How many CPU cores do you need? Four? Eight? How about 10? Well, no matter your answer, Intel’s newest Broadwell-E CPU range has you covered as it offers chips with four, six, eight and ten cores. Throw in Hyperthreading for the latter three models, and you have processors capable of 12,  16 and 20 threads. each. That’s a lot of processing power.

The best in the new Core i7 69XX/68XX range is the Intel Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition, which the firm revealed at Computex. And as PC World puts it, the chip is overpowered, but in a really good way.

Things seem pretty standard looking at the specs of the CPU. The clock speed is a decent 3.0GHz which can be ramped up to a Turbo clock of 3.5GHz. It has 10 cores and can run 20 simultaneous threads, a 25MB L3 shared cache and the chip draws 140W of power.

Then things start getting very interesting, very quickly. The 6950X can control up to 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes  and can handle up to 128GB of non-ECC memory of the DDR4 variant running at 2400MHz.

There is also a new piece of software that pairs with the CPU. Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 is reportedly able to identify the fastest core on the chip, which improves single-thread performance. What this means for you is that workloads can be directed to that core, making them a bit faster. Granted, this was possible with third party apps before but this reportedly does it automatically.

The full Extreme Edition product line-up.
The full Extreme Edition product line-up.

All of this new tech is being aimed at enthusiasts that want to play games at UHD resolutions, record that gaming session at the same resolution and stream to Twitch at the same time. That sounds like overkill but many YouTubers, just enthusiast gamers/system builders, demand that sort of performance. Intel calls this “mega-tasking”. Cue the eye-rolls.

And with a price tag of $1 723 (R27 221,49 but expect that price to change drastically as the rand swan dives) you can see why this CPU isn’t aimed at the everyman.

Then again though, not everybody needs Thunderbolt 3 transfer speeds of 40Gbps or to be able to run a multitude of content creation apps all at once.

We’re interested to see how this chip does on the open market. The performance looks great and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 sounds like a nice add-on, but do you really need a CPU that costs as much as a gaming notebook?

If you do, get in touch, because we really want to know what you plan to use it for.

[Source – Intel]