Intel ships six-core desktop 'Extremes'
Long-awaited 'Sandy Bridge E' uncloaked
Intel has released two new top-of-the-line, six-core "Sandy Bridge E" processors, the first to bring four-channel memory to the desktop.
Before this Monday, the high end of Intel's desktop line was capped by the four-core 3.5GHz i7-2700K. Now that spot has been taken over by the six-core 3.3GHz i7-3960X Extreme Edition, which turbo-boosts to 3.9GHz, with the 3.2GHz Core i7-3930K right behind, which boosts to 3.8GHz.
As might be guessed, these two-billion-plus-transistor parts are aimed squarely at gamers – and, for that matter, at game developers. To emphasize this point, Intel invited id Software's John Carmack to join in the new chips' coming-out party.
"To render our uniquely textured worlds," Carmack said in a prepared statement. "RAGE uses a very compute-intensive real-time process to transcode texture data from highly compressed form on disk to a compression format the GPU can use directly for rendering. With two more available cores, a six-core system can transcode over 50 percent more texture data per second during gameplay than a four-core system, bringing new surfaces to full resolution quicker."
Both 32nm, unlocked chips are on the pricey side, with the i7-3960X Extreme Edition and its 15MB L3 cache going for $990 in lots of 1,000, and the 12MB-cached i7-3930K priced at $555 in the same volumes.
Both pop into the new LGA 2011 socket, and are supported by Intel's X79 Express chipset, which provides 6Gb/sec SATA ports and a total of 40 PCIe 2.0 lanes.
With the first generation of AMD's eight, six, and four core "Bulldozer" FX chips having proven to be less than fully impressive, it appears that Intel will now have the high end of the enthusiast market all to itself – for a while, at least. ®
""RAGE uses a very compute-intensive real-time process to transcode texture data ... blah blah"
Yes, but it really isn't a terribly good game for all that fantastic technology. It's *ok*, but, it's not quite in the same ballpark as say, Portal2, or even Half-Life2, is it?
And, heck, lets face it, minecraft is more fun that most visually stunning hardware humbling blockbusters.
I managed 30 minutes of Rage and would love to sell the damn game, waste of £25. My loyalty for id software, already hard pressed after Doom3, finally left me.
It's not what you've got, it's what you *do* with it - and if game developers expect me to continue to fork out wads of cash *just* to play their latest PC game "the way it should be played", sorry, not interested.
Whatever happened to old school programmers who would eek the most incredible wonders out of minuscule processing power and disk space?
Title is optional?
Why are you bothering with laptops?
The i7 can take what, 24GB max, yet you're stuck at 16 because you're letting yourself be hobbled by the form factor. If you wished you could easily go way beyond that.
A quick search shows system boards that go up to 288GB (2x xeon), no, 512GB (4x opteron). Not cheap, of course, but if you really need to focus on mapping ram, why are you bothering with more than one laptop as a fancy interface to your very own (cluster of) server(s)? A couple of boxes in the basement and a bit of networking should go a long way.
Or buy into the cloud and move data around from a continent away.