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Intel Sandy Bridge E Gallery

Intel Sandy Bridge E Gallery

We didn’t have to wait until LITS to see Intel’s next-gen, high-performance Sandy Bridge E processor in action, as there are half a dozen Sandy Bridge E systems at IDF 2011. The PCs on show range from modest-looking gaming PCs to a weird audio creation computer in a rackmount server case.

We know the systems on display are Sandy Bridge E PCs, as they all sport the new quad-channel memory layout with four DDR3 memory DIMM sockets either side of the LGA2011 CPU socket. The question of how this memory layout will affect cooler compatibility has been answered to some extent too – all of the systems with air coolers use standard-height memory modules.

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Tall memory modules were also on show in some of the Sandy Bridge E PCs, but only in combination with Intel’s Thermal Solution RTS2011LC hybrid air/liquid CPU cooler. We don’t know too much about this cooler at moment, but we can make some assumptions based on what we’ve seen. As some of the Sandy Bridge E systems use the Intel tower cooler that we first saw with LGA1366 processors, it’s unlikely that the RTS2011LC will be the standard cooler that comes with LGA2011 processors.

We can also guess that the RTS2011LC can handle a TDP of 250W, as there’s an open talk session tomorrow titled ‘Innovative Efficient Hybrid Air-Liquid Cooling for Processors with TDP as High as 250W.’ This also bodes reasonably well for the overclocking potential of Sandy Bridge E, as there’s little point in creating that waste energy unless you’re cranking more performance from the CPU – we still believe a stock-speed Sandy Bridge E CPU will have a TDP of 130W.

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As we didn’t have a tape-measure on us (our childhood Scout leader would be ashamed), we can’t be definite about the size of single-fan radiator of the RTS2011LC, but it’s definitely a chunky affair. The fan isn’t a skinny 25mm unit and looks more like a typical 38mm-thick 120mm fan, meaning the radiator could be around 45mm thick. We’ll hopefully find more details (or a ruler) at the show tomorrow.

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Elsewhere, we saw Intel’s premium DX79SI motherboard, which is based around the LGA2011 CPU socket and X79 chipset, complete with classic skull motif in the Southbridge area. We believe that this is cooling the X79 chipset (Sandy Bridge E has only one controller chip on the board, just like on P67 boards), although that leaves us confused as to what’s under the heatsink between the expansion slots and the CPU socket. Only some systems use the DX79SI, with the others using comparatively dull-looking motherboards that look like engineering-only boards.

We expect Sandy Bridge E processors and motherboards to be on sale in plenty of time for Christmas 2011.

Related Reading

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