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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  • Death666Angel - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    That's what ratios are for. Haven't heard about damaged components from BCLK OCing. I'm running a 181MHz BCLK on my i7 860 for 18 months (157MHz for the time before that, over 2 years IIRC) and haven't damaged anything.
    And the assumption that the IVB-E overclocks better than the SNB-E is not yet proven. I agree that it is likely (at least a few % better OC), but not a certainty after SNB is still competitive with IVB and HW on the OC front (for different reasons of course).
  • androticus - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Haswell-E is unlikely to offer anything more than Ivy-E -- remember Haswell was really focused on much better power mgmt and longer battery life for portable uses--most of the benches I've seen don't put it much higher in IPC (and in a few cases slightly lower) than Ivy.
  • garadante - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Haswell-E is DDR4 quad channel, I believe.
  • madmilk - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Haswell-E is rumored to have 8 cores, which is a worthwhile upgrade if you need the threads but can't afford some Xeons.
  • Aenean144 - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    I can imagine a lot of businesses with lots of racks of Intel cluster hardware seeing a, say, 30% reduction in watt per performance, and viewing that as a huge upgrade. Or am I mistaken in thinking electricity bills and increased hardware reliability due to less heat and noise are big issues for them?
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I still don't see a reason to upgrade my i7-980x 32nm gulftown cpu. Just a shame 3.5 years later and there still is not enough speed increase to justify buying a new mobo, new ram, and a new cpu. But it's a double edged sword really cause it's nice that the 1000 dollar cpu has paid itself off by staying relevant for this long. Honestly I don't think haswell-e will even be fast enough to warrant an upgrade. 14nm broadwell-e will most likely be the next worthwhile upgrade meaning I get 6 years of good use out of gulftown. So its good in some ways and bad in some ways. Whenever sata express and ddr4 get released that is when I will most likely upgrade from gulftown because I don't need anymore cpu power but I'd love faster ram and sata express and maybe a couple thunderbolt ports as well.

    My friends thought I was stupid spending 1000 on a cpu but it's not like the old days where you needed to upgrade every product cycle. I run comfortably at 4.44ghz on all 6 cores and my performance is still near the top of the charts. Bring on sata express and ddr4 so I can actually upgrade to something.
  • beginner99 - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Yeah I think gulftown buyers made a great choice retrospectively. Will probably be one of the longest lasting CPUs ever. While I have a worse CPU I'm still not excited at all to upgrade to haswell or Ivy-E but then I also don't want to wait forever, eg. haswell-e or skylake. A bit frustrating.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Lots would have said you were foolish back then, investing in 980x, but I had a quiet confidence that it would be an awesome CPU for a long time...

    I just didn't realise it would still be completely awesome even today. A healthy overclock and a giant cooler, and it's still doing everything you could possibly want.
  • Zertzydoo - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    I'm the 980X train too and it's a great ride! Even after all those years, I see no reason to upgrade. I have an ASUS Sabertooth which was relatively cheap and comes with a five year warranty so I'm good for another couple years.

    The only thing I'm not entirely happy with is power consumption, but I don't think that alone is worth the upgrade. Especially that getting equivalent peak performance out of Haswell (or IVB-E) is expensive.
  • chizow - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    This is why I didn't bother upgrading to LGA2011 2 years ago with SNB-E, and why I'm glad I didn't wait for IVB-E this time around.

    The platform and CPU arch is already dated tech before it even launches. Unless you have specific use patterns that benefit from 6c/12t, you're much better off going with Haswell strictly for the platform updates. 10-12 USB 3.0 ports and 6 SATA3/6G ports is a breath of fresh air given the stagnancy of LGA2011.

    Also, PCIe 3.0 support is not guaranteed with LGA2011, at least not with Nvidia cards. It will be interesting if Intel decides to finally validate PCIe 3.0 for the platform with IVB-E, but as it is now, you need a reg hack for Nvidia GPUs and even then, some boards won't work stably at PCIe 3.0 speeds.

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