Intel launches its first 10-core desktop processor

The new Intel Core i7-6950X is a 10-core desktop processor built for PC enthusiasts, gamers and content creators.
The new Intel Core i7-6950X is a 10-core desktop processor built for PC enthusiasts, gamers and content creators.PHOTO: INTEL

SINGAPORE - In a first for Intel, the chipmaker has introduced a 10-core desktop computer chip with significantly more processing power than typical quad-core chips.

Hailed by Intel as its most powerful desktop processor ever, the new Core i7-6950X processor is targeted at PC enthusiasts, gamers and content creators. It has 10 individual cores, making it suitable for "mega-tasking", a term coined by Intel to describe how users are often working on related computing tasks around the same time.

For instance, while a user is editing a 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) video, he or she may be waiting for other processes to be completed, such as rendering a special effect for the video or uploading another video clip to the cloud. For optimal mega-tasking, these users will need a powerful, multi-core processor to ensure minimal delay.

A possible PC gaming mega-tasking scenario would involve a 4K gaming session with the player live-streaming the game to online video sites, such as YouTube or Twitch. At the same time, the computer's Web camera could also be recording the player's commentary while the computer captures in-game highlights for a video.

Compared to the previous generation, the new chip is said to be up to 20 per cent faster for creating virtual reality content and up to 25 per cent faster for 4K video editing. In the 3DMark benchmark test, it scores up to 30 per cent better.

Besides the 10-core i7-6950X chip, Intel also has 8-core and 6-core models in its processor lineup, known by its codename Broadwell-E. These processors are compatible with the existing Intel X99 chipset, so those using chips from the previous generation do not need to change their motherboards.

Prices start at US$434 (S$599) for the 6-core Core i7-6800K and go up to US$1,723 for the i7-6950X.