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

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Kevin G - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    The price for Intel to manufacture these is radically lower and not just due to the die shrink: they are native 6 core chips. The high end Sandy Bridge-E chips were native 8 core dies with 2 cores disabled for the consumer market. Now the high end Ivy Bridge-E Xeon chips are going to ship with 12 cores at the top with 10 and 8 core binned parts from that. No consumer chip will use this high end die which is expected to be over 400 mm^2.

    There was a native quad core Sandy Bridge-E chip but released to consumers only as the Core i7 3820. This chip came a few months later due validating the different die.

    Anyway, the one thing Intel really needs to update isn't necessary their CPU line up for socket 2011 but rather the chipset. X79 is buggy and was seriously cut down at the last minute. Originally it was to ship with eight 6 Gbit SAS ports but only the Xeon version got that (and only at 3 Gbit speeds). Intel could have just fixed the bugs in the original X79 chipset and ship it as part of the Ivy Bridge-E refresh. Though it would be to see an entirely new chipset with native USB 3.0 (X79 still use external controllers), pure SATA 6 Gbit, 10Gbit Ethernet, QPI uplinks and perhaps even Thunderbolt.
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    I think the chipset is the reason to wait for Haswell-E. Of course will have to see what it actually ships with and how the overall package performs, but there "should" be some interesting and useful improvements.
  • psyq321 - Sunday, August 4, 2013 - link

    Haswell EP platform will bring massive improvements compared to Romley platform (SNB/IVB-EP).

    However, considering that Intel is not under any pressure to release it quick, I guess it will take more than a year from now.
  • psyq321 - Sunday, August 4, 2013 - link

    Actually, 12 core IVB-EP has its own die (HCC). 10 and 8 core parts come from MCC die (MCC = medium core count). HEDT (consumer) IVB-E comes from third die (LCC).
  • dishayu - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    If there was a LGA2011 equivalent of Z87, i'd jump on the 555$ part.
  • tribbles - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    I've decided to go with Haswell (E3 Xeon on C226 chipset). For my purposes, the chipset advantages of Z87/C226 outweigh the core and memory channel advantages of SB-E and IB-E.
  • DaveninCali - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    The original VR Zone table had two major typos and you guys just copied and pasted them in. The 3960X and 3970X clock speeds are wrong. They should be 3.3 and 3.5 GHz respectively. The new 4960X is actually slightly higher in clock speed. Journalism is really going down hill if stores are just being copied and pasted with no fact checking.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    It had more than two major typos; sorry for missing a few others, but I've fixed them now. Thanks!
  • thurst0n - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    I'm running a 920 on Intels X58 Board and I'm having no issues running all 4 cores with HT @ 3.8. Got a 6950 a little while back (originally had the 4870). I know everyone has different standards (and wallet sizes) but I can't justify upgrading right now. I'm going back to school and this will have to get me through.. and I'm fine with that. This is a solid rig.
  • Hrel - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    I'm waiting to upgrade my SB laptop until 14nm is realized and prices have dropped from launch highs. On desktop I'm not really sure, I may put together a Mini-ITX build with Haswell as my media center or I might end up waiting to do that until 14nm as well. Doesn't matter as much on the desktop but in general it's always best to wait as long as possible with computers. There's always something better next year.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now