Planning & Building a NLE System – About the CPU

A screen shot of a computer

When Sandy Bridge was first released, it was not a feasible upgrade from an i7-920 (OC) @ 3.7. Sure, you can OverClock the Sandy Bridge further, but the 1155 platform with its limited PCIe lanes was a downgrade for me, forcing the video card to run in PCIe-8x mode, causing a 10-15% performance penalty. At best it could match my system, but not surpass it. What about Ivy Bridge then? No, still the same limitations of PCIe lanes. So, either i7-39xx or even a dual Xeon SB-EP. Hang on, that i5-2690 Xeon goes for over $ 2 K apiece and then the rest of the components are equally expensive, so let’s forget about that. Initial choice of CPU: i7-39xx with the intention to overclock to 4.6 – 4.8 GHz

However, the current 3930K and 3960X have two cores disabled, as well as part of the L3 cache. I really hope that Intel will announce a 3980X with all 8 cores enabled as well as all 20 MB L3 cache. The i5-2690 has all cores enabled and the full complement of L3, so why not for the i7-39 range? To answer my own hopes as being something not expected in the short term, is that Intel is very strict about the 130W TDP limit, so do not expect that 8-core to appear until the Ivy version of these chips are available. Still time to wait and see.

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