Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Processor Preview


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Intel X99 Express Chipset

Although LGA2011-V3 sockets are physically identical to the older LGA2011 sockets, they’re electrically different, and your Sandy Bridge Extreme or Ivy Bridge Extreme CPUs will not work (actually I’m not sure what would happen if you tried. If you do try, please let me know.) The new socket architecture is supported by Intel’s new X99 Express chipset. For comparison, here’s the architecture diagram of the X79 chipset:


…and here’s the diagram for the X99 Express chipset:


Looking at these diagrams, you can see that the major differences are:

  • 40 PCI-E Gen 3 lanes from the CPU vs. 40 PCI-E Gen 2 lanes
  • 2133MHz DDR4 memory instead of DDR3 memory
  • Native USB 3.0 support. Finally.
  • Increased communications speed between the chipset and its USB ports and PCI-E 2.0 lanes
  • More SATA ports: 10 vs. 6

So, what can we expect from this new platform?


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  1. David Lean

    The reason(s) I deployed 3930K systems was for the memory & disk access. Yet few reviews consider this. The extra cores & threads are good. I’ve never needed to overclock them.
    Development, Data Analysis are the 2 compelling use cases that justify these systems.
    I think the 3 unique features are :-
    1. Ability to access 4 banks of RAM. Initially 64GB (8 * 8GB) & now 128GB
    2. Strong support for 4 * NVidia dual GPU’s (8 cores). (for CUDA)
    3. Good local disk access.

    Ideal for :-
    1. Developers & IT pros can run many Virtual Machines simulating an entire Data Center on one machine. Great for testing. Cheaper, quieter & cooler than a server.
    2. 8 CUDA cores provide the equiv of a small super computer. Good for Engineering, Medical, Mining simulations, & Finance Models
    3. 6/8 cores also good for Data Mining, BI, Compiling & other general purpose CPU bound tasks.
    High clock speed is v handy, but as large RAM limits overclocking potential, safer to just buy more cores.
    In short: These aren’t the chip for the Extreme Gamer.

    1. David Ramsey

      I agree with your assessment of what the new LGA2011-V3 systems are best suited for.

      However, I’m confused by your statement that “Good local disk access” is s unique feature of the platform. Could you explain this?

  2. Julian Duque

    I cant wait to see the benchmarks! Do you know when this line of processors will be available for purchase?

    1. David Ramsey

      It’s available for purchase right now. Look for performance figures in the next day or so.

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