ASRock con­firms ru­mours of 10-core In­tel Core i7

In­tel’s Broad­well-E sets a new stan­dard with its 10 cores’ worth of horse­power, re­veals Gor­don Mah Ung

PC Advisor - - NEWS -

Mother­board maker ASRock re­cently outed In­tel’s most an­tic­i­pated en­thu­si­ast chip of the year: a 10-core Core i7 CPU. Yes, we’ve seen dribs and drabs of leaks for months, in­clud­ing In­tel’s own ac­ci­den­tal dis­clo­sure of the Core i7-6950X re­cently, but no ven­dors had con­firmed the core count un­til now.

“The most un­miss­able part of In­tel Broad­well-E is the flag­ship Core i76950X, which will be the first deca-core pro­ces­sor for the com­mer­cial mar­ket,” ASRock said in a press re­lease on its web­site.

ASRock went on to con­firm the rest of the line-up. ”While this new CPU boasts a com­pelling 10-cores-and-20-threads ar­chi­tec­ture, users re­quire a BIOS up­date for their moth­er­boards to han­dle it; this up­date ap­plies to the rest of the Broad­well-E gang, in­clud­ing i7-6900K [8-core], i7-6850K [6-core] and i7-6800K [6-core] as well,” the press re­lease said.

This mat­ters be­cause In­tel’s Sky­lake CPUs (and Win­dows 10) have failed to buoy sag­ging com­puter sales since they de­buted last year, so the com­pany has in­creas­ingly looked to gamers and hard­ware en­thu­si­asts to move prod­uct. Noth­ing builds ex­cite­ment like more CPU cores, which the Core i7-6950X has in spades.

More leaks than the Ti­tanic

One can’t help but won­der if all the leaks are some­how con­doned by In­tel to help stoke the hype-train en­gine. We asked In­tel to com­ment on ASRock’s con­fir­ma­tion and was given the boil­er­plate re­sponse that the com­pany does not com­ment on unan­nounced prod­uct.

In­tel had its own ac­ci­den­tal slip, when a web page ap­peared to con­firm that the Core i7-6950X would hit speeds of up to 3.5GHz and have 25MB of cache (see be­low). That page has since been pulled.

MSI ‘leaked’ news, too. The com­pany said its X99 moth­er­boards were ready for Broad­well-E. MSI’s press re­lease, how­ever, was far more coy and used screen­shots and per­for­mance num­bers from a Xeon chip in­stead. Gi­ga­byte also qui­etly added “Sup­port 2016 Q2 com­ing new CPU” in a BIOS up­date pushed out in Jan­uary.

So ob­vi­ously, this has been a badly kept se­cret. The only real un­known is how much In­tel will charge for the CPU. When the chip first popped up on the leak radar, many peo­ple as­sumed the price would be £835.

In­tel has ba­si­cally charged just un­der a grand for its top-end pro­ces­sor since the days of the first quad-core Bloom­field Core i7-965 Ex­treme Edi­tion. That price held when In­tel added two more cores to the Core i7-990X. Sev­eral gen­er­a­tions later, when In­tel ‘gave’ con­sumers two more cores still, for a to­tal of eight in the Core i7-5960X, the price re­mained £835.

With the 10-core Core i7-6950X, though, there are in­di­ca­tions In­tel may ramp up the price to £1,200. Again, In­tel hasn’t con­firmed nor talked about the CPU on the record, but ru­mours of the higher price have been hot and heavy since Jan­uary.

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