Intel has finally filled out the Sandy Bridge E lineup by releasing the Core i7-3820. The initial Sandy Bridge E lineup launched back in November 2011 and it consisted of two SKUs, the i7-3960X and i7-3930K. While the i7-3820 wasn't released until this week, we reviewed it over a month ago, so head there for a longer analysis. The table below summarizes the current Sandy Bridge E lineup:

Processor Core Clock Cores / Threads L3 Cache Max Turbo Max Overclock Multiplier TDP Price
Intel Core i7 3960X 3.3GHz 6 / 12 15MB 3.9GHz 57x 130W $999
Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz 6 / 12 12MB 3.8GHz 57x 130W $583
Intel Core i7 3820 3.6GHz 4 / 8 10MB 3.9GHz 45x 130W $294

The short summary is that i7-3820 is Sandy Bridge E on a budget. In terms of CPU performance and price, it's equivalent to the i7-2600(K) but provides higher I/O performance due to the quad-channel memory and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Anand summed it up nicely in his review, so we'll just repost here.

There are three reasons why you'd want the Core i7-3820:

  1. You need PCIe 3.0 today and/or you need more PCIe lanes than a Core i7-2600K can provide.
  2. You need tons of memory bandwidth for a particular application.
  3. You want a 2600K but you need a platform that can support more memory (32GB+).

So in general, most users will be better off with a LGA 1155 based platform. While the i7-3820 is actually cheaper than the i7-2600K, the total price of the platform is not. LGA 1155 based motherboards go for as little as ~$50 (e.g. Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2). If you want more features such as Intel Rapid Storage Technology, you can get a Z68 based motherboard for around $90 (e.g. ASRock Z68M/USB3). In contrast, the cheapest LGA 2011 based motherboard starts at $210. Unless you benefit from the extra features that Sandy Bridge E offers, your money is better spent else (e.g. on an SSD).

Source: Intel

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  • Hector2 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Since the TDP hasn't changed, it's pretty clear that Intel is recovering 6-core i7-39xx units that have 1 or 2 defective cores and selling as 4-core. AMD has done this with their many Core units as well.
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Actually all the six core socket 2011 chips are binned 8 core chips. I suspect yields are good enough that Intel wouldn't need to cripple additional cores on their larger chips. Various reports are indicating that this is a new die 294 mm^2 in size.
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    That's true, this is a new die. Anand covered this in our review (see the table)
  • MySchizoBuddy - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    are their any immediate plans for the chipset to include PCIe 3 as well.
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Regarding the CPU image and others like it, sharpie does offer thinner permanent markers which would be easier to write with:

    Just sayin' ;)
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Haha, you need to bug Anand about this, it's his picture and sample ;-)
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Yes, but do you know Anand's handwriting well enough to out him as the perpetrator of this bad penmanship :D
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    If you imagine to look at it from bird's eye view. It's like someone doing the Chinese ribbon dance. :D
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    If I'm not mistaken, Intel is the one that writes on the chips -- but then again, it might be Anand.
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Seen that type of hand writing before on this site, so I doubt it's Intel, but if it was. I wonder how much that person gets paid just to write model numbers on ES CPUs to be sent out for reviews.

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