SB-E and the X79 chipset will be out soon.
There is already a few previews around the Internet already.
SB-E will use the LGA 2011 socket and is a replacement for the aging original i7 LGA 1366 CPUs and the X58 chipset.
The SB-E CPUs look awesome, with 4 core and 6 core variants, they can access quad channel memory, and support PCIe 3. It doesn't have the onboard graphics of the LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge CPUs, so no Intel Quick Sync video encoding and decoding. The 6 core versions are expected to retail at around Â£700, so this is not a cheap CPU.
The original spec of the X79 chipset also looked awesome. There was to be PCIe3 support, a dedicated x4 PCIe3 pathway for SATA3, with support for 10 SATA3 ports.
That was the original spec, the finished product appears to fall far short of that original spec.
Intel don't appear to be able to get PCIe3 working properly, so the first revisions of this these boards may not have PCIe3 support. A new chipset stepping revision may fix this.
The 10 SATA 3 ports have been cut to two, and the dedicated x4 PCIe3 SATA 3 pathway has been disabled.
So what does that leave?
Well support for the new SB-E CPUs and quad channel memory support.
For gamers and number crunchers, the lack of 10 SATA3 ports probably won't be a problem, neither will be the loss of the onboard graphics. PCIe3 support at the moment won't be a problem, but it could be in the future.
For the rest of us, the mainstream folks, who perhaps do some picture, video, and audio editing. X79 and SB-E doesn't look that attractive, In fact 2600K and the new Ivy Bridge (22nm) CPUs due in 2012 is probably much more attractive.
Ivy Bridge should work fine on P67/Z68 boards, but at Ivy Bridge launch there will be the new Z77 chipset boards. They will offer native PCIe3 support (providing Intel can get it working) and native USB3 support from within the Z77 chipset.
Are any of you planing on buying SB-E and X79?