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
$555 $594
$310 $305

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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  • mikk - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I'm afraid you are a bit off with the price list Jarred.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    In what sense? Some of the SNB-E parts might now be available for less, but otherwise these are the prices that are leaked. That's not the same as what you or I would pay when they ship, and since it's a leak there's inherently a level of "take this with a grain of salt" at play. VR-Zone might have made up prices, but I doubt that as well. IVB-E is a tough sell for SNB-E owners, and SNB-E and IVB-E are a tough sell for everyone, so having prices drop a bit wouldn't be surprising.

    If you're talking about the current SNB-E prices vs. the listed, that's just a case of retail online prices being different from Intel's quoted prices (which probably aren't what most companies pay regardless). I've added the Newegg prices to the tablet for the SNB-E parts, though, just to help clarify things.
  • mikk - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    IVB-E won't be cheaper than SB-E but your news implies otherwise. I'm afraid they are a bit off, also you don't need a source to know that Intel will price them in a relatively similar range to its predecessor. In this case the source is nonsense, not only the prices are wrong also some of the frequency claims are wrong. A news based on such a flawed source doesn't make sense to me.
  • smartypnt4 - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Do you have an alternative source? If so, I'd love to see it. Considering we're only a month out from the launch of these chips, I doubt these numbers are that far off.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    And I am afraid you are wrong. "Intel will price them in a relatively similar range to its predecessor" - which is exactly what's in the table. There are also modest frequency boosts in Jareds version, which would make a lot of sense. It may not happen like this, but it sure looks plausible!
  • Sarvesh - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I agree, gone are the days of upgrading PC components every year (thankfully). I'm perfectly happy with my two year old 2600K and will probably keep it around for another 2 years.
    These days the performance of most ultrabooks is quite acceptable if you leave out heavy stuff like gaming and photo/video editing. The crappy performance and lack of upgradability were the reasons i never bought a laptop for myself but now..... Zenbook Infinity can't come soon enough!
  • Mondozai - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I am using an i5 750K which is from 2009.
    I also use a GTX 560 Ti, bought just before the release of Battlefield 3 in late summer 2011. I also got 8 gigabyte of RAM in 2011, back when it was ridicolously cheap(I got it for 32 dollars in total).

    I can still play Crysis 3 on medium, which is a game that doesn't really interest me anyway. It's actually quite amazing how things have stagnated. Good for my wallet but my tech nerd inside of me is wailing and cursing his fate.

    I just don't see a reason to upgrade before I hit a wall. I hope that the next gen consoles will give me a reason, but since I mostly play RTS's or MMORPG's that will give me a prolonged life cycle.

    I did buy Star Citizen, which should be taxing on most computers but we'll see how well they'll do. Im guessing pretty bad initial optimizations. We get the alpha this fall/winter and beta next year.

    Or I could just get a PS4 (I skipped the previous console generation) since games will be optimized for them anyway, even though I like PC a lot.

    Either way, my 2011 experience with the GPU or my 4 year old CPU has taught me that if you can time your purchases well, you can get away with using the same stuff for 3 years or so for the GPU or 5 years or so with the CPU. That gives you a lot cheaper upgrade cycle, but it also makes you very wary of upgrading since you don't wanna be that guy that uses a 1 monitor setup, buys a titan and then the 780 GTX shows up just a few months later with almost the same performance but with a significantly reduced price.
  • Myrandex - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Hah guys I'm still on a Phenom II X6 CPU. I've considered an upgrade, and when the right price rolls around for some a sweet i7 build I might jump. Not looking forward to replacing all of the components, but it will make a different eventually.

  • Heavensrevenge - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Haswell performance is understated because of misleading benchmarks of applications that give the wrong impression of things..
    Two days ago, I bought a new laptop with i7-4700HQ CPU vs the CPU I had previously, the i7-3610QM. is one such comparison But I'll share a few findings that don't match benchmarks.
    I code on V8(chromium code) and my compiles before took 1:10-1:15 this new laptop compiles the same code fresh in ~45 minutes... that's WAY better than 5% useless increase vs the misleading benchmarks I see places. Yes it's my use case but my findings show Haswell helps ALOT. and is a nice perf boost for my use case.
    ALSO my Samsung 840 Pro speed went up 15% because of the new chipset :)
    Ivy-Bridge =
    Haswell =

    Note: I don't keep the code I compile on the SSD, compiling is mainly CPU bound this generation and not really disk bound so the code is all on an HDD.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    If you're comparing two different laptops with different chipsets, there's a lot more at play than just the CPU upgrades. I don't even know how CPU Boss tested those two chips, but depending on what you're doing Haswell is either slightly to moderately faster than Ivy Bridge. With a clean install of Win7 on a laptop vs. a typical OEM install on a laptop, or differing HDDs/SSDs, RAM, chipsets, etc. everything is subject to change.

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