Good lord, it’s expensive. But damn, I want one. Intel unleashed its latest entry in the Extreme Edition processor category with the i7-6950X. For a not remotely affordable price of $1,723. Yes, you can build a serious gaming PC for the price of the CPU alone, but a 10-core processor? Let me dream.
You are getting a beast of a CPU for the price. The 3GHz 10-core processor can run 20 concurrent work threads, and Intel includes its Turbo Boost to boost the clock speed to 3.5GHz.
Why all the power? Intel’s marketing department is glad you asked. The company is introducing the idea of mega-tasking. Want to play the latest AAA title at 4K resolution? Check. How about recording it for posterity? Hell, go ahead. Twitch stream at 1080p? Thankfully, Comcast is lifting data caps.
All three tasks can be accomplished at the same time. You might dim the lights, but hey, that’s what powerful PCs are about.
Need some other benchmarks to get sell you on the idea of $1700 on a CPU? Expect 35 percent faster performance in 3D modeling and editing those gameplay videos in Premiere gets a 25 percent nudge.
Intel Broadwell-E Series
For those of us shrinking back at the price of the flagship, the Intel Broadwell-E represents four new processors. At a more palatable $1089, you can grab an eight-core i7-6900K at 3.2GHz. Intel’s Turbo Boost pushes the clock speed to 3.7GHz.
A six-core i7-6850K comes in at $617 and can be overclocked to 3.8GHz. For the budget conscious folks among us, the Broadwell-E series is rounded out by the i7-6800K six-core, 3.4GHz CPU priced at $434.
Unless you have what the hell money, stick in the lower tiers and spend the cash on a GTX 1080. Actually, you could damn near build out a complete system with the budget Broadwell for what it costs to buy the flagship i7-6950X.
Intel Keeps Chipset Compatability
One piece of good news with the CPUs – considering the price – is Intel’s willingness to keep its loyal customers happy. The X99 chipset that supports the Haswell-E chips will be compatible with the new Intel processors.
So, you can drop the new CPU in without worrying about upgrading the motherboard. It makes the semi-DIY Avalon from Asus even more intriguing. When the hell are you upgrading the CPU after you drop a 10-core monster in? We better be using Minority Report type UIs before then.
Who is this For?
The sarcastic answer is it’s for people with too much money. On a serious note, Intel isn’t wrong in the idea of mega-tasking. It’s marketing speak, but livestreaming gameplay is here to stay. eSports have dominated the online scene for years now, and its entrance into TV will only solidify gaming PC rigs.
Now, do you need the $1700 CPU? Probably not, but drop it in and shrug at upgrading for quite a long time.
Availability for the new CPUs is listed by Intel as ‘imminent.’ Newegg lists them as sold out and Amazon doesn’t have them on a Prime product page. Give it a few days and CPUs should start hitting your favorite spots.
What do you think? Overkill or are you like me and love the idea of being able to open up every program on your computer at once?