Intel Flagship Core i7-6950X Broadwell-E Processor Reportedly To Offer 10-Cores, 20-Threads, 25MB L3 Cache

Intel has made a habit of launching enthusiast versions of previous generations processors after it releases it a new architecture. What that means for system builders currently in need of an upgrade, is deciding between putting together a PC around Skylake parts or waiting for Intel's inevitable Broadwell-E launch To help make that decision a bit easier, some juicy information about the Intel's next gen high-end desktop chip has been leaked to the web.

A Chinese-language website posted several details about Broadwell-E, and if true, you can expect Intel to release four new processors under the new HEDT (High-End Desktop) banner for Broadwell, which is one more SKU than Haswell-E brought to the table. The most intriguing of the new chips is the Core i7-6950X, a monster 10-core CPU with Hyper Threading support.

Intel Core i7-5775C
Intel Core i7-5775C (Broadwell) w/ Iris Pro Graphics

That gives the Core i7-6950X 20 threads to play with, along with a whopping 25MB of L3 cache. We can't wait to see this thing tear through multi-thread aware applications and benchmarks like Cinebench.

The caveat is the CPU's clockspeed -- it will run at just 3.0GHz (base), so for applications that aren't properly tuned to take full advantage of large core counts and threads, it could potentially trail behind the Core i7-6700K, a quad-core Skylake processor clocked at 4GHz (base) to 4.2GHz (Turbo). The Core i7-6950X still has more L3 cache, but for tasks where raw clockspeed reigns supreme, the 3GHz chip might even lose out to the Core i7-4790K, a Devil's Canyon part clocked at 4GHz to 4.4GHz.

Intel Broadwell-E Chart

Intel's addressing the clockspeed concern with two faster-clocked six-core Broadwell-E processors and an eight-core CPU that strikes a balance between clockspeed and core count. Here's a look at they shake out:

  • Intel Core i7-6950X: 10 cores, 20 threads, 25MB L3 cache, 3.0GHz
  • Intel Core i7-6900K: 8 cores, 16 threads, 20MB L3 cache, 3.3GHz
  • Intel Core i7-6850K: 6 cores, 12 threads, 15MB L3 cache, 3.6GHz
  • Intel Core i7-6800K: 6 cores, 12 threads, 15MB L3 cache, 3.4GHz

All of these processors will have a Turbo clockspeed, though information about the specific clockspeeds is not yet available. In addition, there are all socket LGA2011-v3 CPUs that should be compatible with existing X99 Express chipset motherboards, though a BIOS update may be in order.