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While we all impatiently hold out for the availability of Sandy Bridge-E processors and accompanying X79 motherboards post November 15th, it turns out if you're quick enough and based in China, you can get your hands on the stuff right now.
Some news posted via HWBot shows a Chinese website offering a limited supply of processors and motherboards, though there's only said to have been around 90 odd samples left, much less by the time you're reading this no doubt.
Anyhow, converting over to USD, here's what they're offering up :-
- Intel Core i7 3960X @ +/_ USD $1200
- Intel Core i7 3930K @ +/_ USD $900
- Intel Core i7 3820 @ +/_ USD $550
- MSI X79A-GD65 8D @ +/_ USD $470
- Special Bundle: i7 3930K + MSI X79-GD65 8D + Corsair H60 @ USD $1200
The folks over at OCWorkbench were lucky enough to have witnessed a Sandy Bridge-E processor being overclocked earlier today and kindly shared some details that help give us an idea of how well these chips will clock up.
The specific LGA2011 Core i7 model used was not mentioned, so it's possible it was only a quad core offering. Alas, using a "regular" air cooler it still managed to cruise along just shy of 5GHz (4.92GHz to be exact) with its idle temp holding at 45c.
This was made easily possible via the BClk that can be increased on Sandy E without any dramas. This particular result was achieved by setting the BClk to 120MHz, using a multi of 41X and a core voltage of 1.51v. As for the memory, this was DDR3-2400MHz RAM with a CAS latency of 10T.
This is certainly a very good sign when considering the substandard, generic air cooling solution used here and that even with the best air cooling solutions on the market paired up on existing Sandy Bridge LGA1155 processors, 5GHz is no mean feat.
A bunch more details have surfaced today on AMD's upcoming "Virgo" PC platform which comprises their next-gen mobile "Trinity" APU using an FM2 package. The latest details confirm that Trinity will in fact be compatible with AMD's current-gen A75 "Hudson-D" chipset, but we are yet to learn whether or not FM1 and FM2 are pin compatible.
AMD's Trinity mobile APUs are 32nm based and run a TDP of up to 35W. The four x86-64 cores used are based on AMD's next-gen "Piledriver" architecture (rumoured to be between 10 and 15% quicker on average when compared to Bulldozer) and these four cores are arranged in two modules. Each of the two modules holds two cores and is given certain shared and dedicated resources.
Fab plant TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has issued an announcement today that confirms their much anticipated 28nm process tech to now be in volume production, with production wafers having already been shipped to customers at this point.
TSMC's 28nm manufacturing process comprises the following segments; 28nm High Performance (28HP), 28nm High Performance Low Power (28HPL), and 28nm Low Power (28LP), with there also being 28nm High Performance Mobile Computing (28HPM) volume production before the end of the year.
TSMC's Senior Vice President Jason Chen had the following to say during todays announcement:-
Being the first to 28nm volume production demonstrates TSMC's leadership in technology and brings great value to our customers through design wins with competitive products.
As we learned about a month ago, Intel has been planning the release of a new processor model to rest atop the i7-2x00 line; that being the 2700K. And we we had also established at that time, the processor's release date is today.
The Core i7-2700K looks not to seperate itself much at all from the 2600K on paper with its quad-core, LGA1155 package on 32nm Sandy Bridge silicon, 256KB L2 cache per core and 8MB L3 shared cache. It clocks in at 3.5GHz, but does of course sport an unlocked base clock ratio multiplier, as denoted by the 'K'.
ARM has unveiled a new chip that is set to enable more efficient and affordable mobile processors. Cortex A7 is based on ARM's 28nm fabrication and reportedly consumes five times less power and measured just one-fifth the size of the 45nm Cortex A8, which is found inside Apple's A4, Samsung's Hummingbird and Texas Instruments' OMAP3.
