Tuesday Hardware Tidbits

There have been a few interesting developments on the hardware front over the past week that I want to cover today. First, Intel has released the new Core i7-2700K processor, which is their new top of the line desktop CPU. It is basically identical to the older Core i7-2600K, except that it has a 100MHz higher base clock speed (3.5GHz), and a 100MHz higher Turbo Boost clock speed (4.0GHz). 

Looking at the table below, you can see how the i7-2700K compares to the upcoming (next month?) Sandy Bridge-E processors. The sweet spot for the Sandy Bridge-E will be the Core i7-3930K, which will have six cores, plus hyper-threading. It has nearly the same clock speed as the i7-3960X, with a slightly smaller L3 cache, at a 40% lower cost.


Processor Socket Cores Clock Turbo Cache Price
Core i7-3960X LGA2011 6 3.3GHz 3.9GHz 15MB $999
Core i7-3930K LGA2011 6 3.2GHz 3.8GHz 12MB $583
Core i7-3820 LGA2011 4 3.6GHz 3.9GHz 10MB $294
Core i7-2700K LGA1155 4 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 8MB $332


Last week, AMD finally released their long anticipated Bulldozer desktop processor line, led by the FX-8150. Most of the reviews that I have seen for Bulldozer have shown pretty disappointing single-threaded performance for this processor. It has done better on multi-threaded tests, which could be a hopeful sign for database performance, especially for reporting or data warehouse workloads. I cannot wait until someone does some benchmarks against the server equivalent of this processor, which will be the Opteron 4200 and 6200 series.

Finally, there have been a lot of stories about the effects of the recent flooding in Thailand on the hard drive market, with a large percentage of the production capacity of the major hard drive manufacturer’s being under water. This has already had a significant effect on prices, and it will affect availability for quite some time. This might increase the feasibility of SSDs, which is at least a small silver lining.

This entry was posted in Computer Hardware, Processors, Storage Subsystems and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tuesday Hardware Tidbits

  1. Wes Brown says:

    Intel is stacking the product line a bit just enough to keep AMD down.
    Bulldozer is a pretty big letdown IMO. We will have to see just how well parallel database tasks work with it. Again, a deep pipe to gain Mhz has cost the chip design some efficiency due to predictive branch failures and pipeline stalls. AMD used a much shorter pipeline in the K8 design to kick Intel in the socket you think they would be very careful about making the same mistake.
    The Thailand flooding has already jacked up hard disk prices by 50% since about 60% of HDD production comes from there. SSD prices are also already on the rise since demand is already hot and getting more so with the holiday season right around the corner.
    Just my quick observations though. I hope SSD’s become more cost competitive through this but I wouldn’t count on it.

  2. Glenn Berry says:

    Yeah, it is probably wishful thinking to hope that SSD prices will come down because of this. As hard drive prices go up, SSDs may seem a little more competitive from a price perspective.

  3. Noel says:

    Hi Glenn,

    Can I get your email address?

  4. Now that SQL 2012 pricing is out and it has gone per-core, cost-sensitive organizations (cloud/SaaS/hosting like us) will surely be considering fewer, faster cores over more, slower cores.
    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how the sweet spot moves, if at all, given this change in licensing policy. Thanks!

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