back to article Intel unleashed octo-core speed demon for the power-crazed crowd

Intel has released its first eight-core desktop chip, the Intel Core i7-5960X processor Extreme Edition, formerly known as Haswell-E, along with two other slightly slower chips. Intel Core i7-5960X Chipzilla's latest speed demon "We're thrilled to unveil the next phase in our 'reinvention of the desktop' we outlined …

  1. NoneSuch

    I could buy a Ferrari, but I find my Ford Mondeo is a damned sight cheaper and runs quite reliably.

    My AMD FX 8-Core Black Edition FX-9590 was 200 US so I can buy 5 CPU's for the same price and performs close enough to the i7 in the article. My PC is fast, I don't need it to be the fastest.

    1. Joerg

      Keep dreaming.. your AMD FX 8-core it's slow as hell compared to an Intel Core i7.. and compared to this one it's even sillier.

      1. goldcd

        I'm currently sporting a reasonably old i7 2600k

        Been through a few GPU upgrades - but as a gamer not found anything that maxes it out.

        Only thing that makes it sweat is the odd handbrake video encode.

        I'm really not quite sure who this chip's for - 4k gamers don't need it. Industrial video crunchers just need a pool of lesser chips.

        Still - it's faster, so I want one.

        1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

          Re: I'm currently sporting a reasonably old i7 2600k

          It might be excellent for a networked home entertainment system if a tiny bit of underclocking keeps the fans quiet. 4K video, if you go that route, will need lots of CPU even for playback. Some of the efficiency boosting compression features of H.264 and H.265 can eat as many CPU cycles as you can throw at them. All those cores could make for a machine that's fast at gaming and able to transcode-on-demand as a networked DVR server.

        2. ilmari

          Re: I'm currently sporting a reasonably old i7 2600k

          I need a faster cpu for kerbal spsce program, so I can build bigger spaceships. Unfortunately, haswell-e wont help run KSP's single threaded physics engine any faster.

      2. K Silver badge

        You've missed the original posters point completely. All he's indicating is the speeds etc do not justify the price difference - which as some who owns both, I'd agree with. Whilst the i7 might be snappier, its negligible. A person would be better off investing the savings in more RAM, 2xSSD (in RAID) and better GFX card..

  2. Haku



  3. Thoguht Silver badge

    All they are doing is getting rid of that piece of junk they call a graphics processor, and replacing it with a copy/paste of the four existing CPU cores. Oh, and throttling back the clock speed too. Can someone outside of Intel marketing please explain to me exactly why this shouldn't cost less than half of what it does?

    1. Joerg

      Are you a desperate AMD employee or just a little kid on drugs ?

      1. Thoguht Silver badge


        No, I'm a bitter old man on Australian Shiraz who likes to run highly multi-threaded loads and who is sick and tired of the Intel/AMD duopoly and their CPU designs that are heavily stacked in favour of little kids on drugs.

        1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

          Re: @Joerg

          I rather sympathize. I'm happy to see the core count increase, but I'd like to see the amount of supported RAM increase too. It's time that the manufacturers stopped simply feeding fanboy gamers GHz and driving up costs and started pushing more power efficient horsepower through smarter techniques (more cores/threads and improved simultaneous operations for a start).

          Of course, the software industry needs to be engaged too - big fast single core, like masses of RAM and disk has lead to really lazy approaches to software. Don't believe me? Look at the disk foot print of Windows NT through to 7/8.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Joerg

            It's easier to look at the footprint of Chrome with a few tabs open, far more ludicrous than the OS

            Supported RAM is already sky high though, if it's limited it is by the board vendors not the chipsets or CPU, Sandy Bridge can support something like 256GB per socket in a workstation, so it should comfortably be able to manage 128GB on a standard machine

            Also you seem to forget that gamers and enthusiasts dramatically subsidize the R&D so we can get affordable technology, without those markets we'd be paying double or triple, just like GPU manufacturers offload the R&D cost onto the professional workstation markets which is only justifiable by a cartel of support limitations on consumer chipsets, and a few disabled features

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Joerg

            Agreed in principle... but 3-4 GHz CPUs have been around for 5 years, maybe 10 for the most 'leet :)

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: @Joerg

          > sick and tired of the Intel/AMD duopoly

          It's hardly like unilever-proctor&gamble where they don't want to compete. Intel went for high performance low-core-count/high price; AMD went for more cores and lower prices. These are almost different markets. That makes it difficult for AMD to compete on marketing to end-users so they concentrate on the embedded market.

