The ultra high-end "Sandy Bridge-E" and the LGA2011 platform have up to six cores, Hyper-Threading technology, quad-channel memory controller and all the latest Sandy Bridge micro-architecture you can eat.
They also have a price tag to drain Croesus of his pre-Persian adventure life savings. The Intel Core i7-3960X is available in 1,000 unit quantities prices of $990 and the Intel Core i7-3930K at $555.
Intel has been telling the world+dog that the money is worth it because they are the highest performing desktop chips currently available.
Zane Ball, general manager for Intel's desktop client platforms group said that this was the ultimate desktop platform for enthusiast PC users.
"With uncompromised performance, quad channel memory, amazing Turbo headroom and more robust PCI Express capabilities, this platform is sure to create a lot of excitement for our customers and the industry," he said.
However with the Core i7-3960X coming out at about a grand, one has to question how much value for money you are getting for that. We wonder how much your mates are going to be impressed that you dropped that much cash to get the first Core i-series "Sandy Bridge-E" microprocessors to be released are Intel Core i7-3960X processor.
The Extreme Edition has six cores, 3.30GHz/3.90GHz, and 15MB cache while the Intel Core i7-3930K has six cores, 3.20GHz/3.80GHz. And 12MB cache. You also have to splash out on a mainboards based on Intel X79 core-logic with LGA2011 socket.
On the plus side the chips are fully unlocked so you can probably do wonders with the speed.
Chipzilla said that the new microprocessors from enthusiasts deliver from 12 percent to 65 percent higher performance compared to previous generation extreme chips.
Intel is also offering a liquid-cooled CPU thermal thingee which it developed with Asetek, to keep everything cool. It will work on the LGA2011, LGA1366 and 1155/1156 sockets. Intel is also releasing two new motherboards for the enthusiasts, dubbed the Intel DX79SI and Intel DX79TO.
However it is all a lot of dosh to put out. As Charlie Demerjian points out at Semi Accurate, while the increased clock speed is worthwhile there is no software out there which can take advantage of that many threads. He says that the best part of the new chip is that it does not have a graphics core that it lacks the broken GPU of the current Sandy Bridge.