Intel Haswell-E. Talk about a codename that we've felt like we've been hearing about forever. Ready for enthusiasts, the new processors when paired with the new Wellsburg chipset, or X99 as we know it as, will come together to create your new high-end system that is set to replace the aging X79 platform. It feels like most the time when we use the word "aging" we're talking about something that is a year old. Not the X79 platform, though, this is a platform that has been around for what feels like an eternity.
Gracing us with its presence towards the end of 2011, the X79 chipset has been around for a long time with it tipping almost three years. When it comes to the world of computers, this is a long time. To give you an idea, when it came to other areas, we were looking at the HD 6970 from AMD when it comes to video cards, quad-channel memory kits at speed only as high as 2400MHz DDR and 512GB SSDs that cost nearly $900. Now we've got the dual GPU R9 295X2, kits of memory that support speeds in excess of 3000MHz DDR out of the box, and 1TB SSD drives that are not only a whole lot faster, but also priced at under $700, and some less than that.
If you found yourself as an early adopter to the platform, it's more than possible that you're still sitting on it. While chipsets like the Z87 and Z97 have represented much better value over recent time, the simple fact remains that people who wanted a large amount of cores or video card setups that expanded past two were best buying a system based on the X79 platform due to its strong enthusiast nature. For that reason, my own video card testbed has been based on the X79 chipset since almost launch. Apart from a slight CPU upgrade over that time, it hasn't changed much at all with the ASUS ROG based board continuing to perform exceptionally strong even now.
This is one of the largest PC launches in a long time, as the new platform brings with it not only a whole new chipset, but a shift to brand new DDR4 memory as well. With a new chipset and the shift to DDR4, it's a little hard to figure out where we should be starting first. It's fairly safe to assume that the new Intel Core i7 5960X EE processor is going to be the item that most people will drool over thanks to its $999 price tag and eight cores. For that reason, it's going to be the first piece of the puzzle we're going to look at, and why you're here right now.
While today our main focus will be on the performance of the CPU, we will also be covering the new X99 chipset in the following pages, along with a bit about DDR4. Once we've looked at the processor, we'll be moving into a mountain of X99 based motherboards and DDR4 memory kits that have already gathered in our lab to see just what you should be pairing with this beast of a processor.
At times it can be a little tough to get truly excited about what's going on in the hardware industry. However, with a new high-end chipset, a CPU that sports a bunch of cores and the latest in memory technology, I can say that I'm genially pumped to see how the new platform goes. So, let's leave it here, and see what the new Haswell-E processor line up looks like, before we get into the all-important performance numbers later on in the review.
PRICING: You can find the Intel Core i7-5960X 3.0 GHz Extreme Haswell-E Processor for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Intel Core i7-5960X 3.0 GHz Extreme Haswell-E Processor retails for $1049.99 at Amazon.