Intel’s Flagship Core i7-6950X “Broadwell-E” Specifications Confirmed, All Four SKUs Detailed – Upto 10 Cores, 25MB Cache and 140W TDP

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted 11 months ago

A few days ago, we reported the first leaked specifications of Intel’s Broadwell-E HEDT (High-End Desktop Platform) which is expected to retail in first half of 2016. From the early reports we gathered, it was revealed that Broadwell-E lineup will feature a total of four new SKUs which will make use of the latest 14nm process node and will update the core count once again for the flagship SKU which is going to be beast for enthusiasts.

Intel Broadwell-E Specifications and SKU Details Confirmed – Core i7-6950X Indeed Rocks 10 Cores, 20 Threads and Massive 25MB Cache

For years now, Intel has been offering quad core and even dual core options on their mainstream lineup. The multi-threading design is available on their top-tier chips but it isn’t equivalent of actual cores on the die itself. To feed the need of enthusiasts, Intel has split their lineups into two categories, the mainstream family and the enthusiast family. The mainstream family consists of parts that are focused on regular consumers with gaming, business and home uses. Now Intel has done a good job in providing some decent overclocking features with K series processors that are featured in the mainstream lineup and board partners offer some cool motherboard options to users on the platform but those who need the best performance from Intel look at the HEDT lineup which includes the high-end desktop parts ranging from top of the line chips, motherboards and I/O options.

As known, Intel has segmented their top-of-the-line processors in the HEDT family with Extreme and Unlocked series options. Starting off with the first HEDT option that was available with the Core i7-965 Extreme Edition and the Core i7-980X which launched later, Intel has released several generations of HEDT processors, each one besting the previous in a couple of ways. The Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell generations have all seen their own HEDT processors from the Core i7-3960X, Core i7-4960X and the latest Core i7-5960X. The Core i7-980X was Intel’s first 6 core processor and the Core i7-5960X is Intel’s first 8 core processor. They both retailed at a launch price of $999 US and the latest entrant will be the Core i7-6950X, the first 10 Core consumer processor. The processor will be part of the Broadwell-E launch lineup which will also consist of the following processors:

Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X Processor FamilyImage Credits/Source: BenchLife

  • Intel Core i7-6950X
  • Intel Core i7-6900K
  • Intel Core i7-6850K
  • Intel Core i7-6800K

Intel Core i7-6950X – The First Consumer Deca Core Processor

The Intel Core i7-6950X processor will be the flagship processor of the Broadwell-E lineup. The processor will feature 10 cores and 20 threads. The processor will run at a base clock of 3.00 GHz and a 3.50 GHz boost clock. The processor will come in an unlocked package to allow overclocking support to enthusiasts but I think Intel will be making a point with the upcoming launch, that they are not stopping at 8 cores for their HEDT family but increasing the core count even further for consumers. The processor rocks 25 MB of L3 cache (2.5 MB per core) and will be compatible with current generation X99 motherboards that feature the LGA 2011-v3 socket. There’s no reason to believe that board partners of Intel won’t launch new motherboards to mark the arrival of the first 10 core processor from any company, whether Intel or AMD in the consumer market. Although Intel and AMD have both released higher core count processors in the server and workstation market, no 10 core high-performance CPU has yet launched in the desktop PC market. The Core i7-6950X is expected to launch at price of $999 US.


