Intel on Monday announced what it called its
fastest chip to date for PCs, the six-core Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition
processor, which is based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and
designed for use in high-end desktops.
The chip is targeted at
enthusiasts such as gamers, who usually are early adopters of the latest
technologies. More cores and faster clocks speed up PCs and are valued
by gamers, who demand peak performance when playing graphics intensive
The Core i7-3960X runs at a default clock speed of
3.3GHz, cranking up to 3.9GHz per core depending on performance
required. The chip has 15MB of cache and four channels of memory, also
the most available on Intel PC chips to date.
The chip is about
52 percent faster in video editing than the Core i7-2600K chip, which is
also based on Sandy Bridge and targeted at enthusiasts. The memory
performance is up to 114 percent better, Intel said.
i7-3960X will succeed the Core i7-990X Extreme Edition, which was the
fastest chip based on Intel's previous Westmere architecture.
chip is priced at US$990 for 1,000 units. It will compete with the
Advanced Micro Devices' eight-core FX-series chips, which started
shipping last month and are also targeted at enthusiasts
and AMD are adding cores and ratcheting up clock speeds in an effort to
gain the chip performance crown. AMD in September demonstrated its
eight-core FX processor running at 8.429GHz in a system, which the
company claimed broke the world record.
Intel also introduced the
six-core Core i7-3930K chip, which operates at 3.2GHz and can be
clocked up to 3.8GHz. The chip has 12MB of cache, four memory channels,
and is priced at $555.