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Saturday, August 30, 2014
Intel Unleashes its First 8-Core Desktop Processor For Gaming

Intel is shipping its fastest PC processor to date and its first with eight cores. The Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition chip is aimed at gaming and high-performance desktops.

The new chip, formerly code-named "Haswell-E," is is based on the Haswell microarchitecture, which is the basis for Intel's latest Core chips, and priced at US$999 per chip in 1,000-unit quantities.

This is Intel's first client processor supporting 16 computing threads and new DDR4 memory. Compared to DDR3, the new memory will provide 50 percent faster internal data transfers, while reducing the energy consumption between 30 percent and 40 percent. The new Intel X99 Chipset and overclocking capabilities will allow enthusiasts to tune their systems for maximum performance.

Three new SKUs will be available next week ranging from six to eight cores and from $389 to $999.

Model Base clock Turbo clock Cache Core/Treads PCI Express 3.0 Lanes Memory support TDP
Core i7-5960X 3GHz 3.5GHz 20MB 8/16 40 4 channels DDR4-2133 140W
Core i7-5930K 3.5GHz 3.7GHz 15MB 6/12 40 4 channels DDR4-2133 140W
Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 3.6GHz 15MB 6/12 28 4 channels DDR4-2133 140W

The Core i7-5960X has a maximum clock speed of 3.5GHz but can be overclocked to higher speeds. On liquid cooling, the new chip could reach clock speeds higher than 5GHz.

The chip is 79 percent faster than a comparable quad-core Core i7 Extreme Edition chip, according to Intel. Editing 4K video is 20 percent faster, 3D rendering is 32 percent faster and video transcoding from 4K to 1080p is 69 percent faster, Intel said.

The Core i7 chip has 20MB of cache and draws 140 watts of power.

Intel also announced the $583 Core i7-5930K chip, which has six cores and tops out at a clock speed of 3.7GHz. The $389 Core i7-5820K has four cores and tops out at 3.6GHz. The chips have 15MB of cache, DDR4 memory support and draw 140 watts of power. The chips can be overclocked.

PC makers including Dell's Alienware unit, Falcon Northwest, CyberPower and Maingear will release desktops with the new chips. Many of the new platforms based on the Intel X99 Chipset are Thunderbolt Ready. When paired with a Thunderbolt 2 add-in card, this enables a connection to your PC at 20 Gbps.

Intel's rivak AMD shipped its 8-core FX-8320 chip more than a year ago.

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