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Intel's incredible 10-core Broadwell-E CPU arrives with a $1723 price tag

By midian182 ยท 25 replies
May 31, 2016
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  1. Intel’s latest Extreme Edition line of processors has just been revealed at Computex. The company’s new flagship product, the Core i7-6950X, is its first desktop CPU to feature a monstrous 10 cores. But that kind of power doesn’t come cheap – hardcore fans will have to pay $1723 if they want a chip that can perform what Intel is calling “mega-tasking.”

    The four new Core i7-6900 and Core i7-6800 CPUs are based on the Broadwell-E architecture. The 6800K ($434) and 6850K ($617) both come with 6 cores/12 threads, and the 6900K ($1089) has 8 cores/16 threads.

    In addition to its 10 cores and 20 threads, the top-of-the-line 6950X runs at 3GHz with a turbo boost speed of 3.5Ghz, has 25MB of cache, and a TDP of 140 watts.

    Intel is pushing the new line’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Technology as one of the chips’ best features. It identifies the fastest individual core on the processor and is able to boost it beyond normal limits to improve single-threaded performance. This latest iteration of the Turbo Boost feature is up to 15 percent faster than Turbo Boost 2.0, which is also found on the new range.

    Compared to Intel’s last generation of extreme processors, the Haswell-E line, the new range offers a general performance improvement of around 20- to 25- percent. For specific tasks, the Broadwell-E chips can render 3D graphics 35 percent faster, edit 4K video 25 percent faster, and create 360-degree video 25 percent quicker, according to Intel.

    Gaming wise, Intel claims the 10-core CPU is 25 percent faster than the 5960X and the frame rate in Tom Clancy’s The Division is able to reach over 85 fps at 1080p with Ultra Settings.

    The new range also officially supports 4-channel DDR 2400Mhz memory, an increase from the 2133Mhz in the previous Extreme generation and consumer Skylake. Thunderbolt 3.0 is also available as well; the 40 GBps interface, which Intel says is 8 times faster than USB 3.0, will allow users to connect six devices to a single port, including dual 4K displays.

    One similarity between the Broadwell-E range and the Haswell-E line is compatibility with the same LGA 2011-v3 socket and X99 chipset. Board vendors just need to roll out a BIOS update (which should start arriving today) so users can insert one of the new chips.

    There’s no getting away from the fact the 10-core i7-6950X is incredibly expensive, but Intel says the chip is perfect for the aforementioned concept of mega-tasking. The company spoke of being able to perform multiple, processor-intensive tasks simultaneously, such as playing a 4K game at 60fps (when paired with a suitable GPU) while encoding the gameplay and sending out a 1080p stream - all at the same time. It will also improve the virtual reality experience and be a huge asset when creating VR content.

    Spending close to $2000 on a CPU is ultimately the choice of individual users. Having a gaming rig with 10 cores will definitely earn you some bragging rights, and according to Intel's numbers, it can really improve a game's performance. Moreover, if you’re into heavy video editing then the i7-6950X could be a worthy buy. But if you want the best desktop processor available then be prepared to pay the price.

    Update: Intel has clarified that an earlier version of its presentation that listed The Division's benchmark as being more than 85 fps when compared to a 4-core processor was incorrect. It should have read that the game’s built-in benchmark recorded >85 fps at 1080p with Ultra settings. As I mentioned in the original article, this fps difference did seem like quite a jump.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2016
  2. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    Oh, Intel.

    You've been able to buy a 10 core Xeon for some time now, and for way less than $1,700+. Sure, it's a slower chip, but for $1,700 you'd be getting more than 10 cores in your Xeon, or you could even get two 10-core chips for around that same price. The higher clock speed is nice, because it shows what is possible with that packaging (so many cores, such a high clock speed, etc) but this just re-affirms that getting a 5820k for $340 at MicroCenter in February was a great idea. Nothing new (relatively speaking) to see here, folks.
    Steve, Evernessince, wiyosaya and 2 others like this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,502   +3,500

    Interesting but pass. If you aren't making bank off your computer, anything over $500-$600 for a chip exceeds the threshold for sanity.
  4. SolarisGuru

    SolarisGuru TS Member

    It's too bad they don't have any real competition at this level. I'm sure we'd so those prices come down.
    wiyosaya, wastedkill and Reehahs like this.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,456   +1,734

  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,797   +1,537

    Just curious .... has anyone seen a spreadsheet that lists all the multi-core processors AND one that lists the various software that can and does take advantage of it?? I have seen multi-core hotly advertised but never seem to find software that advertises the ability to take advantage of that function.

