MojoKid writes "Today marks the release of Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processor family and its companion X79 Express chipset. The first processor to arrive is the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, a six-core chip manufactured using Intel's 32nm process node that features roughly 2.27 billion transistors. The initial batch of Sandy Bridge-E CPUs will feature 6 active execution cores that can each process two threads simultaneously via Intel Hyper-Threading technology. Although, the chip's die actually has eight cores on board (two inactive), due to power and yield constraints, only six are active at this time. These processors will support up to 15MB of shared L3 Intel Smart Cache and feature integrated quad-channel memory controllers with official support for DDR3 memory at speeds up to 1600MHz, as well as 40 integrated PCI Express 3.0 compatible lanes. Performance-wise, Sandy Bridge-E pretty much crushes anything on the desktop currently, including AMD's pseudo 8-core FX-8150 processor."