Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP 1.3)
XMP 1.3 delivers performance-oriented expansion of DDR3 memory specifications to the desktop space. Memory kits certified for the X79 platform are guaranteed optimal performance in quad-channel mode. XMP 1.3 makes it easy and convenient to set DRAM timing settings with precision while keeping stability at high speeds.
Intel Independent Loading Mechanism
The Socket 2011 employs a new dual-latch design called the Independent Loading Mechanism, aimed to deliver consistent pin pressure across the socket when the processor is held in place. The ILM mechanism consists of:
Intel Thermal Solutions
Retail boxes of Sandy Bridge Extreme processors will not ship with any stock cooling heatsinks. Two different cooling solutions will be available instead, aimed at two different segments that the Sandy Bridge Extreme platform is geared towards. For enthusiasts, the Intel RTS2011LC sealed liquid cooling thermal solution offers extreme performance when overclocking. For businesses and workstations, a cost-optimized air-cooling fan is available for less than $20 USD.
The Intel RTS2011LC was designed in collaboration with Asetek, a leading liquid cooling solutions specialist. Featuring the latest in copper coldplate design and utilizing ultra-efficient heat transferring microchannels, the RTS2011LC is able to transfer heat from the CPU to the liquid much more efficiently than previous generation microchannel designs and traditional pin fin cold plates. The RTS2011LC provides superior cooling while maintaining low acoustic levels. The RTS2011LC is compatible with LGA2011 motherboards as well as 1366, 1155 and 1156 motherboards.
AES Instructions enable rapid data encryption and decryption using the Advanced Encryption Standard. The set contains six instructions with full hardware support for AES. Four instructions are for encryption and decryption while the remaining two support AES key expansion. This hardware implementation offers a significant performance leap compared to software. This implementation is also much more secure since it does not use look-up tables, eliminating major-timing and cache-based attacks on table-based software implementations of AES.
The Execute Disable Bit functionality on the other hand prevents certain classes of malicious buffer overflow attacks when working together with a supporting operating system. EDB allows the processor to classify which areas of the memory an application code can execute and where it cannot. When an attempt to insert code in the buffer is detected, the processor simply disables code execution to prevent any damage.
Similar to i5-665K and i7-875K unlocked processors released to fit the existing Lynnfield lineup, Sandy Bridge-E unlocked “K” and Extreme processors will have a fully unlocked core multiplier. Unlike LGA1155 processors, however, even the non-K and non-Extreme versions are partially unlocked and have a Gear Ratio overclocking feature for a flexible CPU BCLK adjustment option.
Intel Turbo Boost 2.0
Turbo Boost maximizes the processor’s performance by the increasing operating frequency when needed, if it is within the power, temperature and current limits. Performance is boosted in single and multithreaded workloads; increasing the frequency by 300MHz per core in the Intel Core i7-3960X processor when all cores are active and up to 600MHz per core when one or two cores are active.
Intel Enhanced Speedstep Technology
The processor supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) as an advanced means of enabling very high performance while also meeting the power-conservation needs of the platform. Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology builds upon that architecture using design strategies that include the following:
• Separation between Voltage and Frequency Changes. By stepping voltage up and down in small increments separately from frequency changes, the processor can reduce periods of system unavailability (which occur during frequency change). Thus, the system can transition between voltage and frequency states more often,providing improved power/performance balance.
• Clock Partitioning and Recovery. The bus clock continues running during state transition, even when the core clock and Phase-Locked Loop are stopped, which allows logic to remain active. The core clock can also restart more quickly under Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology.
Intel Hyper Threading Technology
The processor supports Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel® HT Technology) that allows an execution core to function as two logical processors. While some execution resources such as caches, execution units, and buses are shared, each logical processor has its own architectural state with its own set of general-purpose registers and control registers. This feature must be enabled using the BIOS and requires operating system support.
AVX Vector Extentions
Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel AVX) is a new 256-bit vector SIMD extension of Intel Architecture. The introduction of Intel AVX starts with the 2nd Generation Intel Core Processor Family Desktop. Intel AVX accelerates the trend of parallel computation in general purpose applications like image, video, and audio processing, engineering applications such as 3D modeling and analysis, scientific simulation, and financial analysts.?
Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT)
Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) makes a single system appear as multiple independent systems to software. This allows multiple, independent operating systems to run simultaneously on a single system. Intel VT comprises technology components to support virtualization of platforms based on Intel architecture microprocessors and chipsets.
• Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) for Intel® 64 and IA-32 Intel® Architecture (Intel® VT-x) adds hardware support in the processor to improve the virtualization performance and robustness. Intel VT-x specifications and functional descriptions are included in the Intel® 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer’s Manual, Volume 3B and is available at http://www.intel.com/products/processor/manuals/index.htm
• Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) for Directed I/O (Intel® VT-d) adds processor and uncore hardware implementations to support and improve I/O virtualization performance and robustness. The Intel VT-d specification and other Intel VT documents can be referenced at http://www.intel.com/technology/virtualization/index.htm
Sandy Bridge-E Software Ecosystem
To enable innovation on the latest Sandy Bridge platform, Intel closely worked with multiple key ISVs. Over two dozen games and over four dozen media and productivity software programs are optimized to take advantage of four or more processor threads. These optimized programs range from easy-to-use content creation tools to powerful rendering and photo/video editing software suites used by professionals.