back to article Not two, not four, but 10 cores in Intel's new PC powerhouse

Intel has unveiled four new processors at Computex in Taipei, including its first desktop-grade 10-core processor – yours for the bargain price of $1,723 plus tax. Intel's Xeon server chips have had 10 cores for a while now, but the Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition is the first PC system. The chip comes with a 25MB cache and runs …

  1. Paul Shirley

    not just gaming but building games

    Couple of years ago I spent a week using a dual Xeon PC, lots of cores (12?). Then I had to go home and watch my 6 core Phenom 1100T chew through massive C++ compile jobs at less than half the speed - despite clocking >1GHz higher. Very nice compile engines.

    An i7 with that many cores has me eyeing the bank balance... even with Intel price gouging.

  2. Kaltern

    Pointless pointless.

    It's time Intel et al started looking at new ways of doing the CPU thing - the gains from 10 cores are almost completely worthless today - if 8 cores isn't going to do the job, 10 really isn't going to help.

    Gamers will get zero benefit from this CPU.

    1. Dadmin

      No, no, no, you're missing the marketing-speak point; gamerz can game AND stream ('cus video share your screen and comments) AND I forget the third thing. Never mind, it's all moot now that the new Super Duper Turbo Bustier Maxi Rad Extreme Megatask Boost 2 with Optivirirejectify III Quad i7 69-core processors are coming out next quarter! Don't be a dope and get one NOW, just wait and wait and wait some more and your CPU will come in. What is WRONG with you people?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Super Duper.....

        ...Turbo Bustier Maxi Rad Extreme Megatask Boost 2 with Optivirirejectify III Quad i7 69-core processors and DevOps.

        Sorry, couldn't resist.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Gamers will get zero benefit

      That's changing. DX12 and Vulkan unlock big rendering gains from multithreading. Xb1 and PS4 are driving game programmers to try maxing out 8 cores and that spills over easily into pc work. 10 cores won't be excessive in the not so distant future even for gaming.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Gamers will get zero benefit

        DX12 implies Windows 10 so pretty much irrelevant as far as I am concerned.

      2. nkuk

        Re: Gamers will get zero benefit

        There's a point of diminishing returns though and 20 threads is way past the point of diminishing returns. At the moment you can count the games that actually use more than a few CPU threads for any significant workload on one hand. Very, very few games are CPU bound, they are almost always GPU bound. In most games you need a huge amount of GPU power before the GPU stops being the limiting factor. In most cases you wouldn't notice a significant difference between a game running on an i5 2500k and an i7 5960X. DX12/Vulkan improves the number of draw calls that can be distributed across the CPU threads, but it is still GPU dependant. VR is also GPU dependant.

        A 5960x is already way over the top for gaming, and there's no point paying an excess now for something that may possibly happen in x years time as if/when that time comes there will be a faster, cheaper chip available with better features. For the vast majority of games a smaller number of faster cores will perform better than a larger number of slower cores.

        These chips are workstation chips, not gaming chips, unless you've got excess money to throw away for very little benefit.

        1. Lamb0

          Re: Gamers will get zero benefit

          "These chips are workstation chips, not gaming chips, unless you've got excess money to throw away for very little benefit."

          Gimped "workstation" chips without V-PRO may not be a disadvantage, except at larger companies.

          However, MY definition of a true "workstation" includes ECC RAM, online RAID(10 is usually sufficient) main storage with multiple offline images with incremental backups.

          YMWV, but it might take only one flipped but to lead to an ex$pensively bad day that could co$t million$... or even live$. If you want an Intel based workstation do your homework an buy an appropriate Xeon based system - it might even be less costly.

          If some ignorant fanboy is desirous of e-peen bragging rights; it's their money. In an environment where multithreaded programs, verification, and speed - where the occasional reboot is no big deal; a "PC powerhouse" may be a valid choice. I'd rather have a true workstation with functioning ECC RAM than a "PC powerhouse". YMMV

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      > Gamers will get zero benefit from this CPU.

      Wrong. The latest 1.1 rev of KSP on Unity 5 keeps all 8 hyperthreaded cores of my i7 pretty much topped out, where 1.0 used only 1 core and maybe a quarter of another.

      1. DropBear

        "The latest 1.1 rev of KSP on Unity 5 keeps all 8 hyperthreaded cores of my i7 pretty much topped out"

        Well yeah but that's not really relevant is it - the question is does the game also actually run eight times faster? Or is it just mining bitcoin or composing Haiku with the rest of the cores...?

      2. tcaudilllg


        I think it's about time excess gamers started paying the real cost of the electricity they use. Power companies ought to start prorating residential power use above historical norms, and curtail all this crazy gaming-centric power consumption.

  3. Mpeler
    Paris Hilton

    Powerhouse - or buy a house

    It costs as much as a house. Can't wait for Zen, to get prices (and innovation) back into the realm of normalcy.

    Now if we only could get rid of Windows 1 0 and have the new processors and Zen boot on Win 7 (and everybody's favourite distros), things would be great. OK, OK, OK, I can dream...

  4. Herby


    Windows 10.

    10 cores.

    You be the judge.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Coincidence??

      10 times the telemetry?

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: Coincidence??

        Needed to run Windows "Me lag you long time"-Update

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Coincidence??

        >10 times the telemetry?

        I doubt it links to Windows. More likely they've disabled 6 cores so they can sell an easily manufactured upgrade later.

        Mouth, meet nasty taste.

        Interestingly, if arbitrarily multi core systems take off, it leaves scope for popping lots of cheap arm chips in a box.

        1. Mpeler

          Re: Coincidence??

          Additional "dormant" cores that can be enabled have been in the mainframe world for some time now. IBM have been doing this for ages.

          Seems like they want to do it with their people too - suspended animation can't come soon enough for Ginny...

          (Waiting for AManFromMars1 to weigh in on this)...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a sign ..

    .. that there must be a new version of Windows on its way to waste all that power..

    1. Mpeler

      Re: It's a sign ..

      No, just a massive, continuous, 24x7x365 (OK x52) update process that needs 6 cores all of its own...

      Have three of these clustered together and you get the mark of the Micro$oft... (6x6x6)

      (OK, have at it Micro$uck marketing trolls).

  6. PNGuinn

    For the rest of us ...

    Err, apart from the obvious edge cases, how much CPU and memory do I really need to get my work done?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll still BSOD on windows 10 and nvidia drivers....

    Seriously when tested even a skylake i3 with fast ddr4 can render all present games as well as an i7.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    This could have been the CPU in MSFT's Surface Phone before Sadnad killed it.

  9. ph0b0s

    So disappointing.

    On the same day Intel announce their newest architecture, Kaby Lake, they announce their 'high end' CPU line that is now effectively based on two generations older architecture and they expect punters to stump up more cash for the privileged. What a joke, this is what happens when you don't have a decent competitor.

  10. no-one in particular


    > "It's designed not just for multi-tasking, but also for mega-tasking," said Gregory Bryant

    deka-tasking, surely

    1. Steve Aubrey

      Re: Prefixes

      Decca? That's a record!

      1. Mpeler

        Re: Prefixes

        Sounds like a Capitol idea...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even with a lowly i3 6300 I've not played a single game yet that has maxed out both cores at 1080p and that's with moving physicsx to the CPU. GPU is always the bottleneck - ddr4 gives a big boost to the cpu.

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