Intel X79 Chipset Features - March 2011 (Courtesy: it.com.cn)

Intel Roadmap Leaked: X79 Chipset Details Emerge

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New details have surfaced regarding Intel’s latest X79 platform thanks to Chinese website, it.com.cn and subsequent analysis by VR-Zone.com. X79 will work with the “Sandy Bridge E” or enthusiast series CPUs on LGA2011 sockets, replacing the aging X58 chipset. According to this leaked roadmap, X79 should be released in Q4 2011, with Panther Point further down the road in the first half of 2012.

Intel CPU Roadmap - March 2011 (Courtesy: it.com.cn)

Intel CPU Roadmap - March 2011 (Courtesy: it.com.cn)

This is an enthusiast platform, and based on the speculation posted on it.com.cn, the X79 should outperform anything else on the market. The latest CPUs are rumored to have four or six cores, larger cache size and quad-channel DDR3 support up to 2666 MHz. The image below offers a glimpse into the specifications of the chipset:

Intel X79 Chipset Features - March 2011 (Courtesy: it.com.cn)

Intel X79 Chipset Features - March 2011 (Courtesy: it.com.cn)

With 32 PCI Express lanes (dual 16x or quad 8x) and 14 SATA ports (Ten native SATA 6Gbps ports), this platform should be able to handle just about everything you throw at it. One glaring omission is USB 3.0, which will likely be included via an external controller.

This information does not shed much light on the overclocking capabilities of X79, but the internal clock generator is rumored to be a part of the CPU. This is the same feature that limits BCLK overclocking on the P67 platform, so overclocking would be similar to the current socket 1155 based Sandy Bridge CPUs if the rumor is accurate. It is difficult to speculate how well the X79 platform will overclock, so for now let’s hope a sample shows up in the Overclockers.com labs later this year.

Please share your analysis, speculation and rumors about X79 and Intel’s roadmap.

– Matt Ring (mdcomp)

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Discussion
  1. DR DEUCE
    What happened to Ivy Bridge

    I'm guessing they will milk the sandybridge 32nm tech until at least q1 2012. If they follow what they did with bloomfield/gulftown, we will see a high end ivybridge emerge on the 2011 socket, about 3-5 months after first cpus appear for sandybridge 'E'.. :sn:
    I predict: 3.8ghz octocore with 20mb cache and of course an unlocked multi :) all for the low low price of 1300 bucks. :bang head
    Ivy Bridge Wiki Info Here
    Anybody able to speculate (with good cause) on the probable lifetime of the 1155 platform? It'd be a shame to jump into it and have it phased out as quickly as 1156 seems to be.
    1156 lasted almost a year and a half. 1155 is only 3 months old (and really less than that considering the problems). If you want to upgrade, do it. You will ALWAYS be waiting for new stuff to come out. There is always something 1-2 years off. If youw ant it, buy it.
    I'm pretty sure if Bulldozer lives up to the expectations, Intel will release IB CPU's for 1155, or a mainstream platform, whatever the socket / chipset
    dazz.
    I'm pretty sure if Bulldozer lives up to the expectations, Intel will release IB CPU's for 1155, or a mainstream platform, whatever the socket / chipset

    That's the plan regardless. IB for LGA 2011/1356 will probably happen in late 2012. The main question now is that if BD proves to be a worthy adversary (which it wont, sorry) will intel move up the release of X79/LGA 2011? It's possible.
    Wow.. I really got sideswiped by this. I was under the impression that the next thing we would see (apart from Z68) was Ivy Bridge and its companion chipset Pather Point, utilizing socket LGA 2011.
    So just to be clear. Next in line is X79, on LGA 2011, with 32nm SB? And later 22nm IB for all applicable sockets?
    EDIT: Alright, okay. It's all there in the chart on the wiki page. For some reason I missed the whole 'E' part of SB-E.
    doz
    1156 lasted almost a year and a half. 1155 is only 3 months old (and really less than that considering the problems). If you want to upgrade, do it. You will ALWAYS be waiting for new stuff to come out. There is always something 1-2 years off. If youw ant it, buy it.

    Compare that year and a half to the lifespan 775 had, and it is not very impressive, nor is it reassuring for (somebody like myself) who wants a platform that will have a considerable lifespan and room for future upgrades. You might be made of money, but we're all not in that situation.
    jsharpley
    Compare that year and a half to the lifespan 775 had, and it is not very impressive, nor is it reassuring for (somebody like myself) who wants a platform that will have a considerable lifespan and room for future upgrades. You might be made of money, but we're all not in that situation.

