Intel will launch its first family of Sandy Bridge processors starting next year, but only mid-range models and not until Sandy Bridge E and the Intel X68 chipset we will see the new architecture in the enthusiast and high-end segment.
The Intel X68 chipset has according to sources to NordicHardware started its journey toward the store shelves. Motherboards using the chipset starts their R&D phase (research and development) next week. Intel are more or less ready with its Sandy Bridge E processors, but the chipset and motherboards to accompany them have just started to take form.
Intel X68 and Sandy Bridge E has a planned launched date in Q4 2011, which means that the current enthusiast platform, LGA 1366 and the X58 chipset has more than a year to left to live. Longer than we had expected.
We have received information that several major motherboard manufacturers will actually launch a new wave of Intel X58 motherboards during this period and we can conclude that even if Intel launches new sockets and processor platforms all too often it is actually the LGA 1366 users that can sit safe and feel good about their purchase. The platform launched back in 2008 and will thus live almost three years. This was uncounted for at launch, since we Intel usually replace high-end platforms faster than the rest.
Intel X68 is a part of Intel’s new Patsburg platform where the LGA 2011 socket will be used to hold Sandy Bridge E processors, which in turn houses a quad-channel DDR3 memory controller but no graphics. The processors supports 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes and is geared toward enthusiasts and workstations with demands for maximal performance.
Intel LGA 1366 socket with nearly a year to go
Until Sandy Bridge E launches Intel will keep updating the selection of processor for the LGA 1366 platform. The next model will be Intel Core i7 990X that is based on Gulftown and six processor cores clocked at 3.4 GHz each. The launch is slated for early 2011.