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Intel Reveals High-End Ivy Bridge-Enthusiast CPUs

Up to six cores and 15MB of cache memory make Intel's new Ivy Bridge-Enthusiast CPUs strictly for those after extreme performance

Intel has announced three new high-performance Ivy Bridge-Enthusiast processors: the Core i7-4960X, Core i7-4030K and Core i7-4820K.

The new processors are designed for power-users who push their computers to the limits with high-end multi-threaded applications such as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. The multiple cores should make them desirable for those in need of powerful music and video workstations as well as gamers and overclockers.

Intel suggests users will see up to 36 per cent higher frame rates in games, up to 8 per cent faster data analysis and up to 37 per cent faster 3D modelling over the old Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-Enthusiast processor.

Ivy-Bridge-Enthusiast Die Wafer Shot

The top-of-the-range Core i7-4960X has six cores split into 12 threads via hyperthreading, a 3.6GHz base clock speed and a 4GHz Turbo Boost clock speed, as well as a massive 15MB of cache memory. The Core i7-4930K also has six cores, but a lower base clock speed of 3.4GHz and a Turbo Boost clock speed of 3.9GHz, as well as a lower cache memory of 12MB.

The ‘entry-level’ Core i7-4820K has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a 3.9GHz Turbo Boost clock speed but only four cores split into eight threads and 10MB of cache memory. This puts it very close to the Haswell Core i7-4770K in terms of specification, and it’s similarly priced, although the Core i7-4820K has a higher TDP of 130W compared to the Core i7-4770K’s 95W. The Core i7-4820K also has four-channel memory support compared to the Core i7-4770K’s two-channel memory support.

Ivy Bridge-Enthusiast Comparison Table

All processors are manufactured on a 22nm process and are multiplier unlocked to allow even greater performance through overclocking. They also require a Socket LGA2011 motherboard and are compatible with the X79 chipset, which means you can swap out your Sandy Bridge-Enthusiast processor for one of the new chips and minimise the cost of migration. Should you want a new board, you’ll soon be able to choose from new Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte and MSI products, among others.

All Ivy Bridge-Enthusiast have a TDP of 130W, so you’ll need a decent power supply and a great value energy tariff to run them.

With the exception of the Core i7-4820K, the new processors are much more expensive than the Haswell Core i7-4770K, although we currently only know dollar prices and expect GBP values to change by the time the chips launch. Are they worth the extra cost? Find out in our upcoming review.

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