Skip to main content

How much faster will PCs with Intel x99 8-Core CPUs and DDR4 RAM be?

skylake motherboards from msi biostar asrock said to be coming in august x99motherboard
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Read our full Intel Core i7-5960X review.

At Computex 2014, companies like MSI, EVGA, and ASRock showcased motherboards based on Intel’s x99 chipset, which supports a host of new features including faster Haswell-E (Enthusiast) processors, faster DDR4 memory, and faster SATA Express storage technology. These, and a wealth of extended connectivity and expansion options, make the next-generation, soon-to-be-released x99-based PCs the fastest we’ve seen so far.

8-core CPUs

While many things about these new motherboards are noteworthy, perhaps the most important factor is their support for 8-core CPUs. With Haswell-E, Intel will retire 4-core configurations, and offer buyers a choice of 6- and 8-core processors with up to 20MB of L3 cache, as well as hyper threading via up to 16 logical cores, for up to 16 threads. Intel is claiming increased performance by as much as 33 to 50 percent.


As mentioned, in addition to faster processors, the x99-based motherboards will also support the latest memory standard, DDR4, which, after all is said and done, will increase bandwidth by about 50 percent. These memory chips will also use less power. The inclusion of DDR4 will make the new X99 motherboards the first in Intel’s “Wellsburg” family of motherboard chipsets. In addition to DDR4, Wellsburg will support the following options:

Note, though, that what we don’t see in this list is support for the brand new USB 3.1 standard. For some reason, that will require a different motherboard, such as MSI’s Z97-G55 SLI, which was also showcased at Computex 2014. However, this MSI motherboard doesn’t provide some of the other x99 features—most notably, DDR4 support. Since USB 3.1 achieves its 10MB transfer speeds by combining PCIe lanes, though, it shouldn’t be that difficult to implement in x99 chipsets.

SATA Express

Samsung, Asus, and a few other manufacturers are developing SATA Express-based solid state drives (SSDs) with nearly twice the bandwidth—10Gbps versus the current SATA 3.0 standard’s 6Gbps, making them 67 percent faster. In addition to being much faster, some of these new SSDs, such as Samsung Semiconductor’s SV843, have much greater capacity than today’s standard SSDs. The SV843, for example, holds up to 960GB. Right now, Samsung is classifying these SSDs as data center-class drives. As you might expect, they won’t be cheap, but that may not last long.

When will we see x99-based motherboards?

According to Intel, the Wellsburg family, Haswell-E motherboards are slated for release “in the September 2014 time frame.” In other words, very soon. We should actually see motherboards and PCs based on this new chipset about that same time. Most computer makers have committed to incorporating the standard, and each manufacturer has begun developing products based on it.

MSI, for instance, will release a Haswell-E motherboard featuring the high-performance Core i7-5960X CPU with eight cores and 16 threads. It will come at a rather steep $999 US price tag, though, which will make for some rather expensive PCs. But then, this may seem like a small price to pay for enthusiasts who require faster and more powerful computers.

Faster CPUs, faster memory, faster and higher-capacity storage devices—all of this adds up to significantly faster PCs, but no matter how you look at it, the most possible performance increase could be well under 50 percent. Still, gamers and multimedia professionals will take all they can get.

Editors' Recommendations

William Harrel
William Harrel has been writing about computer technology for well over 25 years. He has authored or coauthored 20…
Windows 12 could repeat Windows 11’s big mistake
surface laptop studio 2 review 07

The first details about Windows 12 are starting to take shape, and the rumored OS could repeat the biggest mistake of Windows 11. As we've heard previously, the new OS will likely have a big focus on AI features. Now, we're hearing that many of those features will require a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU), as reported by Windows Central.

It's hard to forget the fumble Microsoft made with Windows 11 and its requirement of a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This security chip isn't included, at least in hardware, on the majority of off-the-shelf PC components, leading many to believe their PC wasn't compatible with Windows 11 when it really was.

Read more
All the ways to lower your CPU temperatures, from easy to expert
Intel's 14900K CPU socketed in a motherboard.

If you're overclocking your processor, want to bring down noise levels, or just want to increase the longevity of your CPU, then lowering it's temperature is a great plan. There are a lot of ways you can do it, too, from the easy and cheap to the complicated and costly, and everything in-between.

Whatever your reasoning, here's how to lower your CPU temperatures in a few different ways.

Read more
HP OMEN gaming laptops, PCs and monitors all have huge price cuts
HP Omen 40L Gaming PC on a table connected to a monitor.

HP has a huge sale on all things HP Omen and gaming related, which means it’s the place to check out for gaming laptop deals, along with the best monitor deals and gaming PC deals too. If you’re looking to upgrade to a sweet new rig, you need to check out this sale. We’ve highlighted the pick of the bunch below.
HP Omen 31.5-inch QHD Curved Gaming Monitor -- $250, was $380

HP may not feature on our look at the best gaming monitors, but this HP Omen 31.5-inch QHD Curved Gaming Monitor sounds great on paper. It has a great QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 along with 400 nits of brightness, 1ms response time, and a 3,000:1 contrast ratio. A 1500R curvature means you can enjoy a more immersive experience than the average gaming monitor. It also has HDR support, AMD FreeSync Premium, and two HDMI 2 ports for hooking up all your devices. 99% sRGB and 90% DCI-P3 color gamut all further help matters to ensure you get a vibrant experience throughout.

Read more