    Agreed. I'm still on LGA 775 because the life of this platform has been terrific. It's not so much that I can't afford upgrades - more that I see no reason to shell out for every incremental update. I like to see performance roughly double (at least) between every upgrade I make.
    It's nice to have the security that a socket will stick around long enough that if I put a quad core in there now, I'll be able to upgrade to a faster, octo-core CPU with a similar power envelope a couple years down the road as a drop-in replacement.
    johan851

    It's nice to have the security that a socket will stick around long enough that if I put a quad core in there now, I'll be able to upgrade to a faster, octo-core CPU with a similar power envelope a couple years down the road as a drop-in replacement.

    A good 'best case' scenario to be in. Given your perspective, do you see x79 as your jump-in point?
    jsharpley
    A good 'best case' scenario to be in. Given your perspective, do you see x79 as your jump-in point?

    Hard to say at this point. I'm not very familiar with Intel's current roadmap. We'll see how the 68-series chipsets do and how the x79 will likely compare in terms of performance. I'll probably hold off for a while yet, and it may end up being x79 time before I'm ready to upgrade.
    jsharpley
    Compare that year and a half to the lifespan 775 had, and it is not very impressive, nor is it reassuring for (somebody like myself) who wants a platform that will have a considerable lifespan and room for future upgrades. You might be made of money, but we're all not in that situation.

    Many people seem to think that lga775 had an enormous lifespan, it did not. LGA775 was released in 2006 for 65nm CPU's. A year later they changed the chipset to allow support for the new 45nm CPU's (requiring you to change motherboards should you want to run a new CPU). A year after that X58 was released, again requiring you to change motherboards if you want to run one of the latest processors. What is the difference in forcing you to change motherboards due to a chipset upgrade compared to a socket upgrade? Nothing. If anything, I say bring on the socket change. Not only does it allow them to take advantage of newer powersaving features, but allows them to optimize the ENTIRE platform for the latest architecture. Keeping the same socket for an extended period of time is a horrible idea, they would be applying bandaids for every little inefficiency that pops up and it would be more money than it's worth. Don't expect them to try and completely redesign a new architecture and try to stuff it into the same 2/3 year old socket, this is supposed to be technological advancement.
    I'm not saying that 775 is not a viable socket, because it is still very capable, as is 1366, 1156, and 1155. Buy what you currently want, then take advantage of a platform upgrade when you're ready/able. I see no point in complaining that you can't run that latest 8 core CPU in a 5 year old motherboard. Would you be able to run the latest ram (DDR3)? No. How about the latest 6gb/s hardrives? no. How about USB 3.0? No. So what is the point in trying to upgrade the processor alone? I would hate to see the 478 system I'm currently on, try and run a 8 core CPU, lol. It's bad enough that I have to rub it just the right way to get it to come on in the morning, and give it 20 minutes before it realizes that it is actually supposed to be doing something when I type or click :)
    I'm not saying that 775 is not a viable socket, because it is still very capable, as is 1366, 1156, and 1155. Buy what you currently want, then take advantage of a platform upgrade when you're ready/able. I see no point in complaining that you can't run that latest 8 core CPU in a 5 year old motherboard. Would you be able to run the latest ram (DDR3)? No. How about the latest 6gb/s hardrives? no. How about USB 3.0? No. So what is the point in trying to upgrade the processor alone?

    The point is not having to swap motherboards all the time. After getting a P5K, I haven't needed a new motherboard for years. I was able to put a low end Core2Duo in, then I was able to upgrade to a Q9400 later, which represented a big leap forward. I could have kept upgrading motherboards, gotten an X58 or a P45 or whatever, but I haven't needed to and it's been very low maintenance.
    I don't want to be able to drop a Sandy Bridge in my LGA775 board by any means. Don't think that I'm complaining about that. I just don't want to have to buy a new motherboard and go through all of that hassle (reinstalling the OS, learning a new BIOS, etc.) every time I want to upgrade the CPU. Every other time, sure. Like I said:
    I see no reason to shell out for every incremental update.

    I don't want to buy a 2600K or whatever, and then have to get a new board with all the SAME features (USB 3.0 -> USB 3.0, SATA III -> SATA III, etc.) just to support a process shrink.
    I agree with nzaneb on this topic. I perform little upgrades here and there throughout each of my PCs lifetime. I may upgrade the CPU here and there as well, but it comes time to make a major jump...I save up and go big for the latest features. This usually entails a new motherboard to go with my new tech CPU. I expect this to happen and prepare for it.
    Even with my AMD systems I tend to upgrades my board when going to a bigger and better CPU. I ran an X6 on a 780G board with DDR2 RAM for about a week before scrapping that and moving on to a nice AM3 board. You may have the option with AMD to not upgrade the board, but how many people are still running their original AM2/AM2+ boards.
    775 started with 90nm cpus, the P4 prescotts.
    Then it got 65nm P4s.
    Then there was a "new" power layout for core2 stuff.
    Then 65nm c2.
    Then 45nm c2.