS in favor of a shiny graphical user interface (GUI) UEFI BIOS that adds support for booting from larger capacity hard drives and presenting configuration screens that are able to be navigated with mouse or touch controls. Gigabyte has been somewhat quiet on the UEFI BIOS front, until now that is. Starting with Intel’s new X79 chipset based motherboards, the company will begin using a new “3D BIOS.”

Gigabyte_3D_BIOS.jpg

Fortunately, red and cyan glasses won’t be required for Gigabyte’s new UEFI BIOS. Instead, the BIOS is only “3D” in the same sense that a computer game is 3D -- meaning a 3D perspective viewed through a 2D window of sorts (the monitor) and this is a good thing.

The way Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS works involves displaying a photo of the user’s motherboard with various hot-spots that display content sensitive information and configuration options when hovered over and clicked on respectively. For example, when hovering over and clicking on the SATA ports in the rotate-able photo of the board, users are presented with options to set the SATA controller mode to IDE, AHCI, or RAID mode. Also, when clicking on the CPU area, the user is able to adjust frequency, voltage, and timing settings for the CPU and RAM. Further, context sensitive help is available for all the various options in each dialog.

For those that prefer a more traditional text based approach, Gigabyte is also including an advanced mode for enthusiasts who like to dig into every setting possible. The advanced mode looks like one would expect a BIOS to - a text based UI with minimal distractions. The ability to use the mouse for navigation is still present, however.

The 3D motherboard will reflect the actual physical motherboard and can be easily rotated to admire the shiny interface. It is certainly an interesting angle and should help new users navigate and find the settings they need. Whether it will be enough to help differentiate the product or not remains to be seen. A video showing off the new 3D BIOS is available below, and more photos can be found here.

Source: Anandtech

Podcast #177 - Lenovo Portable Monitor, GTX580M vs HD6990M, Hard Drive prices spiking and more!

Subject: Editorial | November 3, 2011 - 05:44 PM |
Tagged: x79, podcast, nvidia, Intel, hd6990m, gtx580m, earnings, amd, 6990m, 580m

PC Perspective Podcast #177 - 11/03/2011

Join us this week as we talk about a Lenovo Portable Monitor, GTX580M vs HD6990M, Hard Drive prices spiking and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:06:02

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:28 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:17 Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 Portable Monitor Review: A Second Display for Road Warriors
  6. 0:03:42 Mobile GPU Comparison: GeForce GTX 580M and Radeon HD 6990M
  7. 0:16:50 iPhone 3GS / 4 / 4S Battery Life Testing - Putting the Conjecture to Rest
  8. 0:23:40 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  9. 0:24:30 AMD Reports Q3 2011 Results
  10. 0:31:35 Hard Drive Prices Spike on Thailand Flooding
  11. 0:39:40 Gigabyte brings Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi to their X79 boards
  12. 0:44:04 Video Perspective: AMD A8-3850 vs Core i3-2105 on Battlefield 3
  13. 0:47:10 Intel Releases Updated SSD Toolbox
  14. 0:51:15 NVIDIA Upgrading GTX 560 to 448 CUDA Cores?
  15. 0:55:15 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Not Steam Uninstaller
    2. Jeremy: Maxwell Technologies HSN-1000 Nuclear Event Detector < wait what?!?! :)  or http://ca.movember.com/mospace/1422966/ Movember
    3. Josh: Gettin cheeeap:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706
    4. Allyn: Electricsheep pre-rendered screen saver 
  16. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  17. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  18. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  19. Closing

 

Source:

Video Perspective: AMD A8-3850 vs Core i3-2105 on Battlefield 3

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | October 31, 2011 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, Intel, bf3, battlefield 3, APU, amd

Everyone is playing Battlefield 3 these days; we even had a virtual LAN party this weekend where forum members and PC Perspective team members played from about 10am until well after 1am ET. We have done more than our fair share of Battlefield 3 articles as well including hardware performance on high end graphics cards, multi-GPU scaling and more.  

We had some requests and questions about what was the lowest priced hardware you could play the game on and while we had run some tests on the GeForce 9800 GT, I decided to take a stab at running BF3 at its lowest settings with integrated graphics on Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and AMD's A-series APU.  Here were our test settings:

apubf31.png

We ran at a fairly low resolution of 1366x768 (both indicative of mobile resolutions as well as low-end hardware restrictions) and the Low in-game preset.  As it turns out this was the level at which the A8-3850 Llano APU was able to maintain an average around 30 FPS while the Intel Core i3-2105 (both priced around $140) was able to reach only a third of that. 

apubf32.png

With both systems coming in at the ~$450 mark, this could qualify as the lowest priced PC that is capable of getting you into the BF3 action!

You can see our full comparison right here in this short video!

Ultrabooks taking 1/4 of the mobile market? That's a lot of kool-aid to swallow

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2011 - 01:39 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, market share

Everyone's current favourite kicking horse, the ultrabook, is poised to take over almost half of all consumer notebook sales by the end of 2012 ... at least according to what DigiTimes heard from Intel.  Even stranger is that instead of breaking out into laughter, the manufactures peg the likely market penetration at about 25%.   Currently there are models from Acer and ASUS which you can purchase for your very own, but don't go out looking for reviews of them.  You can find some quick previews and overviews but as far as performance testing you are not going to find the same information as is available for every other mobile form factor; take that as you will.

The Ultrabook is expensive, as SemiAccurate recently pointed out you can get better performance from a notebook half the price and almost the same size.  It also seems odd that a form factor specifically limited to only 50,000 units produced in the first run is going to take over the market.  Even with broader adoption from companies like Lenovo or Dell, the math does not seem to support a 25% share of the market, let alone 40% and requires you to completely ignore the willingness of the consumer to pay $1000+ for a mediocre laptop.  It is small and shiny though; never underestimate the draw of shinies!

NIMH_shiny.jpg

"While Intel aims to increase the proportion of ultrabooks among global shipments of consumer notebooks to 40% by fourth-quarter 2012, the proportion is estimated to only reach 20-25% based on current market conditions, according to sources from Taiwan-based notebook supply chain makers.

The sources pointed out that most suppliers are aggressively developing components for ultrabooks, but actual order volumes have so far been below their expectations. Although the suppliers all understand that ultrabook are still testing the water, weakening growth of the traditional notebook market and dropping profits have prompted them to put great hopes on the success of ultrabooks.

As for Intel's 40% goal, the sources pointed out that Apple's MacBook Air will become a strong threshold for ultrabooks since there is not yet a single product can outmatch the MacBook Air in terms of performance and price."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes