Yesterday VR-Zone leaked information on the initial pricing expected for Ivy Bridge-E (IVB-E) processors, which we’ve reproduce in the table below. The LGA-2011 platform is an interesting departure from the norm for consumers, so we also wanted to discuss what’s happening there and why we’re only seeing IVB-E launch after Haswell just came out. But first, let’s start with a discussion of pricing; we’ve included the existing Sandy Bridge-E (SNB-E) as well. (Note that it appears the image from VR-Zone has incorrect Turbo Boost clocks for the IVB-E parts; we provided earlier estimates last month.)

Ivy Bridge-E Leaked Pricing and Specs
SKU i7-4960X i7-3970X i7-3960X i7-4930K i7-3930K i7-4820K i7-3820
Cores/Threads 6/12 6/12 6/12 6/12 6/12 4/8 4/8
Speed/Turbo (GHz) 3.6/4.0 3.5/4.0 3.3/3.9 3.4/3.9 3.2/3.8 3.7/3.9 3.6/3.8
L3 Cache 15MB 15MB 15MB 12MB 12MB 10MB 10MB
TDP 130W 150W 130W 130W 130W 130W 130W
Price (Online) $990 $1,059
($1,030)
$1,059
($1,070)
$555 $594
($570)
$310 $305
($300)

There are a few interesting takeaways this round. First, pricing on the IVB-E parts is mostly lower than the SNB-E SKUs they’re replacing. We expect IPC to be slightly better on IVB-E thanks to architectural enhancements, so in general we’re looking at improved performance at lower prices. The 4820K is the exception, priced $5 more than the 3820. IVB-E also reduces the TDP on the highest performing 4960X part to 130W, which makes sense considering the process shrink.

Something else to note is that the upcoming i7-4820K is also priced quite a bit lower than i7-4770K (and even i7-3770K). If you’re not worried about Intel’s iGPU solutions—which is likely the case if you’re considering LGA-2011—the price point is now even lower, and you still get quad-channel memory and additional PCIe 3.0 lanes. Even the LGA-2011 motherboards are priced relatively competitively these days, at least for the mainstream models—LGA-1150 boards with four DIMM slots and at least two PCIe 3.0 slots are only $20-$40 cheaper, and the higher quality offerings can even surpass pricing for LGA-2011 boards.

The more interesting discussion is what we’re not seeing. For one, there’s still no inexpensive hex-core solution; you either spend $555 or more, or you get a quad-core part. Considering the process shrink, IVB-E chips should be quite a bit smaller and therefore less expensive for Intel to manufacture relative to SNB-E, and while reduced pricing is nice many were hoping for a budget hex-core processor.

The other item we won’t see (which isn’t in the above table) is new chipsets/motherboards for Ivy Bridge-E. Oh, there will likely be a few new boards, but this isn’t a new platform launch. IVB-E should be a drop-in replacement for SNB-E with a BIOS update, and all of the Tier-1 OEMs are promising support for the new processors. But if you already have SNB-E, will IVB-E be enough of an upgrade to justify the expense of a new processor? We’ll have to wait for the official launch for that discussion, but at least right now that’s looking like a tough sell.

The question most people have with IVB-E is why it even exists in the first place—SNB-E launched after IVB on the consumer side and over a year after SNB showed up, and with Haswell having just come out we’re still a month or more away from IVB-E. Shouldn’t we be looking for Haswell-E instead? The answer is actually a lot less complex than you might suspect, and it goes along with the lack of new motherboards/chipset. LGA-2011 is basically the consumer version of Intel’s Xeon platform; nothing more, nothing less. Oh, you get unlocked CPU multipliers and motherboards targeted more at the enthusiast market (frequently with tons of overclocking options), and you don’t need ECC memory, but LGA-2011 is just a minor tweak to the single-socket Xeon offerings.

Unlike the desktop world where yearly upgrades are common and even encouraged by the manufacturers, Xeon plays in a different market that doesn’t like rapid change. The server cadence from Intel is two generations of support, so each new platform stays around a lot longer. Bringing in Haswell-E would require moving to a new socket, violating the every socket has to stick around for two generations requirement in Xeon-land. So we're stuck with Ivy Bridge for the next year, with Haswell-E likely showing up in late 2014. Paraphrasing what we said back at the Sandy Bridge-E launch: If you happen to have a heavily threaded workload that needs the absolute best performance, it looks like Ivy Bridge-E can deliver. Professional overclockers are also likely to be thrilled that IVB-E should take care of the cold boot bugs seen on other platforms. But for many users, the new Haswell platforms are likely to be more compelling.

What's going to be in your next build? Are you waiting for Ivy Bridge-E or is a quad-core Haswell more than enough? Or is there something else entirely?

Source: VR-Zone

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  • MrSpadge - Thursday, August 01, 2013 - link

    > What's going to be in your next build?

    Crunchong BOINC 24/7 on a 3770K 4.10 GHz @ 1.03 V and on the iGPU @ 1.35 GHz ~1.00 V. A 4770/K would be an upgrade I could appreciate but not justify (unless there's a good offer for selling my current system). Not interested on socket 2011 for private use - boards are too expensive and burn too much power.

    I'd be interested in a 4770R instead, with "multicore enhancement" and a little BCLK OC it should reach 4.0 - 4.1 at power efficient ~1.00 - 1.05 V. I suspect the eDRAM could help tremendously when running 7 - 8 memory bandwidth hungry threads along my normal stuff. But no end-user solutions are available at all and tests regarding the CPU speedup are scarce (thanks for trying, guys!).

    Even more interesting would be a similar solution with Broadwell. Although socketed CPUs with GT3e would be even better and might make me switch without much further doubt.
    Reply
  • Ytterbium - Thursday, August 01, 2013 - link

    It's almost like they should give up these chips, if they made all Xeon's unlocked, people could buy a server chipset board with overclocking bios features. While the chipset supports ECC you don't have to use it, it was a bit like the X58 Intel board supported ECC if you put a Xeon in there.

    Could get a E5-2687W 8Cores, 3.4Ghz, 4Ghz turbo.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Friday, August 02, 2013 - link

    This is one thing that I believe should be standard throughout all desktop and mobile processors: optional ECC support. Reliability features like this are nearly free as the CPU's themselves support it but just disabled in some cases (even Intel's Atom line has ECC support but keep it disabled traditionally). The physical DIMM slots don't change but the motherboard manufacturer has to run a few more traces between the socket and DIMM slots - a few pennies change. BIOS/EFI would need a bit of change but most of that work would be done anyway to account for scenarios where a user would insert an ECC DIMM into a non-ECC board.

    I will say that AMD is nice enough to offer ECC on the desktop as well as non-ECC in their server chips. It was nice to use eight 4 GB non-ECC DIMMs in a socket G34 graphics workstation without issue. That same box has since been upgraded to eight 16 GB registered ECC DIMMs.
    Reply
  • Ytterbium - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    I agree it would nice to have the option. Reply
  • twtech - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Haswell-E with 8 cores is the next logical upgrade point for someone who currently has a 3930k. It wild probably be another year+ then before I make another major upgrade. Reply
  • don_k - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    I'm still on a 775 Core 2 Duo :) With a good GPU and an SSD the CPU matters not a lot. Was tempted by an i7 but held off for this one. If it lasts even half as long as my trusty overclocked Northwood I'd be ecstatic. Reply
  • Etern205 - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    I've learned in Thai, 5 is pronounced as "HA" so Core i7 4930K has a price of $hahaha :P Reply

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