With Intel enjoying a slight uptick in PC revenue in its latest quarterly earnings, and the PC gaming market proving to have longer legs than expected, the chip giant is showing that it can still wring profits from desktop PCs. Its upcoming Haswell-E processors should continue its dominance of the high end of the desktop CPU segment when they are rumored to start shipping in September.
As is often the case with anticipated tech products, some online retailer or another lets the cat out of the bag early when it comes to important details, like pricing or release date. That's just what has happened with Haswell-E, as the website for Bottom Line Telecommunications has listed the three new processors for pre-order in advance of the competition.
The cheapest of the trio is the Core i7-5820K, a six-core chip running at 3.3GHz with 15MB of L3 cache, which ShopBLT.com is selling for $425.92. Next up is the i7-5930K, which also includes six cores and 15MB of L3 cache, but has a clock speed of 3.5GHz and a pre-order price of $631.54. The "K" at the end of the product name indicates that the CPUs include an unlocked multiplier to ease overclocking.
Last, but certainly not least, is the new flagship processor for Intel, the i7-5960X Extreme Edition. It's the first eight-core desktop chip for Intel, even though rival AMD has had "octo-core" processors for years (and Intel has also produced eight-core — and higher — Xeon chips for enterprise systems), and it promises to replace its i7-4960X predecessor as the world's fastest desktop CPU.
While each core will run at "only" 3GHz, the i7-5960X will come with a hefty 20MB of L3 cache. All three of the Haswell-E processors will make use of DDR4, the next generation of RAM that promises to be a faster, more efficient performer than DDR3 memory.
Intel's longtime strategy with its top Extreme Edition processor is to price it no lower than $999 — and the i7-5960X pricing does not appear to deviate from that tactic. In fact, the pre-order price for the eight-core chip is well north of $1,000 at $1,107.83. This shouldn't come as a big surprise, however, given the novelty of the additional two cores and "latest and greatest" premium that is often attached to these type of products.
As the rumored launch date approaches, other online retailers may also put the Haswell-E processors up for pre-order, at which time we can determine if BLT's prices are on the high end or are representative of what the going rate will be for the new chips. Are you planning on upgrading to Haswell-E for your desktop? Let us know in the Talkback section below.