Intel's Core i7 "Ivy Bridge-E" series may be less than two months away from seeing the light of the day, but in the run up to that, a curious-looking Core i7-3910K "Sandy Bridge-E" part cropped up on roadmaps with retailers. We're pretty sure it's not a typo misread by someone for "i7-3970X," because the list even mentions the S-spec code "SR0TN," which doesn't correspond with the "SR0WR" s-spec code of the i7-3970X.
The Core i7-3910K is based on the same Sandy Bridge-E C2-stepping silicon as the i7-3970X, and is said to feature 3.00 GHz clock speed. There's no clarity on exactly how many cores it features, but given that it's named in the i7-3900 series, and not the i7-3800 series, we're leaning toward it being a six-core part. A bid by Intel to clear out "imperfect" Sandy Bridge-E silicon by giving it a relatively low clock speed? We doubt that, it features the "K" brand extension, which denotes unlocked base-clock multiplier. Intel's cheapest LGA2011 six-core part is the i7-3930K, which goes for roughly US $550. If Intel prices this chip just right, by that we mean $400-ish, it could be a tease for all those shelling out $350 for a Core i7-4770K. Low clock speed, but unlocked. Two extra cores, quad-channel memory, and a bigger PCIe budget, albeit an older micro-architecture. Decisions, decisions.