    Now be gentle .... I've just barely escaped the 8-bit universe ....... LOL
  7. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 536   +210

    So... you're giving us 25% more cores for a 60% higher price... Yeah, right. Also, the whole lineup has a higher price than Haswell-E's.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,786   +1,007

    Wow, this surpases all the insane prices everyone thought it was going to be. Really only good for bragging rights. Faster processors can be had cheaper.
  9. Geforcepat

    Geforcepat TS Booster Posts: 141   +16

    LoL@intel I think I'll check out zen or kabylake.
  10. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,769   +598

    That's hilarious, and people will still buy these things despite the lack of need for so much processing power. Most application, besides rendering which should be done on a GPU anyway, barely take advantage of more than 4 cores, let alone 10 or 20 threads. It's all about who has the biggest stick, and that's enough for people to buy these over priced speed demons, actually, I have a strong feeling application will run faster on the higher clocked lower core count CPUs despite these things being advertised as the best available.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Yes. For the same $1700 you could get a 14 core/28 thread E5-2680 v4 with a full-fat 35MB L3.
    jauffins and Steve like this.
  12. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,358   +1,517

    Yep that is a good point and I will be sure to make note of it in my review.
    jauffins and dividebyzero like this.
  13. Well it is certainly extreme and the first thought is not in performance (maybe it is)
    but seriously I thought Intel was supposed to be hitting 10 GHz by now instead of 10 core
  14. infiltrator

    infiltrator TS Booster Posts: 163   +27

    Sorry, I am not willing to spend $1,700 dollars for a processor, I won't be needing all that processing power. I am sure those that does audio and video processing will benefit from all those cores.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    I'm sure a lot of reviews will be underwhelmed! More so once more details of Skylake-E's new LGA-3647 socket with its six channel DDR4, and fully configurable options for 48 lanes of PCI-E start to surface
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,171   +3,263

    Steve likes this.
  17. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    I don't think the clockspeed on this 10 core Broadwell-E can be understated, but it feels like a kick in the nuts, how little progress they're making. Oh well... I have a 5820k at 4Ghz on all six cores, and it looks like that will keep my happy until... 2023?
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,171   +3,263

    Good thing they didn't come out with a 12 core, you'd be hurting for the next year.
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,525   +514

    What I find interesting is the marketing blather in the graphic. It looks like it is intended to sensationalize the "improvements" however, benching against a 4-core proc seems underwhelming to me with statements like XX% faster.

    Then there is the cherry picking with the benchies against the previous gen.

    Leave it to marketing, they will always try to sensationalize. Personally, though I will never consider this proc at the full retail price (maybe used when next gen or 2nd gen after this comes out), I would rather see independent benchmarks as marketing, again, will always try to convince their market that their product is superior. It is marketing's job.
  20. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,712   +872

    The Force is strong with Intel's marketing team.
    They could sell a ketchup Popsicle to a lesbian in white gloves.

    The six channel DDR4 is interesting though.
    andrewyoung likes this.
  21. OgnDulk

    OgnDulk TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +6

    Odd, before I landed on this page I was thinking about the dual xenon rig with 64 gb of memory I read about somewhere. and how about that new nvidia video card? wow.
    my homemade box has the mid range first generation core 2 duo, is 10 years old, and works fine.
  22. Paulloe

    Paulloe Banned

    If you need to work at this level, this is the kit.
  23. Paulloe

    Paulloe Banned

    3D Studio Max is amazing on this sort of system, if you do not use that ''Windows'' rubbish that is. You know, crap that has stifled computer speed and progress for decades. Some guy who invented it, I think, has felt it necessary to invest in ''the third world'' to perhaps compensate all of us now struggling to exist HERE as a result of such crap software. Ahhh, we had a choice! NO, no we didn't.
  24. Soulburn74

    Soulburn74 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Mostly creation software: Adobe products (Premiere will max out all 4 cores of my i7 3770k (on my gaming desktop), and all 8 cores of my e5-2687 (v1) (briefly tested as a windows machine before I wiped it and turned it into an VMWare ESXi host), Autodesk (Autocad) etc.

    For gaming these high core count processors aren't going to give you much umph as the gaming world is still mostly configured around 1-4 cores. But if you want a hybrid workstation/gaming rig.....then these guys become relevant. (and like an earlier poster mentioned, you better be making some $$$ with your creations to justify these procs (or have a better than average income) as they are extremely expensive) At that price though, you have already decided to go "all out" (and lets be honest, mostly for bragging rights), you might as well REALLY go all out and get the e5-2687w v3 (equivalent to haswell E, 10 core, 25mb cache, 3.1 base/3.5 turbo. or the v4 (equivalent to these new Broadwell E's) 12 cores/30MB cache/ 3.0 base/3.5 turbo.

    The only thing I could see benefiting with these E processors/Zeon processors from a pure gaming stand point, is the number of PCIe lanes available(giving you the ability to run many gpu's at 16x (along with any other cards you may have such as high end SAS/Sata storage controllers etc)).
  25. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Maniac Posts: 276   +187

    These chips should have 2TB of NAND directly on chip at this price.

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