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Intel Sandy Bridge-E C2 stepping spotted

Intel Sandy Bridge-E C2 stepping spotted

Intel's Sandy Bridge-E chips now come with working VT-d functionality, thanks to the revised C2 stepping.

The first Sandy Bridge-E chips based around the C2 revision have begun to appear in Japan, suggesting that the fixed silicon will be hitting shelves worldwide shortly.

While it doesn't add any new functionality to Intel's latest high-end processors, the C2 stepping does fix an error in the design which led to Intel's VT-d virtualisation extensions failing to operate correctly. The result: a major hit to the performance of virtualised operating systems running on a Sandy Bridge-E processor.

Spotted by Japanese enthusiast site PC Watch, the new stepping promises to fix that flaw. So far, the C2 revision has been spotted on Core i7-3960X and Core i7-3930K processors.

Sadly, that still leaves Intel's high-end chips with a pretty long list of errata (PDF) yet to be fixed. Thankfully, however, few are as serious as the VT-d error.

The revised processors with the C2 stepping can be distinguished from their brethren by their S-Spec code: SR0KF and SR0KY. Thus far, there's no indication what effect - if any - the revision has on the chips' overclocking capabilities.

With Intel's Sandy Bridge-E series proving a popular, if expensive, upgrade for performance enthusiasts, it's good to see Intel release incremental fixes. What would be nicer, however, is to see the prices coming down.

With PC Watch quoting ¥83,970 and ¥48,980 for the two C2 processors (around £700 and £408 before tax respectively,) that's something we could be waiting a while to see.

Will you be splashing out on a Sandy Bridge-E chip, or is price - rather than VT-d compatibility - the key for you? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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Shayper09 31st January 2012, 12:25 Quote
OcUK already have the new stepping in. Chips are labelled SR0KY :)
Gareth Halfacree 31st January 2012, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
OcUK already have the new stepping in. Chips are labelled SR0KY :)
Blimey, that was quick. Wonder if anyone's going to discount the old steppings to clear stock.
damien c 31st January 2012, 12:38 Quote
I would of gone for one of these for my next build but, Ivy Bridge is just around the corner from what is being said around the net April time at the moment.

I am more wondering about this new stepping if it bring's in more overclocking room.
borandi 31st January 2012, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
I would of gone for one of these for my next build but, Ivy Bridge is just around the corner from what is being said around the net April time at the moment.

I am more wondering about this new stepping if it bring's in more overclocking room.

Ivy Bridge, not Ivy Bridge-E (Q4?). Then again, if you always wait for what's around the corner, you'll never update your system.

C2 shouldn't do anything overclocking wise - it just fixes the Vt-d and probably some very minor things.
damien c 31st January 2012, 13:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by borandi
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
I would of gone for one of these for my next build but, Ivy Bridge is just around the corner from what is being said around the net April time at the moment.

I am more wondering about this new stepping if it bring's in more overclocking room.

Ivy Bridge, not Ivy Bridge-E (Q4?). Then again, if you always wait for what's around the corner, you'll never update your system.

C2 shouldn't do anything overclocking wise - it just fixes the Vt-d and probably some very minor things.

With the hardware sharing that happen's with my family, the only time anyone else upgrades is when I upgrade lol.

I will upgrade to Ivy Bridge, and give my dad my whole pc basically, then 90% of his pc will be given to my brother in law, and then 90% of his pc will be given to my grandad and then my grandad's pc will either be sold or turned in to a new media server, unless I buy a board and ram for my I7 920 and use that for the server.
Shayper09 31st January 2012, 15:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
OcUK already have the new stepping in. Chips are labelled SR0KY :)
Blimey, that was quick. Wonder if anyone's going to discount the old steppings to clear stock.

Yeah, someone asked Gibbo if he had them and he checked. Not sure about discounts, I can ask if you'd like (I'm a regular over there :))
damien c 31st January 2012, 15:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
Yeah, someone asked Gibbo if he had them and he checked. Not sure about discounts, I can ask if you'd like (I'm a regular over there :))

I used them allot till I was banned because I took faulty hardware back, and they tried to tell me it was a issue with my other hardware that is now working in the exact same kit except this stuff isn't faulty.

Won't use them or recommend them again to anyone because of the way I was treated, so I stick to Scan now as I have never had a problem with them even when I had 5 motherboard's in the space of 2 week's all go faulty.
CampGareth 31st January 2012, 17:23 Quote
Friend of mine just commissioned me to build a £3k computer, so you know I bought a Sandybridge-E chip, thankfully he's not gonna use VMs, instead he's gonna be doing a ton of video work and of course a bit of gaming where a mahoosive peltier and watercooling should help him hit 5Ghz. Heck, it was possible with Nehalem so I'm gonna see just how far a 3930K can be pushed, wish me luck :D The new stepping should make no difference whatsoever when it's humming along at those sort of speeds. (Side note, I love throwing this kind of cash around)
DarkLord7854 2nd February 2012, 19:59 Quote
Still waiting for them to go in stock here in the US.. new system waiting empty without a CPU
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