sandy bridge ep 1 Exclusive: Sandy Bridge E now expected to launch in November, X79 chipset getting further feature cuts

We don't like to be the bringers of bad news, but it's come to our attention that Intel has decided to change its high-end consumer Waimea Bay platform one more time before it launches. The only good news is that we've managed to pin-point which month the platform is expected to launch and that is November and there are several reasons behind this choice.

We don't like to be the bringers of bad news, but it's come to our attention that Intel has decided to change its high-end consumer Waimea Bay platform one more time before it launches. The only good news is that we've managed to pin-point which month the platform is expected to launch and that is November and there are several reasons behind this choice.

Intel's Waimea Bay platform is starting to become something of an epic saga by now with changed launch plans, chipset changes and what not. We're still not 100 percent sure that Intel won't change anything else in time for the launch, but we can only go on the information we have at hand. As for the November launch, the key thing here for Intel is not to hit the Christmas holiday season, but instead it's to get in with the big system integrators before they decide on next year's system spec. The big boys tend to only change their platforms once or twice a year and Intel has to be in on time when these companies are evaluating what they're going to be selling in 2012, miss this deadline and you have a lot less sales.

patsburg Exclusive: Sandy Bridge E now expected to launch in November, X79 chipset getting further feature cuts

We're also hearing that Intel is worried about AMD's FX processor refresh which should take place early next year, maybe not in terms of raw performance, but the company needs to have its platform out there to show that the company has yet another high-end platform ready to go. Make what you want of this, but to manage to meet the November deadline, Intel has cut further features from its X79 chipset.

If you remember the article from a couple of weeks ago which had the same diagram as the one above, we told you that Intel had gone from the server level Patsburg-D to the Patsburg-B level chipset for the X79. Well, now we're talking Patsburg-A, i.e. no SAS support at all. In other words, we're looking at a chipset very similar to Intel's current P67 chipset, as it will only sport two SATA 6Gbps ports and four SATA 3Gbps. This is starting to make it look less and less like that Intel will simply be able to "enable" these features by a software upgrade in the future and instead we can either look forward to a chipset revision or a new, more expensive chipset for the Waimea Bay platform.

And it doesn't stop there, we have more bad news with regards to the X79 chipset, but that's another story…