Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E preview: Enhanced power efficiency ahoy
Tomshardware managed to score a next-generation Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor, and obviously put it through their usual battery of tests. Sadly, the results aren’t that impressive.
Intel’s next-generation Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor doesn’t exactly deliver next-generation performance. In fact, anyone looking for a massive performance boost will go be sobbing in their beds tonight out of disappointment. For them, wait for Intel’s Haswell-E which promises to bring 8 cores (16 threads) processors for desktops (finally, Intel will move past the number 6 for desktops).
Ivy Bride-E is simply an updated Sandy Bridge-E 2012 core. The memory controller gets a boost and now officially supports 1866 MHz DDR3 RAM. Also, IB-E is built using the 22nm 3D tri-gate manufacturing process, although that doesn’t lead to Intel enabling the two additional cores for consumer desktop SKUs of the processor. Overclocking should yield better results, with the multiplier max bumped up to 63x, from 57x in Sandy Bride-E. Apart from that, you get the same 6 core-12 thread configuration, 15 MB L3 cache, LGA 2011 socket and a 130W TDP. It is that last aspect which really shows an improvement over previous generation LGA 2011 processors.
The verdict? Ivy Bridge-E is a not-so-important upgrade for current Sandy Bridge-E owners. Those people who jumped ship with Haswell are probably cheering right now. That being said, Intel’s improved Ivy Bridge-E does deliver a near 30% drop in power consumption even while performance goes about 5-8% higher. This one’s not for desktops, but boy is it going to be loved in the server space. Keep an eye out for Ivy Bridge-E based Xeon processors which should hit the server market within the next couple of months.