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Intel Unveils 8-Core Desktop Chip for Gamers, Enthusiasts

The 22-nanomater Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition also supports DDR4 memory and comes with 20MB of cache.

Intel logo

Intel officials on Aug. 29 launched a powerful eight-core desktop processor that comes with 20MB of cache and speeds of up to 3.0GHz, with overclocking features that can make it go faster.

The Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition, the vendor's first eight-core chip for the consumer market, was announced at the PAX video-game conference and targets gamers, PC enthusiasts, video applications and content creators. It's also the latest Core chip based on Intel's "Haswell" architecture, which first began appearing in processors last year.

"This product family is aimed squarely at those enthusiasts who push their systems further than anyone, and we're offering the speed, cores, overclocking and platform capabilities they have asked us for," Lisa Graff, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Client Platform Group, said in a statement.

Graff said the new chip is part of the company's larger effort around the "reinvention of the desktop" that officials talked about earlier this year.

The 22-nanometer Core i7-5960X also includes 40 PCI –Express lanes, and each of the eight cores are dual-threaded. The new chip, priced starting at $999 per 1,000 quantities, was launched along with Intel's X99 motherboard chipset, which according to the company supports the DDR4 memory—in four memory channels—for greater performance, lower latency and greater energy efficiency, and up to four graphics cards.

A number of gaming PC makers—including Dell's Alienware gaming PC business, Falcon Northwest and Velocity Micro—are expected to offer new systems featuring the Intel chip.

Alienware General Manager Frank Azor said in a statement that "using new overclocking and monitoring features in Alienware Command Center 4.0, we've been able to really push the processors to the fullest extent and are seeing impressive overclocking headroom."

Intel also introduced two other high-end PC chips at the PAX show. The Core i7-5930K is a six-core processor with a frequency of 3.7GHz, while the quad-core Core i7-5820K runs at a top speed of 3.6GHz. However, as with the Core 97-5960X, both of these chips can be overclocked and support DDR4 memory. They also both have 15MB of cache. The 5930K is priced at $538 per 1,000, while the 5820K is priced at $389.