When it shrunk the Sandy Bridge-E architecture from six to just four cores, Intel didn’t only disabled some of the hardware logic found on die, but developed a new chip all together.
Compared to the 2.27 billion transistors packed by Intel’s six-core Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, the Core i7-3820 includes “only” 1.27 billion transistors installed inside a 294mm2 die, reports AnandTech.
This is a significant departure from the original 435mm2 die size of the Core i7-3960X and i7-3930K and was achieved by dropping not just two computing cores, but also 10MB out of a total of 20MB L3 cache (5MB are disabled in desktop SNB-E CPUs).
Why has Intel decided to go this route with the Core i7-3820 you ask? Well, because the company wanted to decrease manufacturing costs as this processor will sell for $285 (220 EUR) when it arrives in early 2012.
A smart move if you ask me, which should pay off for Intel in the future.