Electronics manufacturer ASRock has released new firmware for its line of X99 motherboards that adds support for Intel’s upcoming line of “Broadwell-E” processors. Intel hasn’t officially announced these new CPUs, but ASRock conveniently listed a number of them in a blog posted on Tuesday, including Intel’s unannounced ten-core, 20-thread flagship chip, the Core i7-6950X.
According to ASRock, the X99 chipset firmware update will support all Broadwell-E processors including the i7-6900K, the i7-6850K and the i7-6800K chips. These processors use the same Intel LGA 2011-v3 socket as the older Haswell-E models, allowing system modders to pull out the Haswell-E CPU and insert a fresh new Broadwell-E chip without having to replace the motherboard.
“Rest assured that ASRock’s former X99 chipset motherboards will all support the new chips,” the company writes. “Upgrade now and hold on to your horses until the new CPUs are delivered, just don’t hold your breath.”
Up until now, the processor names have ridden on the winds of rumors save for Intel’s 10-core chip, which the company revealed on its website for the Intel Management Engine software (and seems to have removed). Based on the listing, this Extreme Edition processor will have a boost clock speed of 3.5GHz and 25MB of L3 cache. Additional rumors peg the thermal design power (TDP) at 140-watts, and the core clock at 3GHz, with an estimated price of around $1,500.
The next Broadwell-E processor in line is supposedly the Core i7-6900K, with eight cores, 16 threads, a base clock of 3.2GHz, and a boost clock of 3.7GHz. This chip will only have 20MB of L3 cache, a TDP of 140-watts, and sport a cheaper estimated price of $999. Intel’s six-core i7-6850K CPU isn’t quite as expensive, offering an estimated pricetag of around $550. That buys a chip with a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, a boost clock speed of 3.8GHz, and 15MB of L3 cache.
Most affordable of the line is the i7-6800K processor, priced at around $390. It will also have six cores, but a base clock speed of 3.4GHz, and a boost clock speed of 3.6GHz, with 15MB of L3 Cache.
Note that all four “leaked” processors come with an unlocked multiplier (for overclocking), and are manufactured using 14nm process technology.
ASRock isn’t the only motherboard manufacturer getting ready for the Broadwell-E lineup. Gigabyte released firmware updates for its X99-based motherboards back in January.
Intel is expected to officially launch its line of Broadwell-E processors during the Computex 2016 expo in Taipei taking place between May 31 to June 4. Until then, ASRock customers can get ready for the upgrade by downloading the new Broadwell-E supporting firmware for X99-based boards that are listed here.
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