          Gamers generally need a couple of fast cores but like to brag about their systems. Intel wants to sell to them regardless of their usage because they are less price-sensitive. Sensible IT type running VMs at home would go for the 8-core AMD chip and save a bundle if buying new.

          I don't see memory as an issue - I've got 32G in my host which is half the maximum for my mobo. I got it for running VMs - most people can probably get by with 16G for years to come. I've got an "old" 3930k which has far more oomph than is needed. I got it for $300 which was enough to tempt me from my E7500 and as a desktop I expect it to last for at least six more years. My main "concern" is power consumption. Intel's done quite a bit to improve that but tiny incremental improvements dressed up as "generations" annoy me and don't warrant the expense of an upgrade. If anything, performance has mostly regressed since the 3930's were new.

          Sure, I'd like to see some ARM or MIPS machines out there. I'd be happy with an ARM file-server, browsing and email host (built into a screen?). However, I've noticed that Word will consume as much of a single core as you can throw at it, which is a bit rubbish, but hardly Intel's fault. I'd like to see AMD challange Intel on the single-core speed front because I think the lack of competition is a problem but I suspect AMD's fabrication tech just can't match them.

          Part of the problem is that general move to laptops. There's little chance of customisation and movement in the market with locked-down machines. At least in the past we had PCMCIA interfaces to add new functionality - now there's no chance of neatly adding functions to a laptop - you're reduced to ugly dongles and external devices.

    2. P0l0nium

      I no longer work in Intel Marketing :-)

      It costs this much because

      - Its the fastest desktop processor on the market

      - The fastest widget ALWAYS costs $1000

      - People who want cutting edge stuff will pay it

      - If you want something half as fast - you can get it for 1/5th the money

      - Its not intended for people who worry about niceties like "munee"

      - They have $40B in process development costs to recover

      - Their socialist principles are a bit errr "limited"

      Since you're never going to buy one. why the **** does it matter to you ??

      1. Naughtyhorse


        so it can be OC'd to more than 8.79GHz?

        1. P0l0nium

          Re: fastest?

          Depends how much liquid nitrogen you've got and how many risks you're willing to take.

          No it generally won't clock as fast as processors with less cores for "heat transfer" reasons but in multi-threaded applications it is faster than anything else .

  4. Salts

    Looking at the over clocking...

    does this mean they design a chip at 3.5GHz, for arguments sake, then clock it down to 3GHz which makes the over clockers run out and buy it, just for the bragging rights?

    1. Random K

      Re: Looking at the over clocking...

      Overclocking the E series chips has always been a little tricky. On my Ivy-E 6 core for example I've had to completely replace my CPU cooling setup, buy a new case, and upgrade the fans as the cooling gear I had for my previous overclocked 2600 just wouldn't cut it (like at all).

      OCs are also pretty modest compared to consumer i7/i5. My 3.4Ghz i7-4930K OCs to just over 4.4 for stable daily use with decent water cooling (and a 280mm rad). If I dial memory speeds down to 1600 (from 2133) I can get 4.6 out of it and it's mostly stable. With 6 cores and quad channel ram there are just too many things interacting to easily get the crazy 5Ghz+ speeds that quad core i5/i7s can do.

      Add to that Haswell's integrated VRMs and the silicon lottery gets that much harder. This release and the E series as a whole is all about the epeen pure and simple (still cool though, might have to upgrade if someone finds a golden batch or something). Windows user, because these are for toys...

      1. Jason Ozolins

        Re: Looking at the over clocking...

        Pretty sure all the Ivy Bridge chips (and the earlier Haswell mainstream chips) used Thermal Interface Material (i.e., some rubbery heatsink-paste-like goop) between the CPU die and the heat spreader. This was remarked on at the time as being worse for overclocking, as it was less efficient at shifting heat from the die to the heat spreader than the preceding models. As you might expect, some brave/foolish folks went so far as to *remove* the heat spreader and upgrade the TIM, all in the name of lulz and extra framez per secondz:

        But these new, Xeon-derived parts seem to have a better (or, at least, *different*) coupling between the CPU die and the heatspreader:

        This suggests that less dedicated overclockers may still be able to get good results from these chips without the surgery required for the previous K models. Indeed, pulling off the lid looks to have completely destroyed the 5960x CPU featured in the link above, so it's just as well really.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Looking at the over clocking...

