I took a look at the new Sandy Bridge E. First of all, this is not a retail packaged CPU. They are sold in trays to computer stores who do their own build. The traditional Sandy Bridge runs at 95 this one bumps up to 130 watts. It's made to be abused somewhat and whoever buys this probably would like to invest in a high end cooling system like a water cooler.
For the record, processors sold in trays are fairly common, you can usually save $20 or $30 over the retail version of the same processor. Most of us who upgrade motherboards every few years have better cooling systems laying around.
The pricing on this processor is interesting, the i7 3820 picks up where the current Sandy Bridge line leaves off with the the 2600K. I believe the logic is that if you plan on buying the high end Sandy Bridge for the same money you can get yourself into the E series.
One thing that is important is that the CPU's on the current Sandy Bridge and the E series need different motherboards. The current Sandy Bridge is an 1155 which means that the processors has 1155 contact points on the bottom of the processor. This new Sandy Bridge E has 2011 (which is ironically the same year it comes out) contact points, or 856 more contact points. Thus, it's a larger processor.
The initial comparisons are somewhat similar between the 2. The newer 3820 has a 10mb level 3 cache compared to the 2600's 8mb. The processor runs at 3.6ghz compared to the 2600 K's 3.4 ghz.
The new Sandy Bridge E has 4 lanes of memory, and the first ever PCIe 32 which means you will have some monster video cards to take advantage of this and potentially some really high end SSD drives built on cards.
To make things all the more confusing, the new Ivy Bridge processor will work on the older LGA 1155. No mention of the newer LGA 2011 yet. So, my question is, if you are enticed to buy this LGA 2011 motherboard over the 1155 when Ivy Bridge comes out will you regret your decision?
I don't think there will be regrets. Ivy Bridge will have lower power and a couple new instructions that will be nice for speeding up flops. I would expect the Ivy Bridge to use the same 2011-pin socket, with the same pin definition but I have not seen any comment officially yet. There might be better boards (chipset) by Ivy Bridge release.