With Ivy Bridge-E not slated till sometime in 2013, Intel looks set to replace its current top-end Core i7-3960X with the Core i7-3970X just in time for the holidays.
Information coming out of Turkish website DonanimHaber has Intel set to release its new top-end Core i7-3970X in Q4 2012. With the enthusiast-class Ivy Bridge-E not set to appear until sometime in 2013, it looks like the LGA 2011 socket will have something for under the Christmas tree this year!
The rumored i7-3970X is expected to ship with clock speeds of 3.50 GHz (Turbo Boost of 4.00 GHz). The six-core chip is based on the 32 nm "Sandy Bridge-E" silicon, and the LGA 2011 platform. With it being based on the 32 nm Sandy Bridge architecture, users should expect similar overclocking abilities as current generation Sandy Bridge processors. The processor shouldn't run into the thermal woes that plagued the release of Intel's newer Ivy Bridge CPUs this past May.
In addition, its feature-set is consistent with that of the Core i7-3960X, with 15 MB shared L3 cache, HyperThreading, and unlocked base-clock multiplier. 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.