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Eight cores not enough? Intel may be working on a 10-core monster for you

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Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

While Skylake churns ahead towards a succesful major release for Intel, enthusiasts have their eyes on the X99 line, and the forthcoming update to Intel’s collection of high-end, multi-core processors. Like the Haswell-E line before them, the rumored Broadwell-E chips will boast a larger cache, but also, if the rumors are true, include a 10 core, 20 thread processor.

Details of the rumor come from Chinese tech blog Xfastest, who shared a snippet of a detail sheet with four new processors listed on it. The most interesting is the i7-6950X, a deca-core chip with Hyper-Threading, 25M of L3 cache, and a base clock of 3.0GHz. The next is the i7-6900K, an octa-core chip with 20M of L3 cache, and a 3.30GHz base clock. The remaining two CPUs, the i7-6850K and i7-6800K, are six-core chips with 15M of L3 cache, and a 3.6 and 3.4GHz clock rate respectively.

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According to the report, all four of the chips are compatible with the LGA2011-v3 socket on consumer motherboards. That means an upgrade from one of the older X99 models is as simple as swapping the chip out, if that update is appealing enough. While they’re often used in gaming machines, the base clock rates of the eight core chips means they’re usually not much quicker than quad-cores.

Still, they’re the top of the line for high-end and enthusiast system builders, regardless of what the machine is actually going to be doing. No word on price or release date yet, but the Haswell-E chips dropped in August of 2014, so it’s not unreasonable to expect an announcement on these within the next six months, if they’re even real. If they are, don’t expect a list price of less than a grand on the ten-core 6950X, as the eight-core 5960X still hovers at about that price.