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
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.