WHERE ARE INTEL’S SIX- CORE MAINSTREAM CPUS?
Where the heck are Intel’s mainstream six-core (or more) CPUs? Generation after generation, Intel wheels out new chips, but at best they have four cores. Enthusiasts seeking more cores have had to move to Intel’s altogether more expensive enthusiast socket and platform to access more cores.
Problem is, platforms such as X99 and the LGA2011 socket are thinly disguised server technology. That means cost and complexity of entirely no relevance to desktop PCs. Far more preferable would be for Intel to chuck a few more cores into its mainstream LGA1151 socket.
Of course, some would argue that CPU performance is already good enough, that the focus for performance improvement should be elsewhere. And it’s true that many applications don’t require additional CPU performance— or, rather, the type of performance they could make use of pertains to a single software thread running on a single core. Adding more cores won’t help.
But some applications scale well on multiple cores. Belatedly, games are beginning to fall into that category. Then there’s the old “build it and they will come” philosophy. Who knows what delights coders and developers may come up with if only mainstream PCs had more performance. What’s more, with AMD planning to release its new Zen CPUs in 2017, Intel may at last be forced to up its game.
Well, rumor has it that Intel is finally planning to release some mainstream CPUs with more than four cores. Spotted in various roadmaps is a new family of chips known as Coffee Lake. Details are sparse, but it’s penciled in for early 2018. It’s actually slated as a high-performance mobile chip. But it is listed as offering up to six cores.
Put another way, if it does slot into the LGA1151 socket (or its future mainstream equivalent), it’s not hard to imagine a desktop sibling being offered. If so, there will be much rejoicing inside MaximumPC HQ.