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Intel "Broadwell-E" Core i7-6950X 10-Core Extreme Edition CPU Review

Intel
Intel's 10-core/20-thread "Broadwell-E" Core i7-6950X 10-Core Extreme Edition CPU is here. It's super fast, and super expensive.
By: Steven Bassiri | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: May 31, 2016 6:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction

 

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Broadwell-E has landed. Intel has finally launched its first consumer 10-core 20-thread microprocessor, aimed at content creators and those who really need that extra horsepower two extra cores can provide. Broadwell-E isn't just a core addition; it also brings Intel's 14nm node to the X99 chipset. In terms of Intel's quasi-retired tick-tock (now processor-architecture-optimization) processor cycle, Broadwell-E falls under the Tick, or architecture/optimization stage. The previous node (Haswell-E) was shrunk, and minor optimizations have taken place within the core microarchitecture.

 

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These days everything is multi-core, even the tiny microprocessors in wearable devices have multiple cores. The way Intel stacks their processor lineup is by introducing a new processor with more cores, and then expanding the standard core count in their processors. These higher core count processors are almost exclusively at the high-end, and in this case, pricey.

 

 

Pricing and Specifications

 

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The much-anticipated Core i7-6950X will cost you roughly $1723, which is a lot of money for a consumer processor, but you will own Intel's first 10-core consumer microprocessor. For those of you who don't have almost $2K to spend on a microprocessor, there will be three other unlocked SKUs. The 6900K (8-core), 6850K (6-core), and 6800K (6-core) will also be available, and their features will scale with cost. There will only be one SKU with 28 PCI-E lanes, the 6800K; the rest will all have 40 PCI-E lanes.

 

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The PCI-E lanes are all in the CPU on the X99 platform, while on the Z170 platform, they are spread across the CPU and PCH. With the PCI-E lanes in the CPU, the X99 platform shouldn't face the same DMI 3.0 bottleneck of 3.5GB/s that the Z170 platform faces, allowing much faster storage options. With all the PCI-E lanes in the CPU, you will have to be careful when selecting motherboards to pair with your processor, because there will be lane switching depending on your configuration. The X99 platform isn't new to us, and Broadwell-E doesn't expand upon the feature that Haswell-E has provided.

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