Intel Extreme Series Processor Comparison:

Intel HEDT Processor Families:

Intel HEDT FamilyGulftownSandy Bridge-EIvy Bridge-EHaswell-EBroadwell-EKaby Lake-XSkylake-X
Process Node32nm32nm22nm22nm14nm14nm14nm
Flagship SKUCore i7-980XCore i7-3960XCore i7-4960XCore i7-5960XCore i7-6950XCore i7-7000 SeriesCore i7-7000 X
Max Cores/Threads6/126/126/128/1610/204/810/20
Clock Speeds3.33/3,60 GHz3.30/3.90 GHz3.60/4.00 GHz3.00/3.50 GHz3.00/3.50 GHzTBDTBD
Max Cache12 MB L315 MB L315 MB L320 MB L325 MB L38 MB L313.75 MB L3
Max PCI-Express Lanes32 Gen240 Gen240 Gen340 Gen340 Gen316 Gen348 Gen3
Chipset CompatiblityX58 ChipsetX79 ChipsetX79 ChipsetX99 ChipsetX99 ChipsetKaby Lake PCHKaby Lake PCH
Socket CompatiblityLGA 1366LGA 2011LGA 2011LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2066LGA 2066
Memory CompatiblityDDR3-1066DDR3-1600DDR3-1866DDR4-2133DDR4-2400DDR4-2667DDR4-2667
Max TDP130W130W130W140W140W112W140W
LaunchQ1 2010Q4 2011Q3 2013Q3 2014Q2 20162H 20172H 2017
Launch Price$999 US$999 US$999 US$1059 US$1700 US$350+?~$1500 US
Intel Xeon Phi 7290 Boasts 72 Processing Cores – Fastest Chip Introduced By The Company With Other Model Details Included

Intel Core i7-6900K – The More Affordable and Faster Octa Core Offering

Although the Core i7-6950X is one hell of a processor, Intel will also launch three more SKUs in the Broadwell-E lineup. This is the first time that Intel is launching four processors in an HEDT lineup but it might cover up the big price differences we have seen in the older lineups. Starting off with the Core i7-6900K which is an 8 core processor with 16 threads and has 20 MB of L3 Cache. Now the processor specifications reminds me of the 8-Core Core i7-5960X which is the flagship Haswell-E offering that launched back in 2014 but fear not, this new processor would not only be a little bit cheaper than the Core i7-5960X but also come with faster clock speeds of 3.20 GHz base and 3.70 GHz boost. All along with the added sweetness of an unlocked multiplier and full support on the latest X99 motherboards to allow for better overclocking. The Core i7-6900K is expected to hit the market at around $550 US range.

MSI X99A GODLIKE Gaming – One of the several X99 Motherboards that will support Broadwell-E CPUs

Intel Core i7-6850K and Core i7-6800K – Hexa Core Chips For The Entry Level Enthusiasts

At the bottom of the lineup, Intel will have two SKUs, the Core i7-6850K and the Core i7-6800K. Both CPUs have 6 cores and 12 threads and come with 15 MB of L3 cache but the interesting thing is that both chips are placed for the entry level enthusiasts which means these will be retailing for a price of sub-$450 US. The Core i7-6850K will feature a base clock of 3.60 GHz base and 3.80 GHz boost while the Core i7-6800K will feature clock speeds of 3.40 GHz base and 3.60 GHz boost. Both processors are fully compliant with the LGA 2011-3 socket and will feature support for quad channel DDR4 memory with speeds of up to 2400 MHz (O.C+). The new chips will be arriving around second quarter of 2016.

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Intel Broadwell-E Family Specifications:

Intel Broadwell-E Family

Processor NameIntel Core i7-6950XIntel Core i7-6900KIntel Core i7-6850KIntel Core i7-6800K
Process Node14nm14nm14nm14nm
Core Clock3.00 GHz3.20 GHz3.60 GHz3.40 GHz
Boost Clock3.50 GHz3.70 GHz3.80 GHz3.60 GHz
L3 Cache25 MB L3 Cache20 MB L3 Cache15 MB L3 Cache15 MB L3 Cache
Unlocked Multiplier (BCLK OC)Yes, Full Range OCYes, Full Range OCYes, Full Range OCYes, Full Range OC
SocketLGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3
PCI-E Lanes40404028
Memory SupportDDR4-2400 MHzDDR4-2400 MHzDDR4-2400 MHzDDR4-2400 MHz
Launch Price$1723 US$1089 US$617 US$434 US

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