CAD users who are also serious about physically-based rendering should take note of Intel’s new Extreme Edition processor family.
The new ‘Broadwell-E’-based Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition family delivers up to 10 cores and 20 threads at speeds up to 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo). It’s this combination of high GHZ (which is great for CAD) coupled with high core count (which is great for ray trace rendering) that makes these new chips stand out from most desktop Core i7 processors, which have 4 cores. The previous generation Haswell-based Core-i7 Extreme Edition CPUs peaked at 8 cores.
The new Extreme Edition CPUs also include Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which steers applications to the highest-performing core. Intel says this can improve single-threaded performance by up to 15 percent. All of the CPUs are also unlocked so they can be overclocked by specialist workstation system builders like Scan, Workstation Specialists, and BOXX.
There are four new Extreme Edition CPUs
Intel Core-i7 6950X (3.0GHz – 3.5GHz | 10 cores / 20 threads) – $1,723
Intel Core-i7 6900K (3.2GHz – 3.7GHz | 8 cores / 16 threads) – $1,089
Intel Core-i7 6850K (3.6GHz – 3.8GHz | 6 cores / 12 threads) – $617
Intel Core-i7 6800K (3.4GHz – 3.6GHz | 6 cores / 12 threads) – $434
The combination of high GHz and core count is not exclusive to the Extreme Edition brand. The Intel Xeon E5-2687W v4 (12 cores / 3.0GHz – 3.5GHz), for example, has similar specs, but is usually found in dual socket workstations and cannot (easily) be overclocked.