Haswell-E – Intel Core i7 5960X Review

The core factor

Well, dear boys and girls, it is our special pleasure to share a historical moment with you. Of course, some of you probably got bored with the MHZ and core count rush, but the launch of the first 8 core desktop CPU is nevertheless a very important moment in the history of computing. And not because it has 8 cores, but because one year ago the mobile market took lead for the first time when it comes to core count, launching the first 8 core chipsets.

It may not seem like a big deal but until now processing power was always a thing reserved for desktop computers, transistor count wise, MHz wise and core count wise. Well, the mobile chipsets cannot come close to desktop CPU’s when it comes to transistor count and frequency, but when it comes to core count there was a period of time where mobile chipsets had more cores then the high-end desktop CPU’s.

When you think about it, for more then 20 years core count was not an issue. Of course, the transistor count grew constantly according to Moore’s Law, we saw the progress from 4 bit CPU’s to 8, 16, 32 and finally 64 bit CPU’s, the power consumption also grew and of course the performance grew at an exponential rate. However, until 2005, when AMD launched the first dual core desktop CPU and Intel fought back with their Pentium D series, the desktop CPU’s had only one physical core.

Starting with 2005, multi core computing became a hot subject for the desktop market so the two CPU giants started the core count race. 2006 brought the first Intel native dual-cores (two cores on the same die – Conroe) and also the first quad-core (Kentsfield) which were made of two Conroe dual-cores on the same PCB.

Yorkfield integrated two Wolfdale dual-cores on the same die and Nehalem brought back the concept of hyper-threading. Gulftown was the first 6 core / 12 thread desktop CPU from Intel and starting with that moment (2010) we had to wait for more then 4 years for a higher core count desktop CPU. Both Sandy Bridge E and Ivy Bridge E had 6 cores and 12 threads and Intel didn’t consider we need more on a desktop… until now.

Well, the beast Intel Core i7 5960X puts an end to our wait integrating 8 cores and 16 threads in the same die. But the good news don’t stop here – unlike SB-E and IB-E, Haswell-E does not integrated more cores from the last generation, and more than that, with the launch of Core i7 5960X and X99 we also get a new type of RAM, DDR4. Therefore, it is pretty obvious that we have a lot to talk about today, so let’s get to work!!!


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