TechPowerUp reports Intel will release eight-core dual socket Sandy Bridge-E processors in early 2012 in the form of the Xeon E5 family.
Hence there's quite a bit more potential to be released and soon. Therefore, anyone looking to invest in the premium-priced SB-E platform right now, should note that these processors are at the initial C1 stepping and have the VT-d hardware virtualization issue and PCI-E 3.0 compatibility uncertainty. The VT-d problem will be a real show stopper where hardware acceleration of a virtual machine is a must, so it shouldn't be ignored.
VR-ZONE brings us news that the fully unlocked SB-E 8 core chips will be released as the long awaited Xeon E5 family of processors, which will be built on the C2 stepping, solving the above issues. However, being 8 core, these will be very power hungry indeed, consuming around 150 W at just 3 GHz with all 8 cores active and 20 MB of L3 cache. At 2.5 GHz though, the new processors are expected to fit within the 95 W power envelope.