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SmogHog
08-14-2011, 11:10 PM
When it comes to pricing, Intel is a very predictable company and although we're not quite sure why the company is sticking to the exact same prices over and over again, it's just how it is. One of our very reliable sources have come through with the pricing for Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processor and although there were whispers of a price point over US$1,000, well, let's just say that there aren't any big surprises in store.

In fact, Intel has stuck with its regular tiered pricing, so in other words, the Core i7-3960X will be priced at US$999, just as pretty much every other Extreme Edition desktop CPU since back in the Pentium 4 days. That said, as you're not getting a CPU cooler thrown in this time around, you're actually paying a bit more than you do for the current Core i7-990X, at least if you use the stock cooler.

The Core i7-3930K will end up replacing the Core i7-980 and it'll also end up with the same price, US$583. Finally the Core i7-3820 should be replacing the lower-end Core i7's and as such we're looking at US$294 price point. As such the Core i7-3820 will be cheaper than the Core i7-2600K, the question is how it will perform in comparison to Intel's top of the line LGA-1155 CPU.

On a related note, if you look at recent Intel roadmap leaks, you'll notice a little symbol that looks like this ≥ and it's suggesting that Intel is about to replace, or at least add a faster Core i7 K-SKU sometime this quarter which happens to corroborate some whispers we've been hearing. As to why Intel would be doing this is anyone's guess, but it's possible that the new model will have additional multipliers unlocked compared to the Core i7-2600K. We'll just have to wait and see how things develop, but right not it's not looking good for Intel's Core i7-3820, unless it can really outperform the LGA-1155 by some margin.


The upcoming Core i7 processor from Intel, the 3820, 3930K and the 3960X will all ship without a cooler in the box. That said, Intel has decided to offer own brand coolers for the platform, it's just that they won't come in the box with the CPU. We can't really see why anyone would buy an Intel cooler over a third party cooler as not even Intel's high-end heatpipe cooler for its current and past Extreme Edition models were all that great. Some of the third party cooler makers will have products ready at launch, but worst case scenario, we might be looking at a cooler shortage at launch.

On top of this, we're hearing that although the rated TDP is 130W these beasts are consuming closer to 180W and that's without even overclocking them. In fact, according to PSU design guidance we've seen, Intel is telling power supply makers to make sure their Sandy Bridge-E PSUs can cope with a peak current of 23A on the 12V2 rail and based on an 80 percent or better efficiency rating of the PSU.

As such it might be a very good idea to invest in a water cooling kit if you're planning on going Sandy Bridge-E, especially if you're planning on pushing the boat out and overclock. The bad news for LN2 crowd is that at least early samples of Sandy Bridge-E is suffering from the dreaded cold bug, although this might have been fixed in later revisions of the processor.

On top of all that it looks like the quad core 3820 model has been delayed and will arrive later than the 3930K and 3960X, although we don't know exactly when Intel intends to release it to the market. Intel is currently working on the C1 stepping and this should be what ships in the end unless there are any unforeseen issues with the latest stepping.

The 3960X and 3930K will have unlocked multipliers while the 3820 will be lock.