As Sandy Bridge CPUs were followed by Sandy Bridge-EP units, Ivy Bridge central processing units will get similar successors, one of which has actually been tested.
The engineering sample of the Ivy Bridge-EP CPU that got put through its paces not long ago is the sort of thing that will leave onlookers starry-eyed.
Intel probably didn't mean for this chip to land in the hands of someone so eager to publish the results for all to see.
Nevertheless, a person in Taiwan did get a hold of it somehow and has big and clear screenshots to prove it (CPU-Z, Windows 8 task manager, the works).
Quite simply, nothing on the consumer CPU market has even come close to the sort of performance that this thing is bound to demonstrate.
Of course, it was obvious that an Ivy Bridge-EP CPU would blow even the best Ivy Bridge units out of the water, but the magnitude of it all wasn't exactly apparent.
The Ivy Bridge-EP/EX engineering sample has 10 physical cores, but its Hyper-Threading technology allows for 20 logical cores to be enabled at the same time.
In other words, the operating system may as well be working with 20 CPUs at once, for all it knows.
Spec-wise, the processor has a clock speed of 2.8 GHz, 30 MB of shared L3 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core.
A WPrime test returned a score of 1,024M in 158.5 seconds, while Fritz Chess scored 41.78X relative speed.
All this happened while only eight of the 20 threads were utilized, which makes one wonder if there even are benchmarking suites that can force this beast to actually show some effort.
Of course, there are no programs or games that can use so many cores, except, perhaps, video conversion and other professional applications.
People shouldn't start raving just yet, of course. After all, Intel hasn't even launched the “regular” Ivy Bridge LGA1155 chips (they are scheduled for April, 2012).