Intel Releases the Ivy Bridge-E Core i7 desktop processors

Enthusiasts have been anxiously awaiting for the previous generation's technology to finally be available in higher-performing systems. Eventually, the company has delivered on the long-promised Ivy Bridge-E CPUs, with three new models for speed demons with deep pockets. The Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition processor is the flagship product in Intel’s initial line-up of Ivy Bridge-E based parts. Just as its branding also suggests, the Core i7-4960X is a generation update to the Core i7-3960X, 2011’s flagship desktop processor which was based on the Sandy Bridge-E microarchitecture. Low-power parts that fit into small form factors may be all the rage right now, but now Intel advances the high-end desktop processor segment forward with the official unveiling of its Ivy Bridge-E microarchitecture and its associated products.

Intel's new flagship desktop chip, the Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition, like its recent predecessors, is a six-core monster that will cost $999. For this colossal sum, you get a 3.6GHz base clock speed that can be boosted to 4GHz in Turbo mode, 15MB of L3 cache, 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and, of course, an unlocked multiplier for easier overclocking.

Intel Core i7 Extreme and 4th generation processors feature:

  • Increased Performance – you can get unlocked performance for a better overclocking experience with extra power on demand and move without any effort whatsoever between multiple apps with Intel Hyper-Threading technology.
  • Efficient Performance - Intel's 22nm architecture provides more performance with less power consumption.
  • Professional ORIGIN PC Overclocking: you can acquire the most performance out of your system by allowing ORIGIN PC's award winning system integrators to professionally overclock your supported CPU.
  • FREE Lifetime 24/7 Support: each ORIGIN PC comes with industry leading Lifetime 24/7 Support based in the United States

It seems that reviews of the i7-4960X mention about the fact that it can barely outperform the i7-4770K in many tasks, although it does provide superior performance in case you can make use of all six cores. It appears to be at least an improvement on the Sandy Bridge Core i7-3970X, the previous flagship Extreme Edition, however probably not enough that you'd feel the necessity to upgrade.

This recent metamorphosis of the PC hasn’t been kind to the high-end desktop processor segment. While the industry as a whole continues to focus on the steadily growing ultra-mobile market, and releases new products in rapid succession, there have only been two major flagship desktop processors released since the Intel Core i7-3960X hit the scene in late 2011—the slightly faster Intel Core i7-3970X and AMD’s limited edition FX-9590. And even then, AMD’s chip is most likely going to compete with Intel’s mainstream quad-core parts.

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