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Intel sockets - can someone help make sense of them all?

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May 18, 2012 9:17:44 PM

Hi,

I've tried searching but never really got my questions answered. I used to keep uptodate on all this tech news but somewhere I dropped the ball:

Which of the multitude of Intel sockets is Intel continuing in the future i.e somewhat futureproofing?
Which is considered the best?
What's the difference between ivy and ivy-e, & likewise for Sandybridge and Sandy-e?

Not sure if you need this sort of info but I'm considering doing a full upgrade very soon this year from a Phenon x6 1090T on an 890GX Asus Chipset.

I value speed and multithreading/tasking above all else and expect my rigs to be futureproofed as far as is possible from day of purchase.
Main duties: (very) amateur photo and video editing; a lot of encoding/muxing etc; office/work applications and some VM; a little gaming too.

Can someone help answer my questions?
Thanks
a b V Motherboard
May 19, 2012 3:41:44 AM

noblesx said:
Hi,
Which of the multitude of Intel sockets is Intel continuing in the future i.e somewhat futureproofing?
Which is considered the best?
What's the difference between ivy and ivy-e, & likewise for Sandybridge and Sandy-e?

I value speed and multithreading/tasking above all else and expect my rigs to be futureproofed as far as is possible from day of purchase.
Main duties: (very) amateur photo and video editing; a lot of encoding/muxing etc; office/work applications and some VM; a little gaming too.


I don't think any of the sockets are future-proofed at this point. It looks like Intel is introducing a new socket with every microarchitecture change, roughly every two years. The 1155 socket is probably on its last revision with Ivy Bridge, and the 2011 socket may get one more with Ivy Bridge-E. Haswell, which comes after Ivy Bridge, will probably be on a different socket.

This article and a few others (http://www.techspot.com/news/47849-ivy-bridge-e-delayed...) are saying that Ivy Bridge-E may be delayed until 2013, when Haswell comes out. It might even be scrapped entirely, since the performance gains for Haswell might outperform Ivy Bridge-E. In that case 2011 might not receive a new chip at all.

The E-family chips are considered the best from a raw power point of view, but are also more expensive. They have four and six core variants, whereas with the Sandy and Ivy Bridge chips the max you can get is four cores. It looks like the main differences are more cores, larger cache per core, more PCIe lanes, and (on the chipset) quad-channel memory. All of this adds up to the highest performance threshold you can achieve on a desktop, more than is possible on a comparable non-E system. Ivy Bridge-E would just be a Sandy Bridge-E chip using the new die shrink, just like Ivy Bridge was for Sandy Bridge.

I would check out this article for more information on the -E chips and chipset: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5089/sandy-bridgee-and-x7...

Your best bet if you want to achieve future-proofing is to wait for Haswell, which will come out some time next year. That will buy you about a 2 year upgrade window, since Intel will probably release at least one more revision that will use the same socket. By that time you may have more information about an upcoming E-series chip, which if you really want the best of the best for multitasking and editing, would be the best choice.

If you can't wait that long, then Sandy Bridge-E will be the highest performance you can buy.

*Edit* This is only if you want the best you can possibly get. For normal to high needs, even for speed/multitasking/encoding/video editing/gaming, you can buy an amazing rig using Ivy Bridge right now, and it will be cheaper than a comparable Sandy Bridge-E one. However, there won't be any new CPUs released using the same 1155 socket in the future. Sandy Bridge-E really shows its strengths when you start needing to throughput a lot of data at once, such as with quad-gpu setups.
May 21, 2012 8:00:09 PM

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I found it very useful.
!