Intel announced a new line of high-end CPUs at Computex in Taiwan this week, including its first 10-core processor for desktops. Under the Core i7 processor Extreme Edition banner is a family of four different models designed for 4K and virtual reality (VR) gaming, as well as performance-hungry content creation like editing 4K or 360-degree videos.
At the top of the line sits the i7-6950X, boasting ten 3 GHz cores and a 25 MB cache. The next model down, the i7-6900K, isn't far behind, running eight cores at 3.2 GHz, while the other two processors in the family feature six cores at 3.6 GHz and 3.4 GHz, and 15 MB caches.
All four models support four channels of DDR4 RAM, and Intel's new Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which guides applications to use the highest-performing core and is designed to improve the performance of single-threaded tasks. They're all unlocked out of the box, too, so overclockers are free to do their thing.
The Extreme Edition line is built for what Intel calls "mega-tasking" – basically, multi-tasking for performance-hogging tasks. Games are not only getting more processor intensive, especially with VR experiences and 4K displays, but more and more players are running other applications at the same time. Content creators are also working with 4K and 360-degree video, and all models in the line can apparently support multiple 4K displays.
"With a rapidly growing community of more than 1.3 billion people worldwide, gaming isn't just about playing anymore — gamers are live-streaming, posting highlights online and extending their fan bases," says Gregory Bryant, corporate vice president and general manager at Intel. "With up to 10 cores and 20 threads of performance, it's possible to work on virtually every aspect of a project simultaneously," Bryant says. "Here, mega-tasking means staying in the groove without the system becoming a roadblock."
You're going to want to be doing a whole lot of mega-tasking to justify the purchase, though, with the top model running you more than US$1,700. The Intel Extreme Edition line is due sometime in the next month.