• Intel Releases New "Sandy Bridge-E" Processors


    Intel's New "Sandy Bridge-E" Processors are faster and zippier than the previous generation Sandy Bridge processors.

    Current Mac lineups utilize Intel's Sandy Bridge processors which have 32 nm technology. The new Sandy Bridge-E processors utilize the same technology but with higher clock speeds, bigger L3 caches, 6 cores, and higher prices. They are extremely powerful.

    The Core i5 and i7 series of processors by Intel offer something amazing; turbo boost. This means that the processor can technically overclock itself when it needs to produce large workloads. It's not a system-wide overclock, it's just a temporary boost. So it shouldn't be confused with overclocking your system to the extent of needing a super amazing cooling system. The processor will only operate at higher clock speeds when the processor needs to use it. As well as turbo boost, the Core i5 and i7 processors have hyperthreading which means that they can operate two threads per core instead of one. What this means is that a dual-core processor will be treated as a quad-core, a quad-core will be treated as an eight-core, and a six-core will be treated as a twelve-core.

    The new Sandy Bridge-E Core i7 processors come in three thresholds:

    Core i7-3960X
    Cores: 6
    Clock Speed: 3.3 GHz
    Turbo Boost: Up to 3.9 GHz
    Hyperthreading: Yes – 12 Cores
    L3 Cache: 15 MB
    Socket: 2011
    Technology: 32 nm
    Cost: $990

    Core i7-3930K
    Cores: 6
    Clock Speed: 3.2 GHz
    Turbo Boost: Up to 3.8 GHz
    Hyperthreading: Yes – 12 Cores
    L3 Cache: 12 MB
    Socket: 2011
    Technology: 32 nm
    Cost: $555

    Core i7-3820
    Cores: 4
    Clock Speed: 3.3 GHz
    Turbo Boost: Up to 3.9 GHz
    Hyperthreading: Yes – 8 Cores
    L3 Cache: 10 MB
    Socket: 2011
    Technology: 32 nm
    Cost: Unknown/$294?

    These new processors aren't built for casual users. The power inside of these microchips are best suited for design professionals. They currently support the following configurations for multiple video/graphics cards:
    • Two video cards at x16 and one video card at x8
    • One video card at x16 and three video cards at x8
    • One video card at x16, two video cards at x8, and two video cards at x4

    Today, Intel released their Core i7-3000 series of processors, codenamed “Sandy Bridge-E.” Two models were launched, the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition and the Core i7-3930K, with a third model (Core i7-3820) scheduled for 2012.

    These new processors, along with the new Intel X79 chipset, constitute an entirely new platform, dubbed the LGA2011 platform. Sandy Bridge-E chips have the same instruction set as the Sandy Bridge chips. The difference between them lies in the memory controller. Sandy Bridge-E CPUs feature the new quad-channel memory architecture supporting DDR3 memories up to 1,600 MHz officially, while Sandy Bridge CPUs feature triple-channel memory architecture and support DDR3 memory up to 1,066 MHz.
    Apple may be doing away with the Mac Pro lineup in favor of their iMac. If Apple implements these new processors into the iMac, there would be nothing holding it from nearly beating the Mac Pro in performance; if not completely crushing it. Currently, the Mac Pro is the most powerful Mac computer available and allows you to manually configure your hardware in more ways than any other Mac. The Mac Pro can support numerous internal drives. The iMac can only support two internal drives. The thunderbolt idea hopes to replace the Mac Pro with the iMac in that users can daisy chain a RAID chassis to their MacBook Pro's and iMac's instead of needing to worry about the internal configurations of their Mac Pro's. The Mac Pro also sports a maximum of in theory 128GB of RAM because it has eight RAM slots; four for each of its two processors. The Mac Pro can also sport up to 24 cores, 12 of which are virtual. Yeah... it's pretty powerful. With these new processors, Apple might do away with the Intel Xeon processors. Maybe even the Mac Pro completely.

    What do you think about Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E processors? Should Apple integrate them? Or should they wait until Ivy Bridge? Share in the comments below!

    Sources: Hardware Secrets
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