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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  • peevee - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    And what happened to $1050 for the 3960X?
  • BigDragon - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    I still can't find somewhere to buy the i7 3820. Intel says it's released, but Newegg and Tigerdirect don't list it. Amazon still indicates 1 to 2 months. Some other retailers are saying maybe next week at the absolute earliest. Stories in Europe and Asia indicate they already have the chip. Did these things get shipped to the US via boat instead of jet? Also, I have yet to find someone selling the CPU below $315. Most retailers are charging $330 and up.

    I'd like to buy an i7 3820. I'm replacing my current main machine which is still running a C2D P8400. The i7 3770 is still two months away and should have the same price tag and performance. I don't see the need to wait for the slightly lower power consumption. It's getting rather annoying to have to wait and wait and wait for Sandy Bridge-E. The shortages and delays are really bad.
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Yes Asia already has them
  • selimnairb - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    I ordered mine yesterday (Monday 2/13) from They called me today and said it was shipping this afternoon. I've never ordered from them before, but it's a sealed boxed product, and is apparently shipping directly from Intel, so I figured what the heck.
  • BigDragon - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Did you get your 3820 yet? I might wind up ordering from Seaboom too. I'm really frustrated with the way Intel has handled this latest release.
  • selimnairb - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    Ordered on Monday, received it on Thursday, used free ground shipping. It shipped from Georgia, which is close to me. Built the machine last night, all is well.
  • hingfingg - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    ** {{w w w }} {{proxy4biz }} {{ com}} *****
  • Lvmike - Friday, February 17, 2012 - link

    I would buy one today if i couod find one for sale.
    I just burnt out my x58 i7 920 board.
    I use applications, cad, fea, revit, that benefit from memory. I could get a z68 setup much cheaper, but the lack of memory is a downfall.
  • r3uz0r - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    so between the 2 of them, which one would you choose? (imagine you overclock both of them)
  • tmemphis - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    I purchased a new ASRock x79 Extreme 4 socket 2011 MoB & a i7 3820 CPU today. I got this 0xAF error. The BIOS is 1.1-15B as written on chip. This error stops startup.

    The problem with the X79 Extreme4 is the error 0xAF and no startup. This occurs with all ASRock X79 Extreme4 with a i7 3820 CPU as I have now found out.

    You need to get a new BIOS chip, the L6.2 BIOS Chip or higher from ASRock to fix the issue and you need to change it on the MoB your self.

    The L6.2 BIOS Chip may be the only chip available from ASRock for now.
    They are still shipping X79 Extreme4 with BIOS 1.1, which does not support the i7-3820...

    Why are we not warned before purchase as it's obvious ASRock know?

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