Engineering Sample of Intel Core i7-4960X, Ivy Bridge-E

Subject: General Tech, Processors | July 18, 2013 - 07:41 PM |
Tagged: xeon, Ivy Bridge-E, Intel

Tom's Hardware acquired, from... somewhere, an early engineering sample of the upcoming Core i7-4960X. Intel was allegedly not involved with this preview and were thus, I would expect, not the supplier for their review unit. While the introductory disclaimer alluded to some tensions between Intel and themselves, for us: we finally have a general ballpark of Ivy Bridge-E's performance. Sure, tweaks could be made before the end of this year, but this might be all we have to go on until then.

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Single Threaded

View Full Size

Multi Threaded

Both images, credit, Tom's Hardware.

When browsing through the benchmarks, I noticed three key points:

  • Single-threaded: slightly behind mainstream Haswell, similar to Sandy Bridge-E (SBE).
  • Multi-threaded: eight cores (Update 1: This was a 6-core part) are better than SBE, but marginal given the wait.
  • Power efficiency: Ivy Bridge-E handily wins, about 30% more performance per watt.

These results will likely be disappointing to enthusiasts who seek the highest performance, especially in single-threaded applications. Data centers, on the other hand, will likely be eager for Xeon variants of this architecture. The higher-tier Xeon E5 processors are still based on Socket 2011 Sandy Bridge-E including, for instance, those powering the highest performance Cluster Compute instances at Amazon Web Services.

But, for those who actually are salivating for the fastest at all costs, the wait for Ivy Bridge-E might as well be postponed until Haswell-E reaches us, allegedly, just a year later. That architecture should provide significant increases in performance, single and multi-threaded, and is rumored to arrive the following year. I may have just salted the wounds of those who purchased an X79 motherboard, awaiting Ivy Bridge-E, but it might just be the way to go for those who did not pre-invest in Ivy Bridge-E's promise.

Again, of course, under the assumption that these benchmarks are still valid upon release. While a complete product re-bin is unlikely, we still do not know what clock rate the final silicon will be capable of supporting, officially or unofficially.

Keep calm, and carry a Haswell?

July 18, 2013 | 08:49 PM - Posted by starman (not verified)

Power inefficiency: Ivy Bridge-E handily wins, about 30% more watts per performance vs 4770 on handbrake.

July 20, 2013 | 02:49 AM - Posted by ezjohny

Single core performance from Intel kicks AMD out with shame!!!

July 20, 2013 | 05:13 PM - Posted by Trivium (not verified)

Gee, Intel. I thought Haswell was disappointing...

July 22, 2013 | 11:23 PM - Posted by Actual engineer (not verified)

Greetings...

You can't believe how refreshing it is to see the term CLOCK RATE - (most correct) vs. "speed!"

According to way too many, and certainly marketing departments along with the neophytes, speed has certainly changed its meaning over the years to mean frequency, bandwidth, data rate and, in the digital domain, apparently, clock rate. Interesting that mathematically it certainly isn't defined for any of these metrics!

I enjoy asking the same individuals that misuse the word whether they change the "speed" on their radio.

For those that haven't taken a Physics class in high school or college/university - reference Wikipedia for speed and see if there's any mention to the above metrics. It's really not rocket science!

Conversely, take a look at frequency, GHz, MHz or even kHz or clock rate and see if there's any reference to the word, speed.

July 24, 2013 | 03:50 AM - Posted by thinkbiggar (not verified)

Same retards that buy intel. What do you expect.

August 11, 2013 | 10:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You mean 85%+ of Enthusiast PC Builders? Sorry we don't always have better performance per dollar but at least we have performance. AMD fails to compete in the enthusiast/extreme market whatsoever.

August 11, 2013 | 10:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You mean 85%+ of Enthusiast PC Builders? Sorry we don't always have better performance per dollar but at least we have performance. AMD fails to compete in the enthusiast/extreme market whatsoever.

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