Intel has finally filled out the Sandy Bridge E lineup by releasing the Core i7-3820. The initial Sandy Bridge E lineup launched back in November 2011 and it consisted of two SKUs, the i7-3960X and i7-3930K. While the i7-3820 wasn't released until this week, we reviewed it over a month ago, so head there for a longer analysis. The table below summarizes the current Sandy Bridge E lineup:

Processor Core Clock Cores / Threads L3 Cache Max Turbo Max Overclock Multiplier TDP Price
Intel Core i7 3960X 3.3GHz 6 / 12 15MB 3.9GHz 57x 130W $999
Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz 6 / 12 12MB 3.8GHz 57x 130W $583
Intel Core i7 3820 3.6GHz 4 / 8 10MB 3.9GHz 45x 130W $294

The short summary is that i7-3820 is Sandy Bridge E on a budget. In terms of CPU performance and price, it's equivalent to the i7-2600(K) but provides higher I/O performance due to the quad-channel memory and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Anand summed it up nicely in his review, so we'll just repost here.

There are three reasons why you'd want the Core i7-3820:

  1. You need PCIe 3.0 today and/or you need more PCIe lanes than a Core i7-2600K can provide.
  2. You need tons of memory bandwidth for a particular application.
  3. You want a 2600K but you need a platform that can support more memory (32GB+).

So in general, most users will be better off with a LGA 1155 based platform. While the i7-3820 is actually cheaper than the i7-2600K, the total price of the platform is not. LGA 1155 based motherboards go for as little as ~$50 (e.g. Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2). If you want more features such as Intel Rapid Storage Technology, you can get a Z68 based motherboard for around $90 (e.g. ASRock Z68M/USB3). In contrast, the cheapest LGA 2011 based motherboard starts at $210. Unless you benefit from the extra features that Sandy Bridge E offers, your money is better spent else (e.g. on an SSD).

Source: Intel

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  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Here's a picture from another review, the handwriting isn't any better :D So Jarred could be right, it's Intel who does the writing
  • compmaster88 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Nope, Intel sends these things out bare-faced in trays, sans sharpie.
    Lots of people just have bad handwriting (I'm looking at you specifically fellow engineers) ;)
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Another reason, Ivy Bridge - E next year.

    Grab the platform now, maybe a 8-core IB next year.
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    That's true, but since we don't have any details of IVB-E, I think it would be premature to list it as a reason. We don't know when it will be out. We don't know how fast it will be. There is no guarantee that IVB-E will bring more than four cores into the ~$300 market, which would again make it similar to LGA 1155 offerings.
  • gevorg - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    2600K is still better than 3820, since you can overclock. A bit of a waste to pay hefty price for LGA2011 mobo and not get 3930K. And if you *really* need the memory advantage, then Sandy Bridge Xeon is a better way to go. This 3820 chip is made for a very very small niche of folks. :)
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    You can overclock the 2600k with the open multiplier, but if you read the articles on Anandtech about SNB-E, you will find out that the 3820 is partially unlocked and can also overclock via BCKL. "By default Sandy Bridge uses a 100MHz bclk, but SNB-E allows for 125MHz, 166MHz and 250MHz options as well." I doubt there will be great differences between the two, overclock wise.
  • peevee - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    How come i7-3820 is cheaper and 200MHz faster than i7-2600k???
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Because Intel gets a bigger cut on X79, I suspect.
  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    Judging from the retail pricing of LGA2011 boards, I think we have a winner!
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    You pay a little extra for the unlocked multiplier in i7-2600K. The regular i7-2600 is the same price as i7-3820.

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