May seems to be the month of engineering sample benchmarks. Hot on the heels of today's rumored GeForce GTX 1080 performance figures, it's now time to turn our attention to Intel's upcoming 10-core Broadwell-E beast, the Core i7-6950X. A user aptly named "Silicon Lottery" has apparently got their hands on an i7-6950X engineering sample and posted a few benchmarks for all the world to see.
The consensus of the gerbil quorum so far has been that this CPU will be a beastly thing, and it seems the quorum was right. Here's a quick recap of the the i7-6950X's purported specifications: 10 physical cores with Hyper-Threading, 25MB of L3 cache, and a quad-channel DDR4 controller. The CPU is positioned as a replacement for the Core i7-5960X, but all the newcomer seems to have going for it at first glance are two extra cores and some more cache, architectural improvements aside. There might be more to the story, though.
Silicon Lottery overclocked the i7-6950X to a staggering 4.5GHz as a test—a number 50% greater than the chip's rumored stock speed of 3.0GHz. The user then backed the clock down to 4.0GHz and set up his i7-5960X the same way in order to draw clock-for-clock comparisons. In AIDA64's memory benchmarks, the i7-6950X is a staggering 37% faster than its Haswell-E predecessor when it comes to writing to memory. Memory copy operations on the i7-6950X were roughty 11% slower when compared to its older brother, however.
The stars of this show may the Cinebench results, though. The i7-6950X hit a score of 2299 in the multi-core Cinebench test, or about 20% better than Silicon Lottery's Core i7-5960X. That's a substantial improvement, and a surprisingly "linear" one, to abuse the word—the i7-6950X has two more cores than its predecessor. Workstation builders, keep your credit cards handy.