Intel this weekend announced its Core i7 processor Extreme Edition, the most powerful desktop PC processor it has ever created. Designed for so-called “mega-tasking,” the new high-end CPU delivers 10 processor cores, a 3 GHz base clock speed, and 40 PCIe lanes.
“With the Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition, we’ve built a monster platform,” Intel’s Gregory Bryant says. “It will transform the way people play, work and create.”
The new Core i7 Extreme Edition—model i7-6950X—is about 35 percent faster than the Haswell-generation chip, the i7-5950X, that it replaces, Intel says. And its priced accordingly at $1700, though Intel is also offering several other enthusiast-focused Core i7 models as well, at different price points: $435 for the 6-core i7-6800K, $617 for the 6-core i7-6850K, and $1100 for the 8-core i7-6900K.
But let’s focus on the monster for a moment, shall we? Here’s what Intel says is special about this chip.
New Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. This combination of hardware and software delivers 15 percent better single-threaded performance. Single-threaded performance is optimized by identifying the processor’s fastest core and directing your most critical workloads to it, Intel explains. And it works with, rather than replaces, Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which focuses on peak loads.
10 cores, 20 threads. This monster chips features 10 processor cores with up to 20 threads for handling many compute-intensive workloads simultaneously, Intel says. It also features 4 channel DDR4-2400 memory support.
40 PCIe lanes. These direct connections with the CPU guarantee that SSD, discrete graphics cards, Thunderbolt peripherals, and other accessories run at peak performance.
Unlocked. Intel’s Extreme Edition processors ship unlocked, so you can overclock them out of the box.
Optimized for gaming and video editing. As you might expect of such high-end CPUs, these new chips are optimized for modern video gaming needs such as virtual reality (VR), as well as native 4K video editing.
Available now. Intel says that the Core i7 Extreme Edition processors are shipping now.
Here’s a breakdown of the new Extreme Edition parts.
On a related note, Intel also announced that its next-generation Core processors, codenamed “Kaby Lake,” will ship later this year. Kaby Lake is to the current-gen Intel core processors (Skylake) as Windows 8.1 was to Windows 8: A very public apology and fix for a disastrous product.
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