ARM will compliment the efficiency by pairing the Cortex A7 with quicker, more power hungry processing cores. The A7 is set to pave the way for sub-$100 smartphones, which will boost adoption rates in developing regions. ARM CEO, Warren East told the BBC:
We can see the developed world moving on and mobile being the nexus for all sort of consumer electronics. In the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) we are seeing catch-up. As we look forward these smartphones are going to be totally ubiquitous and in the much less developed areas...
Given the ill received launch of AMD's FX (Bulldozer) CPU family no thanks to the lack of what mattered most, performance, it's hard to imagine how AMD can do much to rise above anytime soon, or even maintain the foothold they had in the market previously in terms of offering a more aggressive price/performance alternative.
However, it's looking like AMD still may have another playing card up its sleeve yet; this in the form of a new (B3) revision of the chips being worked on. A mention of the new stepping was spotted in a public AMD document entitled "BIOS and Kernel's Developers Guide (BKDG) for AMD Family 15h Models 00h-0Fh Processors"
This is potentially a good sign if what we saw from the Phenom launch is anything to go by. Many of you would recall When the first B2 stepping processors in the Phenom lineup were found to be flawed by the TLB (translation lookaside buffer) issue, which incurred quite the performance hindrance of at least 10%. It wasn't until AMD rectified the issue with the launch of the B3 stepping Phenoms four months later that Phenom became a lot more attractive.
Thanks to a chunky roadmap leak via a Chinese forum earlier today, we can gather up some more spicey details on Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs and associating platforms; also removing some of the haze thats still been surrounding it in terms of TDP ratings and backward/forward compatibility characteristics.
If said roadmaps are the real mcCoy, we can look forward to a maximum TDP of just 77W for the high-end models which is a good drop lower than the 95W peak for Sandy Bridge thanks to the brand new 22nm fab process. The diagram above seems like a bit of a dogs breakfast at first, but if you focus primarily on the upper region that's where the more interesting tid bits lie.
We can ascertain from this chart that just like Sandy Bridge, there will be unlocked 'K' series SKUs for Ivy Bridge as well; these of which top out at the aforementioned TDP of just 77W. Looking further down the chart, there are entries for quad core 65W 'S' and 45W 'T' SKUs not unlike Sandy Bridge, and also an SKU entry for a 35W dual core.
Even amongst all the lawsuits, bitching and injunctions, Samsung are still producing the A6 quad-core mobile chip for future Apple iOS-based devices. It was previously reported that Apple had signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) last month to supply A6 chips, but that deal seems to be on shaky grounds now. The Korean Times is now reporting that Apple and Samsung have maintained their buyer and supplier relationship and will do so going forward for the foreseeable future.
The Korean Times cites an executive from an Apple parts supplier in Korea, where it says Apple have concluded that Samsung is a critical business partner and can't sever times with them just yet. Samsung is already producing the A6 processor for future iOS devices at a manufacturing plant based in Austin, Texas which opened back in 2007. TSMC will still manufacturer chips for Apple, but the volume is expected to be very low.
While many will take these numbers with a grain of salt since they came direct from Intel, it's not hard to believe how strong performing Intel's Sandy E is up against its old aged X58/LGA1366 predecessor, and with the (quite disappointing) benchmarks out on Bulldozer, it only puts AMD in an even dimmer light.
Intel has shared some internal test results of its soon to be launched Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition processor; a six cored / 12 threaded beast clocked in at 3.3GHz with 15MB of cache. The results were directly compared to the top dog in Intel's current flagship platform, the Core i7 990X EE, which runs a stock clock of 3.46GHz.
A breakdown of all the results can be read via the source link below, but to summarize here, the i7 3960X looks to be about 15% quicker on average. Its best improvement was actually seen in 3DMark 11's Physics test where it bested the Core i7 990X by 36%. And throughout the tests there was one particular standout attribute; its memory benchmarks where it left the 990X for dead over and over and scored up to 111% better in some instances.
Only 1 month to go!