Intel’s 14nm Skylake family has been fairly impressive, to say the least – that’s particularly true for their highest-end part, the Core i7-6700k.
But anyone who knows their stuff knows that Intel also has a special black ops-esque range of CPUs, their HEDT (High-End Desktop Platform) processors.
While their standard range of CPUs are no slouches, their HEDT series is for the enthusiast, for those unwilling to compromise on performance.
Unlike their mainstream i7 CPUs, which up the performance of the i5s with additional threads, their HEDT series sport additional cores, more cache memory and a heck of a lot of threads, and their all-new Broadwell-E series is no different.
Intel’s HEDT nomenclature can often be a little confusing, often being labelled (or named) one family behind the current range, as is the case with Broadwell-E in the face of the Skylake range. But the moment you see the price tags and specs of these puppies, there’ll be no confusing their purpose.
The specifications for the new Broadwell-E i7-6950X, the top dog of the Broadwell-E range, have been confirmed and they’re, well, impressive.
As the first consumer-grade deca-core processor, it features 10 cores and 20 threads, courtesy of Hyper-Threading, and 25 MB of L3 cache – that’s a lot of potential.
|Intel HEDT Family||Gulftown||Sandy Bridge-E||Ivy Bridge-E||Haswell-E||Broadwell-E||Skylake-E|
|Flagship SKU||Core i7-980X||Core i7-3960X||Core i7-4960X||Core i7-5960X||Core i7-6950X||Core i7-79** (TBA)|
|Clock Speeds||3.33/3,60 GHz||3.30/3.90 GHz||3.60/4.00 GHz||3.00/3.50 GHz||3.00/3.50 GHz||TBD|
|Max Cache||12 MB L3||15 MB L3||15 MB L3||20 MB L3||25 MB L3||TBD|
|Max PCI-Express Lanes||32 Gen2||40 Gen2||40 Gen3||40 Gen3||40 Gen3||TBD|
|Chipset Compatiblity||X58 Chipset||X79 Chipset||X79 Chipset||X99 Chipset||X99 Chipset||New HEDT Chipset (TBA)|
|Socket Compatiblity||LGA 1366||LGA 2011||LGA 2011||LGA 2011-3||LGA 2011-3||New HEDT Socket (TBA)|
|Launch||Q1 2010||Q4 2011||Q3 2013||Q3 2014||Q2 2016||2017|
|Launch Price||$999 US||$999 US||$999 US||$999 US||~$999 US||TBD|
At a 3 GHz base clock and 3.5 GHz boost, the i7-6950X should sweep everything else Intel offers aside. And you can bet it’s going to cost a fortune as a result.
Prior top-end HEDT processors, like the i7-5960X, will set you back R16, 558 at Rebeltech. So can you imagine what a deca-core CPU is going to cost? Apparently $999, or around R14, 275 at the time of writing.
That said, we can guarantee with import costs and taxes taken into account, it’s going to be closer to the R17, 000 mark.
To make the extreme costs of the Broadwell-E family more palatable, Intel has produced 4 variants, giving more price options for those looking into the enthusiast range. The other 3 options are all octa-core and hexa-core processors, so they should be more affordable – if a word like affordable even applies to the likes of Intel’s HEDT range.
The baby of the range, for example, the i7-6800K will feature 6 cores, 12 threads, a core/boost clock of 3.4 GHz/3.6 GHz and 15 MB of L3 cache, and it’s expected price, according to WCCF Tech, is $390 (R5, 571). Again, expect it to cost more than that locally.
|Processor Name||Intel Core i7-6950X||Intel Core i7-6900K||Intel Core i7-6850K||Intel Core i7-6800K|
|Core Clock||3.00 GHz||3.30 GHz||3.60 GHz||3.40 GHz|
|Boost Clock||3.50 GHz||3.70 GHz||3.80 GHz||3.60 GHz|
|L3 Cache||25 MB L3 Cache||20 MB L3 Cache||15 MB L3 Cache||15 MB L3 Cache|
|Socket||LGA 2011-3||LGA 2011-3||LGA 2011-3||LGA 2011-3|
|Launch Price||~$999 US||~$600 US||~$450 US||~$390 US|