So, turns out that Intel cannot have people in Europe stick to their NDA! Funny stuff, certainly if you know that Intel representatives have claimed to be starting lawsuits just a few years ago.
Anyways, looks like SB-E will just be a tad faster than Gulftown on average. From the scaling provided by Guru3D, it seems that a 5500MHz Sandy Bridge-E will bring us over 55k CPU score in Vantage, which requires an impressive Gulftown to match that.
As stated, this preview is as-is, none of the information in this article has been confirmed, verified or supplied by Intel. Multiple Sandy Bridge-E reviews have already hit the web, we simply followed yet kept the performance results close to NIL. That's all intended for the final launch review.
With that said, the Sandy Bridge-E platform will be a power-house and it is bound to set some new records. We will however tell you this; it will have a hard time beating X58 and Gulftown processors as the feature set and performance level has not changed that much ever since Gulftown was released. There surely is a performance benefit, but to upgrade from X58 and Gulftown (980X/990X) might not be worth it, and that's the honest truth.
In contrast to say Z68 and a Core i7 2600K processor, here again I hesitate a little to really recommend Sandy Bridge-E. See, it will require a new (expensive) motherboard and a new processor for which the top model is gonna cost you anywhere from 700 to 900 EUR (though that's unconfirmed). So that difference might be a little too much versus what you gain features and performance wise.
Regardless of how you might look at Sandy Bridge-E, it seems to be a ridiculously fast platform. With the final boards we expect to see some very interesting overclock results as well. Once the true overclockers have their hands on it, new records will be shattered.
MSI's X79 motherboard is looking promising with all the kick ass features embedded. The platform as tested comes with additional controllers, a plethora of them. So you will gain USB 3.0, SATA options and little extras like the quality component selection, overclock tools and implementation at hand.
All in all, this article is just a little preview of what's to come in Q4 2011. The Sandy Bridge-E performance is impressive, but not that different to X58/Gulftown if you leave overclocking out of the equation. If you are the proud owner of a P67/Z68 and a Core i7 2600K, you really probably will not miss out on much either, unless you really need two more cores of course.