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article imageRumour: Intel Broadwell-E series to include a 10-core processor

By James Walker     Nov 14, 2015 in Technology
Intel may be working on a new processor for true PC enthusiasts. The upcoming chip is rumoured to have 10 individual cores, a selling point that will only give noticeable performance gains in applications like video editing and big data crunching.
Digital Trends reports Chinese tech blog Xfastest found a spec sheet for an upcoming refresh of the Intel Broadwell series. The Broadwell-E line will use the same X99 chipset and LGA-2011-v3 motherboard socket as its predecessors did, making it possible to directly upgrade to one of the new processors without replacing any other components.
Xfastest says there are four different Core i7 chips detailed on the spec sheet it saw. The two lowest in the range, the i7-6850K and i7-6800K, have six cores running at 3.6GHz and 3.4GHz respectively. The next up is an octa-core 3.3GHz option, the i7-6900K, but it is somewhat overshadowed by what sits at the very top: the deca-core i7-6950X.
Its 10 cores run at 3.0GHz and support Hyper-Threading to add even more virtual ones. It represents the very top of Intel's consumer processors marketed at enthusiast system builders, although that doesn't mean it will become the de-facto chip for people simply wanting the most powerful computer available.
Gamers are unlikely to see any performance gains from the 6950X over a lower-end quad-core chip. Most games only use four cores and many max out at two, so a quad-core processor with a higher base-clock is likely to outperform the deca-core chip which games will never fully utilise. They are likely to end up being restricted by its comparatively low base clock speed.
Instead, the i7-6950X will be better suited to computers that are heavily used for data processing. Video rendering programs will be able to use the cores to render footage more quickly and applications oriented towards raw data processing will also see marked improvements.
There's no word on when the Broadwell-E series will launch but it can be expected within the next six months. As always, it should be remembered that the details are currently unconfirmed and may be subject to change. One thing that can be said with some certainty regards the price: with octa-core Intel chips currently retailing at close to the $1,000 mark, any deca-core offering is likely to have a price-tag to match its performance too.
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