It’s old news that Intel is getting cooling and even water cooling. Although, it seems that it will in fact include a cooler with the 3000 series of Sandy Bridge-E, as the company has decided to include a closed-loop water cooler with the 3000 series.

Earlier on we were led to believe that Intel would ship the new 3000 series Sandy Bridge-E without coolers. This was not correct, but unlike previously it will not be a lump of metal that is shipped with the most expensive and best processors. It will instead be a closed water cooling system from Asetek, that will be sold under the Intel brand.

The company still has plans to sell water cooling seperately for other platfomrs, like LGA775/1155/1156/1366. This will be the first time that Intel officially both recommends and allows enthusiast cooling. Even if the company does not care that much for that, any other cooler than the stock cooler will not be covered by the warranty, excluding Intel brand coolers. Price and availability pending.


Sandy Bridge-E is slated for mid-November with the new socket LGA2011. Except from sporting a record number of pins, it supports quad-channel memory and 40 integrated PCI Express lanes.

Intel has released average number for the performance you can expect from the new flagship Core i7-3960X with six cores at 3.3 GHz, Hyper-threading and 15 MB L3 cache. The processor is compared to Intel Core i7-990X with six cores at 3.46 GHz, Hyper-threading and 12 MB L3 cache.

  • +13% in Cinebench 1.5
  • +12% in POV-Ray 3.7
  • +36% in 3DMark 11 Physics Test
  • +15% in ProShow Gold 4.5
  • +34% in SPECint_rate base 2006
  • +65% in SPECfp_rate base 2006
  • +111% in Sandra 2011B/Multi-Media FP sub-test
  • +92% in Sandra 2011B/Memory Bandwidth FP sub-test

It is obvious that the wins are in the memory bandwidth, but also in some WS/Server applications, This is most likely thanks to AVX. This since Sandy Bridge-E officially suppports quad-channel memory at 1600 MHz, while Core i7-990X only supports triple channels at 1066 MHz. There are other optimizations in the memory controller that also contributes, and we expect on average 10-15% better than Core i7-990X. 3DMark 11’s physics tests stands out with massive +36%.

Model i7-3820 i7-3830 i7-3930K i7-3940K i7-3960X i7-3970X
Cores/threads 4/8 4/8 6/12 6/12 6/12 6/12
Clock frequency
3.6 GHz 3.7 GHz(?) 3.2 GHz 3.3 GHz(?) 3.3 GHz 3.4 GHz(?)
Turbo Boost 3.9 GHz 4.0 GHz(?) 3.8 GHz 3.4 GHz(?) 3.9 GHz 4.0 GHz(?)
L2 cache 4 x 256 KB 4 x 256 KB 4 x 256 KB 4 x 256 KB 4 x 256 KB 4 x 256 KB
L3 cache 10 MB 10 MB(?) 12 MB 12 MB(?) 15 MB 15 MB(?)
Memory channels
4 4 4 4 4 4
Memory support
1600 MHz 1600 MHz(?) 1600 MHz 1600 MHz(?) 1600 MHz 1600 MHz(?)
Unlocked No No(?) Yes Yes Yes Yes
TDP 130W 130W(?) 130W 130W(?) 130W 130W(?)
Launch November Q2 2012(?) November Q2 2012(?) November Q2 2012
Price $294 $294(?) $583 $583(?) $999 $999(?)

Intel has successors to all Sandy Bridge-E planned for Q2 2012. They will bring modest frequency bumps, but possibly also a new stepping with PCI Express 3.0 support. We have added numbers for the new processors, that should match how Intel normally handles its namings, but reserve for possible errors.

Source: XbitLabs

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