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So Intel’s Haswell-E launch is just around the corner and there’s been some price indications for the first batches of DDR4 memory, but nothing on the processors. Well, that is until now. Some pre-launch prices for the Core i7-5820K and Core i7-5930K have popped up on the local market thanks to Wootware. Haswell-E also comes with the X99 platform which will be just as expensive as these puppies. Hit the jump to see the screenshots.

Intel Core i7-5960X

Whoah, mama! Intel’s Core i7-5960X costs more than my R14,000 build in my recent SBG episode. This is the bees-knees of the computing world as far as the High-End Desktop (HEDT) is concerned. There’s eight cores of Haswell-E goodness in there, 20MB of L3 cache, base clock speeds of 3.0GHz and all 40 PCI-Express lanes.

Given the extreme price of the chip, there are two things going on here – Intel is binning these really, really well and they’re making sure that every Core i7-5960X at least works as expected. There’s only a slight mark-up over Ivy Bridge-E, but that goes into validation and making sure that everything at least works. If you don’t have a need for sixteen threads, well then it isn’t really for you. But if you pair up something like this with two Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan Blacks? That’s a lot of compute muscle right there.

Don’t buy this with the intention of gaming on it because I don’t think there’ll be any scenario in the next ten years where you’ll see that amount of CPU horsepower needed. Maybe it’ll be good for longevity purposes if you only upgrade on the eve of breakthrough advances in technology but for most of the time that potential will be wasted. Half of this chip will just be sitting there twiddling thumbs and wasting electricity. Gamers are better off with the Core i5-4690K or Core i7-4790K and the Z97 platform.

Intel Core i7-5930K

The Core i7-5930K will probably be the enthusiast’s choice of chip, shipping with six unlocked Haswell-E processors on the 22-nanometer process and all 40 lanes of PCI-Express connectivity available for multi-GPU setups and running mSATA or M.2 SSDs. Base clock speeds start at 3.5GHz and it’s completely unlocked so you could run up to something like 5.0GHz with a good chip and extreme cooling solutions.

Asking over R8000 is a bit steep though. That pushes the price of the platform up higher, which in turn will slow down adoption rates. One can expect that most X99 motherboard variants from different manufacturers will start out at R3000 or more with R2000 being allocated for 16GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory, so that combined with the Core i7-5930K could push the platform price to R13,000 or more.

Intel Core i7-5820K

The Core i7-5820K is much, much more agreeable. A starting price of around R5500 puts the total platform cost around R10,500, easily fitting into my high-end budgets for the System Builders guide. This chip is also a six-core Haswell-E variant with clock speeds set to around 3.3GHz at stock. The Core i7-5820K is also differentiated by a noticeable gap in PCI-Express lanes, with only 28 lanes of connectivity available for graphics setups.

How does the pricing far compared to the Ivy Bridge-E processors, though? Let’s take the pre-launch specs listed by Wootware and compare it to other chips in the same price range.

Comparing Processors – Ivy Bridge-E to Haswell-E

Core i7-5960X Core i7-5930K Core i7-4930K Core i7-5820K Core i7-4820K
Price (Rands) R14,562 R8164 R7440 R5471 R4194
Logical cores 8 6 6 6 4
Logical threads 16 12 12 12 8
L3 cache size 20MB 15MB 12MB 15MB 10MB
Base clock speed 3.0GHz 3.5GHz 3.4GHz 3.3GHz 3.7GHz
Boost clock speed ? ? 3.9GHz ? 3.9GHz
Memory type DDR4 DDR4 DDR3 DDR4 DDR3
Max memory support 2133MHz 2133MHz 1866MHz 2133MHz 1866MHz
PCI-Express lanes 40 PCI Gen 3 40 PCI Gen 3 40 PCI Gen 3 28 PCI Gen 3 28 PCI Gen 3
TDP 140W 140W 130W 140W 130W

It’s actually not looking too bad ahead of the launch. Although these prices are subject to change, changing your target from Ivy Bridge-E to Haswell-E doesn’t cost tou too much on the processor side. The rest of the platform will be a lot more expensive but for the main component that really works the magic it’s not a big mark-up.

The biggest change comes for the Core i7-4820K, which is replaced by a chip that is overall the better buy. It improves everything from the memory controller to the core count and even to how it’ll handle heat and high-power loads. If the Core i7-4790K isn’t enough CPU for you, then a step up to the X99 platform is the way to go. Anyone who identifies themselves to be part of the “prosumer” group will be well served by this particular SKU. You might have a few issues with multi-GPU configurations but that can be mitigated by choosing a motherboard with a PLX bridging chip which gives you extra lanes to play with.

Haswell-E is almost here, guys. Are any NAGlings upgrading from older Core 2 Quad or first-gen Core i7 processors? If you’re moving to this from a AMD-based rig, what were you moving away from? Let us know in the comments below!

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