The highly anticipated Haswell CPU arrived earlier this month, bringing decent performance gains over Ivy Bridge, but leaving much to be desired for high end users and overclockers. Intel’s current top end Extreme series CPU is the Sandy Bridge-E, which is now 2 generations behind in terms of microarchitecture.
We’re going to look at the rumored specs of its upcoming replacements based on newer architecture, Ivy Bridge-E and Haswell-E. The former is expected to be launched this year, with Haswell-E coming out next year. This is all based on leaked slides found at various sources.
According to the latest rumors, Ivy Bridge-E will come out in the third quarter of this year, with the top of the line model labeled Core i7 4960X. It will come clocked at 3.6 GHz base, with a 4.0 GHz peak turbo speed, and a 15 MB cache. These will be 6-core parts with 12 threads via HyperThreading, just like Sandy Bridge-E. Under the certain-to-be $1000 CPU will sit the 6 core/12 thread Core i7 4930K at 3.7 GHz base / 3.9 GHz turbo and 12MB of cache, and the 4 core/ 8 thread Core i7 4820K at 3.4 GHz base / 3.9 GHz turbo with 10MB of cache. All three chips will be completely unlocked, as you’d expect, and carry a 130W TDP.
Since Ivy Bridge itself was just a ‘tock’ over Sandy Bridge, the platform will remain the same. That means that the current X79 platform will be used with Ivy Bridge-E, although the specs are starting to look a little dated with its limited SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity. This also means that the same quad channel DDR3 memory is supported.
Haswell E is the more interesting of the two, since it is based on an all new microarchitecture. This time, the leaked slides come to us from VR Zone. Alledgedly, Haswell-E will make its debut in the second half of 2014.
According to these slides, Haswell-E will have “up to 8 cores” which as you’ll note they haven’t done for desktop products until now.
The first major change is the switch to DDR4 memory, which has been anticipated for some time. When Haswell-E launches in 2014, it may be the only desktop platform to support this technology. The memory will run at 2133 MHz, and will be limited to one dimm per channel. If this is a limitation of DDR4, we’ll have to learn more about it later.
As for platform, Haswell-E will apparently sit in a new socket, dubbed LGA 2011-3, and communicate with a new “Wellsburg” PCH. The socket should be physically compatible with LGA 2011 heatsinks, but don’t expect any other LGA 2011 CPU to work in Haswell-E motherboards.
Wellsburg itself will support six USB 3.0 ports and ten SATA 3.0 ports. There will be 40 lanes of PCI-E 3.0, all from the processor.