A New Chip for a New Year
When Intel launched the Sandy Bridge-E platform in November, there were three processors listed on the specification sheet. The Core i7-3960X is the flagship, 6-core processor with the ~$1000 price tag, the Core i7-3930K still had 6-cores but a much lower cost and similar clock speeds and the Core i7-3820 was the only quad-core option and was listed for a Q1 release. We reviewed the Core i7-3930K in December and found that it offered nearly the same performance as the more expensive unit at about half the price.
Today we are getting a preview of the Core i7-3820 that will be released likely in early February and will come with a much more reasonable price tag of $285 to fill out the LGA2011 socket. The question that we must ask then is can the quad-core Core i7-3820 compete against the currently available quad-core Sandy Bridge parts that fit in the widely available LGA1155 socket? We not only have to consider performance but also the features of each platform as well as the total cost.
Same Feature Set, New Die
While most of the features of the Core i7-3820 are going to be identical to those of the previous SNB-E processors we have seen, there are some important differences with this chip. Let's see what is familiar first. The Core i7-3820 is based on the Sandy Bridge-E design that works on the LGA2011 socket and the X79 chipset and motherboards currently on the market. It includes a quad-channel memory controller and 40 lanes of PCI Express that are actually capable of PCIe 3.0 speeds. HyperThreading is still enabled so you are getting the benefit of being able to run twice as many threads as you have cores.
There are some very important changes on this CPU as well though starting with a quad-core design. This directly pits this Sandy Bridge-E part against the currently existing Sandy Bridge processors running on the Z68/P67 chipset and LGA1155 socket. Also, the L3 cache on the Core i7-3820 is at 10MB, 5MB less than the Core i7-3960X and 2MB less than the Core i7-3930K. We are basically talking about a processor that bridges the gap between the original SNB and newer SNB-E parts and it creates some interesting battles and comparisons.
Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 04:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: X79A-GD65 (8D), X79-UD5, x79, P8X79 PRO, msi, lga2011, Intel, gigabyte, DX79SI, asus
If you want to run a Sandy Bridge E chip, you are going to need a new motherboard as they use a brand new socket. The upgrade isn't just about the socket though, as there is a noticeable increase in PCIe 3.0 lanes possible on the X79 chipset as well quad channel memory. At The Tech Report is a look at motherboards from four major vendors, the Asus P8X79 PRO, Gigabyte X79-UD5, Intel DX79SI, and the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D). Unfortunately Intel is plagued by issues with storage, while not the same as we saw in their previous chipset the port count is still lower than we expected and the RAID software is still labelled as a beta product. Indeed by the end of the review it seems that each board did at least one thing to disappoint The Tech Report, though they hold hope for future revisions.
"If you want to get in on Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E CPU, you'll need an LGA2011 motherboard. We've gathered four examples from Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and MSI to see which one makes the best foundation for an Extreme Sandy build."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Sandy Bridge-E and X79 – The ASUS P9X79 PRO @ AnandTech
- ASUS Sabertooth X79 Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Intel DX79SI Extreme Series Socket LGA 2011 Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabye GA-X79-UD5 @ OC3D
- ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme @ Tweaktown
- Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme @ OC3D
- ASUS P9X79 Pro Intel X79 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte X79 UD7 OC Motherboard Preview @ Ninjalane
- ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review @ ThinkComputers
- BIOS Option Of The Week - CPU On-Die Termination @ TechARP
- ASUS M5A97 Evo (AMD 970) @ Tweaktown
- MSI 990FXA GD-80 Review @ OCC
- Five Years with Bulldozer: Asus Sabertooth 990FX @ X-bit Labs