We were left feeling slightly deflated by the lack of real innovation in Intel's latest Sandy Bridge Extreme processors, but perhaps there's no real need for groundbreaking new technologies.
As it stands, the two LGA 2011 chips - the Core i7-3960X and Core i7-3930K - have enough power to storm past Intel's existing range, and in terms of out-and-out performance, they make the rival Bulldozer look more like a Forklift.
They are, quite simply, the fastest desktop processors going, and that's all the incentive an enthusiast requires. But how much can you expect to pay for the ulta-high-end joys on day one? To get an overall picture, here's a snapshot of what was available at 5pm on launch day.
Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme
|novatech.co.uk||Core i7-3960X||In stock||£799.98|
|overclockers.co.uk||Core i7-3960X||In stock||£839.99|
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Pricing for the top-of-the-line Core i7-3960X has been fluctuating throughout the day, but shop smart and you'll now be able to pick it up at just under the £800 mark.
That's still a substantial amount, mind you, and there's little chance of picking up a more affordable option. We already know that the fabled third-rung part - the quad-core Core i7-3820 - has been put back, and the second-tier Core i7-3930K doesn't appear to be in stock at any of the usual suspects.
So, anybody coughed up the £800-odd to stay on the cutting edge of Intel CPU technology?