A few days before IDF 2014 in September, Intel launched their first 8-core desktop CPU, the i7 5960X Extreme Edition. The Haswell-E platform marries the Haswell microarchitecture we all know and love with DDR4, which we all have been anxiously awaiting. If you want to know more about the 5960X and X99 platform, you can take a look at Shawn's article here.
I have been overclocking and writing guides on cutting edge platforms since the Intel P67 chipset came out, however, X99 has proved to be an especially interesting challenge. Not only have I had to test out the new chipset and CPU, but I have also tested a new IMC and generation of DRAM. Most motherboards have had 6 to 8 BIOS releases since launch (about one a week), and I feel that the platform is now consistent enough to really take advantage of overclocking.
So, let the games begin!
Pricing and Specifications
The 5960X Extreme Edition features 8-CPU cores with Hyper Threading for a total of 16 threads of computing power. At this time, the 5960X is $1049.99 at both Newegg and Amazon and only $899 at Microcenter (in-store of course).
If you are afraid of invalidating your warranty by overclocking, Intel offers their Performance Tuning Protection Plan at only $35 for the 5960X, which covers overclocking. If you ask me, that is a tiny price to pay to cover your $1049.99 CPU.
The 5960X has a stock clock of 3.0GHz with a Turbo Speed up to 3.5GHz, and features 20MB of cache. It has two siblings, the 5930K and 5820K, both featuring 6 cores/12 threads and 15MB cache. While the 5960X and 5930K both feature 40 lanes of PCI-E 3.0, the 5820K only features 28. This is a very unique platform in more ways than one; it has been over a decade since Intel changed its CPU, chipset, and memory all at the same time.
PRICING: You can find the Intel Core i7 5960X Extreme Edition CPU 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 Extreme Edition CPU retails for $1,049.99 at Amazon.