Is the waiting over? Perhaps is a bit early to say with confidence, but there is a mixed bag of emotions should the leak that was published in the coolaler.com forum is proven true: no $600 octa-core in 2014, but…its not all bad news I guess!
Intel has been dominating the workstation market with their 6-core Sandybridge-E (SB-E) and their IvyBridge-E (IB-E)refresh of CPUs for quite some time. Both these lines were offering CPU parts in 3 significantly varied price ranges, starting with a “basic” quad-core that was not really faster than the top s1150 & s1150 counterparts on either overclocked or stock clocks and would retail at $300-350, a “mid-range” unlocked K hex-core that was the “workhorse” and best selling model, being both “reasonably” priced as a part that would usually launch at $650 (and drop to $600 or even $550 in some cases), and finally an “Xtreme” version, priced at $1000 or more – also with 6-cores.
The latter was offering marginally higher clocks and additional cache than the cheaper “K” hex-core, and was not very popular as for anyone interested in overclocking, those clocks were attainable with very little effort or tweaking, even on the cheapest of X79 motherboards, providing identical or even better performance, as most desktop applications are completely satisfied with the ample cache memory the “K” CPU had to offer.
The switch from the 39xx SB-E based CPUs to the 49xx IB-E based CPUs was a mild upgrade, just like it was with the s1155 mainstream CPUs: the IB-E would run cooler and boost more cores higher, but for the 39xx owner there wasn’t really much to trigger the wish to upgrade. The rumors for an upcoming Haswell-E extreme line, fueled the conversations with wishes for a mid-ranged octa-core part that would be a worthy successor to the pretty successful s2011 hex-cores.
The rumored specs, will probably let those waiting for the above a bit disappointed:
On the bright side, there is a chance that the 5820K will be pretty aggressively priced, bringing the wish for a more affordable, overclockable hex-core within reach for many more people. I doubt it will be as cheap as the 3820 and 4820K models before it as the 5820K will probably be better than the s1150 mainstream i7s, something the base models for s2011 never were.
The 5930K remains a hex-core, which may deter many current s2011 users upgrading, along with the fact that the new s-2011-3 based Haswell-E CPUs will require a new motherboard and of course DDR4 memory that might be overpriced for the first few months after launch.
For those wanting the “best” and willing to pay dearly for it tho, Intel did deliver a desktop octa core part under the 5960X code name. With all the Haswell-Es rated at 140W TDP, we know that this baby will probably be harder to push to really high clocks , but it should be easily clockable to better performance than the current Xeon E5-2687W – the fastest single IB-E Octa-Core – for less than half the price.