Intel Core i7 6950X boasts 10 hyper-threaded cores, huge $1700 price tag

Catch all of the latest news, analysis and reactions from Computex 2016 right here.

Day one of Computex 2016 is officially upon us (and nearly over, frankly), but it has ended with a bang, especially if you’ve been longing for more than eight cores in your gaming PC.

Silicon giant Intel has announced and revealed its first Broadwell-E Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processor, the Intel Core i7 6950X.

It sounds like tame marketing babble on paper, but it’s Intel’s first desktop-class chip to arrive with ten cores with multi-threading. That’s 20 possible processing threads running at one time.

The base clock speed stands at 3.0GHz and turbos up to 3.5GHz, with the likelihood of overclocks pushing 4.0GHz too. And if that isn’t enough, there’s also 25MB of on-chip cache, 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and support for four channels of DDR4-2400MHz RAM.

Related: Intel Core i7-6700K overclock results surface, reaches 5.2GHz on air

The chip will also use the LGA 2011-v3 socket — the same board as Intel’s previous crop of enthusiast chips (the likes of the 5960X, etc.).

But that’s just the specifications. The price is damn impressive too. At US$1700, you could theoretically buy a second-hand hatchback for the same price, or an entire gaming rig. But Intel doesn’t want its users focusing on the price, instead, wants them viewing the chip as a push for computing — gaming, and what Intel’s calling “megatasking”.

“Enthusiasts expect to push their systems with multiple compute intensive applications at the same time. That’s exactly what we’ve delivered,” said the company’s Gregory Briant.

“Gamers are continually raising the bar, driving their systems to its limits. Now they can push their systems even harder, reaching new heights in performance and overall experience.”

How does this chip compete?

This wasn’t the only chip launched by Intel, mind.

If you don’t need ten cores, the company’s also offering three other SKUs, namely an eight-core Intel Core i7 6900K, a six-core i7 6850K, and a cheaper six-core i7 6800K. All chips have at least 20MB of cache, a base clock speed of at least 3.2GHz, and hyper-threading.

Ranging from US$1089 to US$434, the chips will sit below the Intel Core i7 6950X, but above the Haswell, Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge Extreme processors.

But according to current benchmarks from the likes of Anandtech and PCWorld, it might just be best to stick with your 6700K few more months if you’re a gamer.

If you’re a content creator though, well, saddle up, because your wallet’s in for a rough ride.

Andy Walker
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