Features of Ivy Bridge-E processors

The highest performing Intel desktop processors, branded as Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme, are currently built on Sandy Bridge-E (SNB-E) core, a derivative of Sandy Bridge-EP core for servers. Several key differences of "Sandy Bridge-E" processors from "Sandy Bridge" counterparts include extra two CPU cores, larger size of L3 cache, quad-channel memory controller, and support for DDR3-1600 memory. The "-E" processors also use different socket, called LGA2011, or socket 2011. The LGA2011 platform currently consists of three SNB-E SKUs, while the fourth model is coming later this quarter. Next year the LGA2011 platform will be transitioned to Ivy Bridge-E core, and we can expect even faster models to be released.

Ivy Bridge-E (IVB-E) is a variation of Ivy Bridge-EP core. The "-E" processors will inherit some "-EP" enhancements, but not all of them. First and foremost, the number of cores on Ivy Bridge-E parts will be maxed out at 6. This is disappointing if we take into account that "-EP" server CPUs will have 10, or may be even 12 cores (still unconfirmed). Each core on extreme microprocessors will have up to 2.5 MB of level 3 cache, therefore the maximum size of L3 cache (15 MB) won't change from Sandy Bridge-E. 6-core IVB-E models will have 130 Watt TDP. There will be also quad-core parts with 130 Watt TDP. The CPUs will have all Ivy Bridge technologies enabled, with the exception of Trusted Execution. New features on Ivy Bridge-E will be Float 16 instructions, and support for PCI Express 3.0 interface. Besides 40 lanes of PCI-E 3.0, the chips will have 4 lanes of DMI 2.0/PCI-E 2.0 interface.

Integrated quad-channel memory controller will have a few improvements too. The maximum memory data rate will be increased to 1866 MHz, and the maximum memory size will be increased as well. Although the controller will still be limited to 1 DIMM per memory channel, it will add support for DDR3 DIMMs with 8 Gb memory, whereas SNB-E could work with 4Gb DIMMs at maximum. Furthermore, the controller will also support 4 ranks per DIMM, as opposed to 2 ranks for Sandy Bridge-E parts.

Ivy Bridge-E processors will be compatible with X79 chipset. Currently, we don't have information on clock speeds and individual SKU features. Please note that posted above specifications are preliminary, and they may change.

Below is the summary of Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E features:

Sandy Bridge-EIvy Bridge-E
Process 32nm 22nm
Cores 4 and 6 4 and 6
L3 cache Up to 15 MB Up to 15 MB
Technologies Hyper-Threading /
Turbo Core /
VT-x and VT-d virtualization
Hyper-Threading /
Turbo Core /
VT-x and VT-d virtualization
Instructions SSE4 / AES / AVX SSE4 / AES / AVX / Float 16
Memory controller quad-channel quad-channel
Memory up to 4 Gb DDR3-1066/1333/1600 up to 8 Gb DDR3-1066/1333/1600/1866
Memory ranks up to 2 up to 4
PCI Express 2.0 3.0
TDP 130 Watt 130 Watt

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There are 7 comments posted


2012-11-01 15:08:02
Posted by: Rodney

You've listed SB-E as PCI-E 2.0, but it is also 3.0

Not sure what you are on about with the memory either.

Intel support 8GB DIMMs, two per channel for 64GB total on SB-E. Intel memory controllers support 8 ranks per channel.


2012-11-01 17:26:27
Posted by: gshv

PCI Express 3.0 was not validated on Sandy Bridge-E/X79 platform when it launched, which is why officially they support up to PCI Express 2.0. Intel does say in the "Intel Core i7 Processor Family for the LGA-2011 Socket" datasheet that the SNB-E processors are "capable of up to PCI Express* 8.0 GT/s.". Intel X79 motherboards show PCI-E 3.0 support, but not the chipset does not. Go figure.

The rest of the SNB-E specs, including supported memory densities and ranks, also come from the same datasheet. I don't know why Intel states 1 DIMM per channel support. It could be because DDR3-1600 was not supported with 2 DIMMs per channel. Also, I believe that "4 Gb" and "8 Gb" refer to the density of memory chips, used by DIMMs (4 Gigabit and 8 Gigabit), and not to the DIMM's memory size.


2013-04-18 20:28:44
Posted by: odiebugs

The X79 chipset does show pci-e 3.0 support. Post the link that say's it can't.


2013-04-18 22:12:38
Posted by: gshv

"shows PCI-e 3.0 support" is not the same as "certified for PCI-e 3.0". This is what Intel shows for this chipset:



2013-07-06 06:05:00
Posted by: odiebugs

Instead of telling someone to post it, try the new site called Intel and look for yourself.


2012-11-02 12:51:01
Posted by: Rodney

Thanks for the response. I'd forgotten that Intel hadn't certified 3.0 support for Sandy Bridge-E when I hit submit, as it was for the Xeon platform which I typically am involved with.

The memory issue makes more sense in the context of individual modules rather than the CPU as a whole. The Ivy Bridge-E specifications thus indicate to me the possibility of quad-ranked 16GB non-ecc DIMMs, which is certainly interesting.

Features of Ivy Bridge-E Processors

2012-12-24 23:34:41
Posted by: Shadowbyte

I'd like to just point out that the mention of memory 4gb-8gb per channel is perhaps an misunderstood anomaly. Perhaps this maybe a constraint in cpu design or perhaps deliberate limitation of non -ep cpu's. Taking into considersation that motherboard manufacturers of the socket 2011 design board have 8 dimm slots supporting upto 128gb. Therefore the information would comply to be inaccurate to some extent or misleading. Nevertheless would not be logical in my opinion to produce process with lmited memory controll when current or superceded boards support this although there may not be a scenario you would you that amount of memmory.

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