It’s only been hours that Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge-powered CPU, the Core i7-3960X has been available, but boutique MAINGEAR has you covered. Billed, with good cause, as the world’s fastest consumer CPU, the new chip runs at a speedy 3.3GHz.
Alongside the new Intel Extreme Edition Core i7-3960X, the company also announced the Core i7-3930K, at a slightly more reasonable $555 (like all Intel Extreme Edition CPUs, the Core i7-3960X runs just shy of a thousand dollars), and the Intel Core i7-3820, which won’t ship until Q1 of next year. The official price is still undisclosed, but reasonable guesses target it at right around the $300 level, making it a prime candidate for enthusiasts. It also puts the burden to bear on AMD, who, for the moment, simply can’t keep up.
Today’s two new processors each have six cores; Intel’s HyperThreading functionality means that you’ll see 12 threads in whatever operating system you run them. It’s worth pointing out, too, that if you’ll want to put one of these puppies into your build, you’re going to be spending for a lot more than just the new CPU.
The new chips require all new boards, and that’s thanks to the just released LGA2011 socket. The new chips are, in a word, enormous, and require substantially larger chip sockets than previous models. To showcase the new chipsets, Intel released a new DX79SI motherboard, clearly targeted at the enthusiast market (it has skulls!). They’re also shipping a new RTS2011LC water cooler – a move curiously reminiscent of AMD’s recent efforts.
Although the new chips are just out today, MAINGEAR flooded the waves with their announcement of the CPUs’ availability. Adding day-of-release options for high-end CPUs is something MAINGEAR is known for, and the company pulls it off admirably. The Core i7-3960X is available in their SHIFT, F131 and Quantum SHIFT desktops.
MAINGEAR promises that their solutions can be overclocked to 5.2GHz, a substantial increase over the chip’s base 3.3GHz clock speed.
The company is careful to target not just gamers and enthusiasts with Intel’s latest offerings; there are workstations available, too, that are loaded with the brand new silicon. Intel’s claimed benefits of a 20% increase in video editing performance and 14% increase in 3D rendering performance will be immediately attractive to the workstation market.
Like seemingly every other consumer technology company on the planet, MAINGEAR has partnered up with an audio brand to pump up the sonic cred of their computer offerings. In this case its the pro audio brand Aphex, which has licensed their unique technology to MAINGEAR for inclusion in their new desktops. MAINGEAR is referring to the fruits of the partnership as the EPIC Audio Engine; it’s definitely an impressive name, but no one knows quite yet whether it can live up to the boasting.
The company claims that, “By leveraging Aphex’s studio-grade processing technology in a custom designed high performance pc solution, headphone audio output and microphone input will be unmatched by any solution in the industry.” Of course, the company goes on to talk about how the tech “harmonically brings audio to life” so…yeah.
MAINGEAR also announced today their new software control interface known as the EPIC Control Center. Providing a GUI for all of these discrete options, users will be able to set up event-based lighting actions (think of having the lights glow blue every time you launch MW3, or red if your system starts to overheat). You’ll also be able to monitor all of your temperatures and tweak your fan speed settings. It sounds like a worthy addition to the high-end systems, and a mix of AMD’s OverDrive and Alienware’s own AlienFX control setups.
The new SHIFT desktops start at $1944, though if you want that new 3960X, you’re looking at a minimum outlay of $2687. The Quantum SHIFT and F131 desktop and workstation start at $2620 and $1288 respectively. All three are available from MAINGEAR’s website.