Intel reveals $999 Core i7-5960X, which is the company’s first 8-core processor for consumers

intel reveals core i7 5960x haswell e cpu ee chip
Read our full Intel Core i7-5960X review.

It’s virtually common knowledge that Intel’s CPUs blow away most of what AMD has to offer. This time, Intel has topped itself again, announcing the Core i7-5960X CPU, which features not two, not four, not six, but eight processor cores in total.

Code-named Haswell E, the Intel Core i7-5960X runs at 3GHz, and launches alongside Intel’s new X99 chipset. X99 paves the way for DDR4 RAM, and other technological improvements in the PC world. As is the case with Intel’s other processors, the Core i7-5960X features a Turbo Boost clock that can drive its clock speed up to 3.5GHz. If you want to go even higher than that, you’re more than welcome to. The Core i7-5960X’s cores are unlocked, so you can overclock this monster to go past its stock speed of 3GHz.

Eight cores sounds good on paper, but what does that translate to in performance? We conducted a bunch of synthetic benchmark tests, whose scores will appear in our upcoming Core i7-5960X review once it goes live soon. For now, all we’ll say is that this chip absolutely obliterates its predecessors when it comes to multi-threaded performance. Plus, as the specs sheet above states, it supports 40 PCI-Express lanes. This means that you can run two graphics cards in x16, and a third in x8. You can also slot in five motherboards and run each at 8x, but you’ll need a huge motherboard and case to pull off a setup like that.

Haswell E specs

Unfortunately, there are some significant backwards compatibility limitations when it comes to the Core i7-5960X. You’ll need to get a new X99 motherboard in order to get it to work, because while the Haswell E specs sheet says that the 5960X is compatible with motherboards that have the LGA2011 processor socket, the fine print reveals that you need a motherboard with LGA2011-v3. If you try to stick this in a vanilla LGA2011 motherboard, it won’t work, so don’t even try.

On top of that, the new motherboard you’ll need to buy in order to enjoy this power requires DDR4 RAM. It is not backwards compatible with cheaper (and still-sufficient) DDR3 memory, which adds on to the total cost of a Haswell E system build.

Intel is announcing three new chips in total, and the Core i7-5960X is the cream of the crop. One is called the Core i7-5930K, which runs at 3.5GHz, has a Turbo Boost clock of up to 3.7GHz, and slices the core count from eight to six. Then, there’s the Core i7-5820K, which runs at 3.3GHz, has a Turbo Boost speed of up to 3.6GHz, and also sports six cores. So, if you don’t want to go totally hog wild with the 5960X, there are other options available.

Haswell E Roster

These new Haswell E chips, including the Intel Core i7-5960X, should be available right now. The 5960X costs a whipping $999, while the 5930K and 5820K will run you $583, and $389, respectively. The 5820K approaches Devil’s Canyon territory from a pricing standpoint. Considering that you can buy an Intel Core i7-4970K Devil’s Canyon CPU for $340 right now, we wonder how the two chips compare from a performance standpoint. For what its worth, the 5820K’s two extra cores probably give it a significant leg up in multi-threaded applications. Then again, it also comes with the added cost of having to upgrade to X99 and DDR4 RAM.

Keep your eyes out for our full Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell E review, which should go live very soon.


Apple’s updated MacBook Pro may be twice as fast, but can it handle the gains?

Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup, delivering up two twice the performance improvements. The 15-inch model tops out with an eight-core ninth-generation Intel processor and discrete AMD graphics alongside a slightly tweaked keyboard.

Ryzen 3000 chips will pack a punch, and could launch as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

AMD or Intel? We take a look at the pros and cons of both processors

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.

HP drops killer deals on laptops with up to $1,300 off for Memorial Day Weekend

HP is currently dropping prices on Spectre x360, Envy, Pavilion, and Omen laptops during its Memorial Day event. So if you're in dire need of a new laptop, the latest holiday savings may be exactly what you're looking for.

Keep your kids safe online with these great parental control tools

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and MacOS, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.

Here’s how to watch AMD reveal its new Ryzen chips at Computex

AMD will be holding a pre-Computex keynote on May 27 to announce its new line of 3rd-generation Ryzen processors and accompanying Radeon Navi graphics cards. Here's how to watch the keynote live wherever you are in the world.

These external drives have speed, durability, and storage space to spare

Whether you want an external storage drive that is fast, portable, or comes with a ton of storage, these are the best external hard drives available today. They all come with great features and competitive pricing.

The 2019 ThinkPad lineup is robust. Here's how to pick the right one for you

Be it the X series, the T series, E series, it can be tough to find the best Lenovo laptop that is right for you. To help, we'll break down all the options available to make your choice a more informed one.

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.

AMD's latest Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.

Microsoft might finally embrace USB-C on next-gen Surface Pro 7

USB-C could finally come to Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. According to a Microsoft patent filing, the port was shown in an illustration, suggesting that the company is working to support this feature in the future.