spend a lot of time talking about the latests CPUs or GPUs. Obsessing
over gaining a few seconds in render time or getting that much closer to
cracking the next computational milestone. But what we donít spend a
lot of time talking about is how we engage with our computer-based work.
tock, tick, tock. Thatís the way Intelís CPU released go. Except it
seems that in 2016 this pattern will be broken with the release of a
third 14nm CPU series known as Kaby Lake. What we were supposed to see
was Cannonlake, a 10nm design, but it seems there might be a bit of a
hiccup in that plan. Intel is getting close to the end of what it thinks
silicon can do, with the limit, according to the company, being 7nm at
present. Of course, weíve thought this before, but it really does seem
that siliconís time is coming to an end, so we better hope research into
carbon nanotube transistors gets off the ground quickly. Kaby Lake adds
a few new features such as native USB 3.1 support and additional PCIe
3.0 lanes. These now stand at 24 compared to 20.
The really juicy revelation come sin the form of the rumoured Core
i7-6950X Broadwell-E CPU. This chip purportedly has 10 cores, supports
20 hardware threads and comes with 25MB of L3 cache. Of course we have
no clue about price at all, but this is still a consumer CPU so thereís a
chance that it might trouble some Xeon CPUs, especially if it will work
on relatively inexpensive consumer motherboards. The supposed clock
speed of 3.0 Ghz is rather low however, compared to the superlative
Skylake 6700K, which means that for applications that donít make use of
hyperthreading it may not be such a great choice.
The rest of the upcoming Broadwell-E range also look like they will significantly kick up the range of high-end desktop CPUs.
The lowest core count on display is six, with the middle of the pack
equipped with eight cores. The higher the core count, the lower the
clock speed based on what weíve seen, so there really will be a choice
to make between single and multithreaded performance. However, we donít
know what the turbo clock speeds are, so that might equalise things out.
If you already have have a socket 2011-v3 system it's likely these will
just drop in, albeit after a BIOS reflash.