Meet the eight legged Core i7 5960X phenomenon
G'day Sir and milady! In this article we review, test and benchmark the all new Core i7 5960X (Haswell-E) 8 core processor and smack it on one of the long awaited X99 motherboards. Intel's most high-end processor SKUs just got updated with three new models, the top dog being the enthusiast class eight-core processor series aimed at enthusiasts and pro-consumers. The Intel Core i7-5960X and other Haswell-E chips are released into the market in September 2014 and based on the new socket LGA2011-V3 infrastructure and DDR4 quad channel memory. The new Haswell-E series being released today features three models, two 6 core and one 8 core processor intended for the most high-end desktops anno 2014. For Intel this is the first 8 core desktop CPU, opposed to AMD's FX series who have been offering 8-core processors (albeit slower in performance) for quite some time now. Now don't get me wrong as Intel has been offering 8 and even 12 core processors in their Xeon server line for quite some time now. Obviously the Core i7 processors being announced today are binned off that Xeon line. The new Haswell-E processor series is now fabbed smaller, based on 22nm technology and comes with most of the features we have learned to like and love of the initial Ivy Bridge and then Haswell processor generations. So you guys, a choice of 6 and 8 core CPU models featuring up to 20 MB of L3 cache. Of course, Hyper Threading is enabled on all these SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) which will show either 12 or 16 logical cores depending on the processor model. Maximum TDP for these processors is 140 Watts and the processors are built on 22nm with a 2nd generation Hi-k process. With Haswell-E Intel has now managed to embed 2.6 Billion transistors on the CPU die which is based on a 22nm fab. In this article we'll not only have a peek at performance, but at several aspects and features. For example, Intel uses a Socket 2011, but it's a revision 3 socket meaning that the older Socket 2011 will not work on the new X99 chipset motherboards. That of course goes both ways, you cannot use Haswell-E on say an X79 motherboard.
Very interesting to see is a first introduction to DDR4 memory. The new memory allows for lower voltage memory modules, this memory defaults to 2133 MHz at 1.2 Volts. However, the memory controller is quad-channel compatible. As a result, with overclocked memory at roughly 3 GHz you can reach 70, maybe 80 GB/sec on your memory bandwidth, which are insane numbers. The three processors released today are the 5960X / 5930K and 5820K, the latter two Haswell-E CPUs will get six cores and the flagship processor of course will get eight cores and thus sixteen threads, the latest instruction sets are embedded.
Anyway, head on over to the next page where we'll discuss Haswell-E processors with the respective models being released. We'll also have a chat about the X99 motherboards in terms of the chipset and then will throw a decent photo-shoot and a benchmark suite at the products and get an indication of what performance is like with the Intel Core i7-5960X and X99 Platform.
Enjoy the processor sweetness, we certainly will do the very same.