Intel launches HEDT Broadwell-E CPUs, Flagship Core i7-6950X “Turbo-boosts” to 3.5GHz
Intel has officially launched its Broadwell-E high-end desktop (HEDT) processors for PC gamers and VR content creation professionals. The new Broadwell-E chips are designed not just for multi-tasking, but also for “mega-tasking,” according to Gregory Bryant, corporate vice president and general manager of the connected home and commercial client at Intel.
That means the Broadwell-E chip is capable of handling multiple compute-intensive applications simultaneously; for example, playing a 4K game at 60 frames per second, while recording it at the same time.
“If you want to do VR content like 360-degree content stitching, this part performs very well,” Bryant said. “It’s just a monster on enthusiast performance. It’s by far the fastest-performing part we have ever built.”
Intel claims the new gaming chips based on the 14nm tri-gate process deliver about 5.5% higher instruction throughput per clock cycle, and up to 35% better 3D rendering performance for 4K videos than the previous generation 22nm Haswell chips.
The highlight feature of the new Broadwell-E lineup is Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 which is meant to test each individual core on the chip and find the one with the most potential frequency overhead. This pushes its clock speeds to the limits, giving a big performance boost to single-threaded experiences.
Other key improvements for Broadwell-E include Thunderbolt 3.0, a jump from 20MB to 25MB of cache, an increase froom 4-channel DDR 2133 memory to DDR 2400, and several overclocking-specific features.
The Broadwell-E family comprises of four new chips, including the flagship Intel Core i7-6950X featuring ten cores, 20 threads, and a whopping 25MB of onboard cache, with a thermal design power (TDP) of 140 watts. This mammoth chip runs at a core clock of 3GHz, and on paper, it can “turbo-boost” to 3.5GHz.
But this great power comes at an enormous price; the Core i7-6950X costs an incredible $1,723, more than $700 higher that Intel usually charges for its premium CPUs.
Speaking of the overclocking capability, it’s not only the flagship i7-6950X but all Broadwell-E series gaming chips have an unlocked package to allow overclocking support to enthusiasts.
Moreover, since these chips are all members of the older Broadwell generation, they use the same LGA 2011-v3 socket and X99 chipset. All you need to do is to enable the appropriate BIOS update to take advantage of the new Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0.