Date: Friday , August 29, 2014
Intel comes to us today with its newest processor code named "Haswell-E" and the Intel Express X99 chipset. This is basically a CPU and memory controller that Intel has doubled down with.
The Haswell architecture is familiar to most of us and was launched in June of 2013. In a nutshell what Intel has done with the Haswell-E is to double the core count, double the thread count through HyperThreading, and doubled the processors L3, and in the case of the Core i7-5960X actually increased the L3 cache to 20MB, up from 8MB on the original Haswell.
The Haswell-E will come in three new models, with this product stack being a bit more differentiated that what we have seen in the past. The Core i7-5960X which is shown to you on the following pages is a 8 core / 16 thread processor with 20MB of L3 cache. All these new Haswell-E parts support DDR4 through a new on-die memory controller in conjunction with the new X99 motherboard chipset. While DDR4 is still in its infancy, and very expensive, we should expect to see quad-channel DDR4 to support speeds up to 4000MHz in the coming year supplying memory bandwidth in excess of 60GB/sec. All these new processors, the Core i7-5960X, i7-5930K, and i7-5820K, will be fully unlocked processors which of course will make the computer hardware enthusiast very happy. Street pricing is looking to fall in at $1000, $580, and $340 respectively. All of these processors will be seated in a new LGA 2011-v3 socket which is electrically different than the previous LGA 2011 socket. A good note on the socket change is that all the previous cooling solutions supplied for LGA 2011 sockets will also support the LGA 2011-v3.
The X99 chipset in conjunction with the Haswell-E will support up to 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0. This give us possible multi-GPU configurations beyond two cards with 2x16 and1x8. Outside of huge PCIe support, the chipset also offers up to 10 Sata 3.0 ports and a huge host of USB 2 and USB 3 ports.
As Intel slide decks go, this is actually one of the best I have seen. And while there is Intel marketing fluff and cherry picked benchmarks, this one is very much to the point allowing the new hardware to rest on its own laurels. It is worth your time to click through giving the slides a look.