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Let's look at the leaked Intel Roadmap.


We 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.

Tick, 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.