The i7-3820 is particularly intriguing because of its sub-$300 retail price -- far less than other chips in the Sandy Bridge-E family. For instance, the Core i7-3960X has an MSRP of $999 and sells for more like $1,049, while the i7-3930K has an MSRP of $583 and is fetching $599 at e-tail. Both are six-core CPUs operating over 3GHz with massive 15MB and 12MB L3 caches.
At roughly half the price of the 3930K, we expected Intel to butcher the i7-3820, and while that's partially true, the 3820 remains an impressive specimen with four cores operating at 3.6GHz, a 10MB L3 cache and HyperThreading support.
Those wanting to build the ultimate performance system will naturally turn to Intel’s new LGA2011 platform which recently made its debut with the Sandy Bridge-E processors. Further, the platform is expected to support enthusiast-level Ivy Bridge processors that are slated for release by the end of 2012, adding to the platform's longevity.
More than ever we expect motherboard manufacturers deliver the goods with their X79 offerings as the platform will only be attractive to the most demanding of PC enthusiasts and gamers building heavily packed machines -- you know, those who will be paying ~$300 for a motherboard on top of a very expensive processor.
Intel is preparing to strike back by bolstering their 2nd generation Core processors even further. Today marks the arrival of Sandy Bridge-E and three new processors which include the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3820.
The flagship Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition is powered by the new X79/LGA2011 platform supporting quad channel memory and up to 40 lanes of PCIe 2.0 bandwidth.