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16 Jul 2013
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After countless articles and much
anticipation, Intel is reportedly about
to release some of the first
processors based on its Haswell-E
specifications , which will, of course,
support DDR4 memory and 8-core
processors. However, of the three
Haswell-E Core i7 CPUs expected,
only one of them, the Core i7-5960X,
will actually come with 8 cores, and it
will sell for $999. The other two, the
i7-5930K and i7-5820K, will contain
only 6 cores, which is the same
number found in the current Ivy
Bridge-E generation processor.
Eight cores and more
Dubbed the Core i7-5960X Extreme
Edition, the flagship CPU of the first
Haswell-E lineup will be Intel’s first
8-core processor. With two more
cores and four more threads than the
company’s current Ivy Bridge-E based
Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition
processor, the i7-5960X will be aimed
at gaming and hardware enthusiasts.
Built around the 22nm Haswell
architecture, this new 8-core CPU,
due primarily to the increased power
efficiency of the Haswell micro-
architecture, will provide improved
inter-process communication (IPC)
while using close to the same
amount of power.
The Core i7-5960X will be clocked at
a 3.0GHz base, with a 3.3GHz boost
frequency. It will also include support
for the latest DDR4 2133MHz
memory, and 20MB of L3 cache as
well. In addition, its power rating will
be 140 watts TDP, or only 10 more
watts than the 6-core i7-4960X. The
new DDR4 memory controller resides
on the processor itself, through
which the RAM is directly connected
to the CPU, and the DDR4 modules
themselves use only 1.2 volts of
power, compared to DDR3’s 1.65/1.5
Designed for enthusiasts, Haswell-E
processors will, like their Ivy-Bridge-
E predecessors, offer versatile
overclocking options. Memory and
the CPU can be overclocked in
numerous ways, including:
Unclocked core ratios in 80/100
XMP mode support
Unclocked turbo limits
Support for memory up to
Unlocked memory controller
Unlocked voltage limits
And that’s a short list of the ways
you can tweak this processor to get
every last ounce of power out of it.
Two other new-generation chips
In addition to the 8-core Core
i7-5960X, as mentioned above, we’ll
see two other Haswell-E Core i-7
chips soon: the Core i7-5930K, and
the Core i7-5820. Both are 6-core,
12-thread processors. Aside from
clock speeds, their specifications are
primarily the same. The i7-5930K
runs at a 3.5GHz base, about a
3.9-4.0GHz boost, and it will list for
around $550. The i7-5820K, on the
other hand, will run at a 3.3GHz
base, with a 3.6-3.8GHz clock boost.
It will list for around $300. Both will
support a 15MB L3 Cache.
When will we see 8-Core CPUs?
All three processors will be
compatible with Intel’s upcoming x99
chipset and motherboards. The new
Haswell-E processors themselves are
slated to show up later this year,
perhaps during the fourth quarter, or
even early 2015. We should start
seeing new powerhouse PCs built
around these new CPUs about the
same time or soon thereafter.
However, at $1,000 a pop, PCs built
around the 8-core i7-5690X probably
won’t be mainstream machines. It’s
more likely that we’ll see a lot more
computers with one of the less-
expensive, 6-core CPUs. In any case,
there will always those gamers and
other hardware enthusiasts who are
constantly pushing their machines to
the limit. Besides, in the long run,
significant steps forward in
computing power benefit all of us,
regardless of what your PC budget is
at this moment.
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