While most other segments of the PC market that Intel provides processors for -- from mainstream desktops to laptops of all shapes and sizes -- have the felt the impact of its successful rollout of Haswell chips (the fourth iteration of its "Core" platform), the highest of high-end client desktops have been stuck with year-old Ivy Bridge Extreme Edition CPUs. But the wait for gamers, overclockers, and other PC enthusiasts is finally over, as the tech Goliath has officially taken the wraps off its Haswell-E processors.
Most highly anticipated is the new crown jewel of Intel's desktop CPUs, the Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition. The 5960X is noteworthy for being the company's first desktop processor to include eight cores, a total previously reserved for its Xeon server chips, and 16 computing threads. It also marks the debut of DDR4 memory support for Intel's client processors and the new X99 chipset, which includes up to 40 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, amongst other features. Each core of the 5960X has a base clock speed of 3GHz and can run as fast as 3.5GHz in Turbo Boost mode, and the processor comes with 20MB of L3 cache. As with the top Extreme Edition chips in the past, the 5960X is priced higher than most desktop PCs at $999 (plus inevitable retailer markup), but that won't deter the well-heeled enthusiasts who want the latest and greatest from Intel.