Intel is shipping its fastest PC processor to date and its first with eight cores.
The Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition chip, announced Friday, is aimed at gaming and high-performance desktops. It is based on the Haswell microarchitecture, which is the basis for Intel's latest Core chips, and priced at $999 per chip in 1,000-unit quantities.
The inclusion of eight cores and the latest throughput technologies allows for faster gaming, application performance and video transcoding and encoding, said Dan Bingham, an Intel marketing manager.
Many of the performance gains will also come from support for DDR4 memory, which is not in PCs yet. Compared to DDR3, the new memory will provide 50 percent faster internal data transfers, while reducing the energy consumption between 30 percent and 40 percent.
The Core i7-5960X has a maximum clock speed of 3.5GHz but can be overclocked to higher speeds. Bingham did not say the extent to which the chip could be overclocked, but Intel's comparable quad-core Core i7-4790K in June was clocked to over 5GHz with air cooling. On liquid cooling, the new chip could reach clock speeds higher than 5GHz.