With the 10-core Core i7-6950X though, there are indications Intel may ramp up the price to $1,500. Again, Intel has never confirmed nor talked about the CPU on the record, but rumors of the higher price have been hot and heavy since January.
That has consumers balking. But Intel may have good reason for the increase. Intel’s top-end Core i7 chips have always just been repurposed Xeon chips with a few features turned off. Intel makes serious bank off of Xeons and doesn’t want to cannibalize those sales. If the 10-core Xeon is coming in at a higher price, that could funnel down to the i7-6950X.
But then there’s Zen
The real wild card in all this is AMD’s Zen. This will be the company’s first major CPU launch in years. Redesigned from the ground up and rumored to pack from two to 32 CPU cores, as well as adopting an Intel-like Hyper-Threading technology, Zen could pose the first true competition to Intel’s high-end CPUs since the days of the Athlon FX-51.
But knowing full-well that Zen is arriving later this year, does Intel price its 10-core chip to crush AMD on pricing before it arrives or just wait and see if Zen is all that? And if Zen is all that and priced to give consumers, say, a 16-core chip at $1,000 or $1,500, does Intel then gut the price of its Core i7-6950X? Who knows.
What we do know for sure today, thanks to ASRock, is that Broadwell-E will indeed have 10 cores. The chip is expected to launch at Computex in June.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.