Many moons ago, a controversy sparked over Danish and Taiwanese overclockers selling the Intel Confidential processors i.e. engineering samples on eBay. Intel’s representatives raised a lot of fuss and claimed they will clamp down on illegal sellers, but in the end – nothing happened.

Buy Intel Confidential CPU: 8-Core Sandy Bridge Extreme hits eBay
Buy Intel Confidential CPU: 8-Core Sandy Bridge Extreme hits eBay

Top overclockers are still receiving their Intel Confidential samples, but they’re a bit more cautious when it comes to selling them. However, today we received information that a cream of the crop, top-end CPU has appeared on eBay.

Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme (SNB-E) utilizes new Socket with no less than 2011 dots
Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme (SNB-E) utilizes new Socket with no less than 2011 contact pads, i.e. dots

If you like to live dangerously, you can spend around $1,400 and acquire upcoming Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor for the still-to-be-released Socket LGA2011. The processor in question is a server/workstation type (thus, not the sexa-core Core i7) ticking at 1.6GHz, which is typical for an early Engineering Sample (ES). The core multiplier is completely unlocked, and the processor itself is rated for power consumption up to 130 Watts. The seller claims this processor will belong to the Core i7 family, while earlier roadmap leaks claimed that Core i7 will only utilize six cores (2 cores will be fused off, alongside 5MB of L3 cache).

Unlike the upcoming Core i7 for LGA2011, this processor features all eight cores, 20MB of L3 cache, but it does not feature Turbo Mode. Given the stage of development this processor was taken, Turbo mode is not an option as shipping clocks do not exist at this point in time.

The interesting part comes from the seller itself, who claims to have a good history of selling "Intel Confidential processors", and that the feedback is very positive. Given that the seller has a 99.5% ranking in customer satisfaction and 439 positive comments, you could even ride the board of the seller.

The seller guarantees that the unit will not be DOA (Dead on Arrival), but he cannot offer a warranty due to engineering sample of the product. In any case, it will be an interesting awakening in Santa Clara when the company executives see the news. We wonder how long will it take for eBay to take the auction down (if they will). In any case, in the picture below, you can see the front side of the 8-Core die carrying Intel Confidential markings:

8-Core Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme for Socket LGA2011 - Successor of Core i7 900 Series CPUs (Xeons 5600 on the server/workstation side of business)
8-Core Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme for Socket LGA2011 – Successor of Core i7 900 Series CPUs (Xeon 5600 on the server/workstation side of business)