Intel Core i7-3960X LGA2011 and Intel X79 Express Chipset

Intel Core i7-3960X LGA2011 and intel X79 Express chipset
bluetooth 14 Nov 2011

Today, Intel introduces it’s new Intel X79 chipset and Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge-E processors. This new generation of processors and chipsets takes over the previous generation of Core i5/i7 as the highest end Intel 32nm architecture platform.

One of the most formiddable change on this new architecture is the introduction of quad channel memory support, supporting up to 256bits.

The Intel Core i7-3960X features 6 Cores, 12 therads. It is spotted in a Intel LGA2011 socket which is larger than existing Intel processors. It supports Intel Turbo Boost technology 2.0, Hyper threading, 15MB intel Smart Cache. It also has an integrated memory controller supporting 4 channels of DDR3-1600 (mostly overclockable to DDR3-2400/2500). Intel AVX, AES, SSE 4.1 and SSE 4.2 instructions are supported as well.

The Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme edition has an unlocked multiplier and has a base clock of 3.3GHz with Turbo Cache to 3.9GHz. It has 6 cores 12 threads, with 15MB Cache. TDP is 130W and it is priced at USD 990.

The Intel X79 Express chipset supports 14 hi-speed USB 2.0 ports, dual EHCI, GbE MAC, HDA, 8 PCIe 2.0 express lanes, 6 SATA ports (esata), Intel Rapid storage technology enterprise is optional.

As for the 2nd generation core i7 LGA2011 processor, it supports 40 lanes of PCIe 2.0. It supports different combinations including 2 x 16 + 1 x 8 or 1 x 16 + 3 x 8 or 1 x16 + 2 x 8 + 2 x 4. Although it is still indicated as PCIe 2.0, it actually will support PCIe 3.0 in future.

The X79 chipset does not have native USB 3.0 support. As for overclocking, previous generation calls it BCLK. On the Sandy Bridge-E it is renamed as DMICLK.