For those of you waiting for Intel Broadwell-E, they may still be a bit ways away but it looks like they will be right on time. According to early leaks, Intel’s roadmaps pointed to an early Q2 launch the Haswell-E successor. It looks like those leaked roadmaps are right on target as Gigabyte has released a new BIOS update for their X99 series of motherboards. According to the release notes the update is meant to “Support 2016 Q2 coming new CPU” which is likely Broadwell-E.
As the replacement for Haswell-E, the new lineup will continue to use the same X99 and LGA2011-3 platform, meaning an in place upgrade for current users. The new chips will be based on the Broadwell architecture, coming in 4 variants, the 6800K, 6850K, 6900K and 6950X. These will range from the usual 6 cores up to the new monster 10 core 6950X. Don’t expect pricing to change from Haswell-E though as the 6950X is expected to cost 50% more than the 5960X.
With a Q2 launch, Intel has a good chance to lap in some sales before Zen arrives with its rumoured 16-cores. On the flip side, some users may also choose to wait and see what AMD will be offering before sinking their hard-earned cash into some shiny new hardware. On a final note, the new BIOS also notes that “This BIOS prohibits updating to earlier version BIOS” so there will be no turning back.