Intel is preparing a new revision of its current desktop Sandy Bridge-E processors launched in mid-November that will arrive in January of 2012 and will fix the VT-d errata present in the C1 stepping of these CPUs.
As our review of the Core i7-3960X has shown, when used for running highly multi-threaded apps the performance that Sandy Bridge-E is capable of is downright impressive, but despite all this power Intel wasn’t able to resolve all the issues present in Sandy Bridge-E in time for its launch.
The most important of these for workstation and server users is the lack of VT-d hardware virtualization.
This can be a real show stopper where hardware acceleration of a virtual machine is a must, so Intel has now prepared the C2 revision of the Core i7-3960X and i7-3930K which TechPowerUp reports that is set to start rolling out to customers on January 20th, 2012.
Intel has reportedly already begun delivering samples of these CPUs to its partners.
Besides the fixed VT-d errata, the C2 revision of the Core i7-3960X and i7-3930K will also feature new S-spec and MM numbers, so a BIOS update for current motherboards will most likely be required.
Intel’s new C2 stepping is also what the company plans to use for its Sandy Bridge-E Xeon E5 CPUs which will include up to eight computing cores, 20MB of Level 3 cache, 2 QPI links, 40 PCIe Gen3 lanes, and four DMI 2.0 lanes. The TDP for these chips will be set at 150W.
A firm release date for these processors hasn't been mentioned, but Intel said recently that it has already starting sampling Xeon E5 chips to select number of cloud and HPC computer vendors, with mass availability expected in Q1 of 2012.