          But these new, Xeon-derived parts seem to have a better (or, at least, *different*) coupling between the CPU die and the heatspreader:

          Could have added a warning about "high-impact CPU gore".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looking at the over clocking...

      No. They clock it down to 3GHz and then charge you a 50% premium for exactly the same chip when they badge it at 3.5GHz.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looking at the over clocking...

        This is rubbish, it's because of the thermal and power envelopes, which mean less cores in use can run faster, and having a lower base speed is much better on power consumption as much of the time a CPU is idle for most users and can comfortably do its job at well below 1Ghz

  5. chuckufarley

    Cheesburgers and "The Cloud" !

    Given the choice between a $999 8 core CPU that's cores will sit idle under most workloads or a $250 4 core CPU and 749 cheeseburgers (or the local equivalent thereof) which would you choose? Don't get me wrong, I would love an 8 core, 16 thread toy. But not at 140 watts and not at $999. If I could get it for $300 and at less than 100 watts I would seriously consider it even if the clock speeds were much lower.

    While cloud computing is not the most secure source of CPU cycles, I can buy quite a few for $999. Given the choice between subscribing to a cloud service or buying (or worse, leasing) and maintaining a new system what would your company do?

    Given all of that I think it's safe to say that this is a product for people that are both rich and a bit stupid.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Cheesburgers and "The Cloud" !

      > Given all of that I think it's safe to say that this is a product for people that are both rich and a bit stupid.

      Or maybe you could shove it into a database server? That's assuming you don't need the other Xeon features.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Cheesburgers and "The Cloud" !

      > I can buy quite a few for $999

      No you can't. $999 doesn't buy you a whole lot of oomph.

      A "c3.xlarge" (8 vCPUs, not sure what the actual throughput is) instance at Amazon EC2 is currently 0.2571 USD/h at spot pricing at the Virigina datacenter (but you must be prepared to see the rug pulled out from under your computation).

      This gives you only 162 days of computing power.

    3. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Cheesburgers and "The Cloud" !

      Given all of that I think it's safe to say that this is a product for people that are both rich and a bit stupid.

      Oh, so just because you don't need it or deem it value for money, means that ones who do are stupid? It may sound strange but different people have different needs and and some people will have workloads where this CPU would be very suitable for.

  6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    Really? They're putting tantalum in CPUs now?

    DRC-free tantalum

    Maybe the *package* contains a few wee feisty SMT capacitors.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Really? They're putting tantalum in CPUs now?

      The package has always included decoupling caps.

      Given that you cannot buy an Intel CPU as a bare die, it seems reasonable to mention them.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    I'm into this!!

    Run BOINC like a motherfucker with enough energy throughput to singlehandedly blow our politicians' lightbulb-deprecating planet-saving progressive energy-saving green project singlehandedly out of the water?

    Yes, but should I get a Xeon Phi instead?

  8. i like crisps
    Big Brother


    I wonder what 'snappy' features Intel have built in for the NSA?

  9. roger stillick

    Whats Under the Hood Pt.2...?

    Got a SYS-76 17in Workstation laptop with an I7-4700MQ 2.4 Ghz Octo Cpu Haswell chip... this spring 2014... case stays cool on the hottest summer days of continuous running.

    My Little Chinese Wonder does multiple threads, WP, Graphics, Dvd Production, Internet...all at once...Yum...screen looks at various threads, the rest stay running, at least on Ubuntu 13.10 - Classic Gnome Fall - Back option / no spl effects...add a text to speach converter and the 8 cpu's gets thread output slowed down...SSD fill is 148 Gb of my IP...(so i don't use open source Dragon)...even with the SSD, the controlling speed is the 73 Mb /sec data transfer speed...nothing is 'real - time' on this Hyperthreading box - just pleasingly fast work.

    IMHO= these faster Haswell chips are gonna be just fine at 17W per chip... the Xeon Phi uses way more energy...Forget NSA, we will never be clear of spying... i loaded CIA maps as the first new program to get over with the whole spying thing (the pgm has several hot links to the CIA)...

    caveiat= i am a Buddhist techno historian, Crime, Pron, and War is stupid...RS.

  10. Fenton

    Faster Sata bus

    Personally I want a faster Sata bus that does not get maxed out when windows/OSX starts indexing my SSD bringing the whole machine to a standstill when you are trying to watch a video or listen to music on another disk.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All I need is a nice quiet but fast machine for photoshop work.

    Gaming is not for me so should I get Xeon, Opteron kit or stick with the gameboy fans cpus ?

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