Two weeks ago, I traveled to Taiwan to launch Intel’s most powerful desktop processor yet—the Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition at Computex. And if you’ve read any of the performance reviews, there’s agreement that this is a monster processor. As one headline said, “Intel’s new ten-core processor is a beast: the fastest processor we’ve ever tested.”1
At E3 this week, the video game industry converges in Los Angeles to celebrate the latest and greatest advances in gaming. PC Gaming has surged in popularity over the last decade spurred by the ease of digital distribution and the performance of PC hardware. Our new Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition will be one of the highlights of E3 and you’ll be able to see it in many of our co-travelers booths on the show floor.
Extreme gamers, like those that are celebrated at E3, demand the kind of flexibility and power this processor offers. They’re mega-tasking: playing graphics-intensive, photorealistic, ultra-high quality games while live-streaming and encoding their highlights in 4k for editing and posting later. They’re always pushing for maximum performance from their PCs—and from themselves.
But I realize not all gamers need quite that much power in their arsenals. And that’s why the Intel Core i7 processor family for X-series platforms also include 8-core and 6-core options to match your gaming style as well as your budget. Want to game with multiple graphics cards with full bandwidth? Choose a part with 40 PCIe* lanes. Looking for more cores than our mainstream processors but don’t need 8 or 10-cores? Then the entry level 6-core option may be right for you. Of course all of the X-series platforms (10, 8, or 6 cores) come unlocked2 so if you’re an overclocker you can dial up performance to meet your needs.
One of the features that can boost performance and is available across all the SKUs that I’m most excited about is the new Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. This latest turbo mode technology optimizes the performance of single-threaded tasks. Using a driver coupled with information stored in the CPU, it identifies and directs workloads to the fastest core on the processor first, giving single-threaded applications (like many games) a speed boost beyond the chip’s Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 frequency. It also allows users to customize configurations in order to set priorities for the applications that need it most.
Although many popular titles are still single threaded, we are starting to see the industry adopt technologies that take advantage of the multi-threaded performance available in most gaming rigs today. The emergence of DirectX* 12 and its ability to use multi-core CPU processing allows gamers to tap into more of the performance being built into modern processors. As this fantastic blog by one of the creators of Ashes of the Singularity writes, “every additional core or thread the developer can utilize will in theory give us back another 11 milliseconds. So at 4 cores we’d get a whole 44 milliseconds, at 8 cores we get 88 milliseconds, 16 cores …. a whopping 176 milliseconds to simulate, render, …. whatever your game demands.” So it’s no surprise that I want game developers to adopt technologies like DX12 that allow them to set-free the power in their systems and create unbelievable gaming experiences that will scale even with our latest 10-core powerhouse.
If you’re an extreme gamer and you’re ready to step up to the latest, most powerful processor for today’s games and well as tomorrows, then the Intel Core i7 processor family for X-series platforms is for you.
Gregory Bryant is corporate vice president and general manager of the Connected Home and Commercial Client at Intel Corporation. He leads strategy and product development for Intel’s connected home and residential gateway business, the commercial client business, the desktop processor and chipset business, and the Intel channel and systems business.