With Sandy Bridge-E about two weeks away from launch, prices for the CPUs and several X79 motherboards are available from an online Chinese store. Shown are all three CPUs scheduled for release in the middle of November: the quad-core Core i7-3820, the hexa-core Core i7-3930K and the hexa-core Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, although it would appear that the Core i7-3820 is only a paper-launch with availability beginning in the first quarter of 2012.
The two remaining Core i7s in the range are said to be available in very limited quantities of several tens of thousands each, as they are the C2 stepping which needs further refinement (we earlier reported that C1 was to be the final silicon). Intel is currently working on the C3 stepping, but it is reported that a final D stepping will iron out the remaining kinks, and will be available late next year. Several motherboards were also listed, including the Asus ROG Rampage IV Extreme and MSI X79A-GD65 8D.
Chinese and US pricing are very similar, so a direct conversion from RMB ¥ to US $ will give a good indication of pricing. Unfortunately, the lack of competition from AMD appears to be affecting Intel’s pricing strategy, with the old price brackets of around US $300, US $583 and US $999 being increased to new brackets of approximately US$550, US$999 and US $1,200 respectively. The Core i7-3820 is priced at ¥3,500 (US $550), the Core i7-3930K at ¥5,800 (US $912) and the Core i7-3960X at ¥7,800 (US $1,227).
The Asus Rampage IV Extreme is hovering around the US $942 mark, while the MSI X79A-GD65 8D is priced at a rather more sane ¥2,990 (US $420). Pre-order pricing is normally higher than the final RRP as vendors try to make a bit extra by securing end-users with CPUs, but the above should give a rough idea of final worldwide retail pricing. Jonathan Horne