Are you anxiously awaiting the launch of enthusiast-class Ivy Bridge-E chips? If so, you better settle down for the long haul; an Intel roadmap leaked earlier this year suggests that
the first IB-E CPUs aren't expected to show up until sometime in 2013
. Socket LGA2011 won't be left with empty stockings this Christmas, however, as a new report claims that Intel is working on an unlocked Sandy Bridge-E successor to the top-end Core i7-3960X that should be ready right in time for the holidays.
As the name suggests, the Core i7-3970X is a slight step up over the current Sandy Bridge-E chip.
the enthusiast chip will sport 3.5/4.0GHz core/turbo speeds, a small increase over the Core i7-3960X's 3.3/3.9GHz numbers. Of course, tweakers will be able to push that even higher, and since it's based on the 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture, the processor theoretically wouldn't run into the same overclocked thermal woes that plague the newer Ivy Bridge CPUs.
In all other respects, the rumored Core i7-3970X's rumored specs line up with its predecessor, right down to the six HyperThread-enabled cores, 15MB L3 cache and support for quad-channel DDR3-1600 memory. DonanimHaber expects the TDP to be pushed up to 150W, though.
Assuming the claims are true, expect the Core i7-3970X to supplant the $1,000 Core i7-3960X when it drops in the fourth quarter of this year. Again, assuming the claims are true, are you interested in a slightly upgraded SB-E CPU or are you holding out for next year's IB-E?
; Image via DonanimHaber