We have been eagerly anticipating the release of processors based on Intel’s Haswell-E microarchitecture for quite some time. After about three years of incremental performance improvements at the ultra-high end, as Sandy Bridge-E was eventually replaced by similarly clocked Ivy Bridge-E based processors, the rumored specs of Haswell-E were enticing. Unlike Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E, which maxed out at 6 cores (12 threads) with desktops variants, Haswell-E would be an 8-core machine (16 threads), featuring execution units based on Intel’s latest microarchitecture. Assuming similar clocks, the speculation was that the additional cores and newer microarchitecture would translate into significant performance and efficiency gains, which would be welcome improvements to say the least.
Well, we can stop speculating now, because Haswell-E is here. Today, Intel is officially launching the Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition and we’ve had the opportunity to take it for a spin in an array of brand new X99-based motherboards...