With the official release nearly upon us, Intel’s Broadwell-E CPUs have started popping up everywhere. First, we had all of the various motherboard vendors announce support for the new Broadwell-E CPUs for their X99 motherboards. Next, Intel even leaked the chips on their driver website, confirming the rumoured specifications. Now, we finally get retail listing for the chips from NCIX along with pricing.
The pricing is pretty exorbitant right now with the low-end i7-6800K coming in at $629.99. All fo the other CPUs are much more expensive with the i7-6850K at $889.99 and i7-6900K at $1495.99. That’s the same price as the rumoured $1500 for the i7-6950X which is listed for an exorbitant $2349.98. Of course, these are likely only placeholder prices till the real launch so we can expect the real prices to be quite a bit lower if past history is anything to go by.
Broadwell-E is expected to bring the 10 core i7 6950X along with Broadwell improvements to Intel’s HEDT. With a relatively simple updated, X99 motherboards with LGA 2011-3 will work with the new chips. While these prices are unrealistic, in my mind, intel may plan to squeeze consumers as much as they can. Intel recently cut 12,000 staff and if they can find a way to make more money, they’ll take it.
Last week, we saw the first sign of support for Intel’s upcoming Broadwell-E CPUs. MSI was the first out of the gate with their announcement of new BIOS revisions to support Intel’s new line of Extreme CPUs followed by ASRock. Today, ASUS has announced their own support for Broadwell-E with new BIOS releases for their X99 series of motherboards. With 3 motherboard vendors offering support, Intel much be releasing their chips soon.
For most of the lineup, the new 3004 BIOS will be the one adding support. Interestingly, the Rampage IV and Rampage IV/U3.1 will have to rely on the 3007 BETA BIOS. I don’t know about you, but a beta BIOS doesn’t sound all that safe. In order to upgrade their firmware, users can either use the built-in EZ Flash 2 utility from within the BIOS or the USB BIOS Flashback/ROG Connect button from outside the system.
As we know, Broadwell-E will include the massive i7-6950X with 10 cores and 20 threads with 25MB of L3. The monster of a chip will also come with an equally massive price tag to match. The rest of the lineup will consist of the Core i7-6900K, i7-6850K and i7-6800K with the usual 6 and 8 core offerings. With Zen rumoured to peak at 8 cores for the consumer market, the 6950X may reign supreme for quite a while.
As with most product launches, Intel has kept Broadwell-E largely under wraps. The few pieces of information that have come out have largely been from leaks. This all changes today as Intel has been the one to accidentally reveal information about the i7 6950X. On the list of Intel Management Engine downloads for the various Intel CPUs, a listing for the i7 6950X Broadwell-E has popped up.
While pretty plain as expected from the source, it does confirm a number of details. In line with previous leaks, the 6950X will the a 10 core giant, with the standard 2.5MB of L3 cache for a total of 25MB. Clock speed is also pretty much where we expected it to be, with a 3.5Ghz Turbo Boost clock off of the 3Ghz base clock. Even the listing it looks like Intel’s latest Management Engine is all set for Broadwell-E as well.
As we’ve reported earlier, Broadwell-E is expected to drop sometime in Q2 2016. This means the launch will be happening within the next 3 months. Expect pricing to be steep at about $1500 for the 6950X and $1000 for the 6900K. If AMD’s 8 core 3Ghz Zen performs well enough though, we may see a substantial price drop for Broadwell-E later in the year.
Following right on the heels of the first consumer octa-core i7-5960X CPU, 2016 is the year that we may finally see a deca-core CPU from Intel. Called the i7-6950X, the new chip will be the flagship for Intel’s HEDT Broadwell-E platform. According to a new report though, the price is going way up this time, set for an exorbitant $1500 USD. Compared to previous HEDT flagships, this will be quite a jump.
Broadwell-E will be replacing Intel’s current HEDT platform, Haswell-E, which debuted the i7-5960X octa-core. Broadwell-E also marks the move from Intel’s current 22nm process to the new 14nm process Skylake started using. Broadwell-E will continue to use the same X99 Wellsburg platform as well but introduce BCLK overclocking in addition to the current multiplier based overclocking.
At 10 cores and 20 threads, the 6950X marks a jump of $500 or 50% over the previous asking price of the top chip from Intel. The octa-core 6900K will maintain the $1000 USD pricing set by its predecessor. Even when Intel made the jump from 6 core to 8 cores, they kept the price at $1000. This time, the extra cores and 14nm must either be costing Intel a lot more, or they’ve caught on that enthusiasts are willing to pay any price for top of the line chips.
Intel’s 2011-v3 socket is designed for heavy video editing, rendering and other professional circumstances where multi-core performance is vital. As a result, the current top-tier mainstream processor is the Core i7-5960X which features 8 cores and 16 threads. However, the upcoming Broadwell-E range of CPUs includes a monster 10-core, 20 thread chip with 25M of cache. According to Benchlife, Broadwell-E utilizes the 14nm manufacturing process and should be unveiled during Computex 2016. Interestingly, Broadwell-E is based on four CPUs, the 6800K, 6850K, 6900K and 6950X.
The 6800K operates with a base speed of 3.40GHz and has a turbo reaching 3.6GHz. Additionally, it’s a 6-core, 12-threaded processor with a TDP of 140 watts. The 6850K is extremely similar apart from a frequency boost from 3.40GHz to 3.60GHz and 3.8GHz turbo. The 6900K is a 8 core, 16 threaded CPU with 20M of total cache and 3.20GHz base frequency which increases to a maximum of 3.7GHz. As previously mentioned, the 6950X is a 10 core, 20 thread CPU which runs at a base frequency of 3.0GHz and turbo of 3.5GHz.
On the current platform, the 5820K is a great option and very similar in specification to the much more expensive 5930K barring 40 PCI-E lanes and a frequency boost. Judging from the leaked documentation so far, it seems Intel is trying to cater towards a wider range of professionals and I cannot wait to see how the flagship 10 core CPU performs compared to the 5960X.