No surprises this year as Intel did a clean sweep of awards at this year’s processor performance stage. It truly is the performance powerhouse when it comes to processing.
This can be said to be yet another uneventful year in the world of desktop processors with the same trends as last year being carried forth like a bored white collar worker stuck in his mundane life. It seems next year, this section will see a lot more back and forth action happening as the two giants duke it out one more time.
Zero1 Winner: Intel Core i7-5960X Processor Extreme Edition
There can be no other that can occupy this spot and for good reason. The Intel Core i7-5960X is based on the same architecture that Intel uses in its server lineup which means there are a heck lot more cores (read eight) and threads (read sixteen) coupled with the latest technology that rears its head in the enterprise segment before making its way to the consumer segment. While we’re yet to see pinnacle in terms of the choice of motherboards for the year-old platform, the current range of hardware is more than enough for it to maintain an enormous lead in terms of performance. The X99 platform as a whole has become a lot more expensive compared to the X79 when it had launched so adoption seems to be a little low. Regardless of all that, the Intel Core i7-5960X takes the Zero1 award for 2015 and might retain the same in the coming year if AMD’s Zen architecture doesn’t have any offerings for the enthusiast segment.
Price: Rs. 88,490
Runner-ups: Intel Core i7-5930K, Intel Core i7-6700K
It shouldn’t be any surprise that when it comes to a pure performance category like processors, the runner-ups are likely to be SKUs which are next in line. While Intel does come out with too many SKUs each year we’ve gone ahead with processors at slightly different price points to cover a wider gamut. The Intel Core i7-5930K is what you’d call a budget enthusiast desktop processor coming in at roughly half the cost as the Intel Core i7-5960X and is the closest you’ll get without losing out on features. It has two fewer cores than the flagship and is clocked slightly lower as well but other than that the two are quite identical. If you take one more step back, you’ll end up with the Intel Core i7-5820K which has fewer PCIe lanes that cripples an enthusiast platform but is a beast nevertheless.
Price: Rs. 49,250
The other runner-up this year is the Intel Core i7-6700K which is the flagship Skylake processor. With the voltage regulator taken off the die, we hope to see this processor scale better than its Haswell counterpart. Moreover, the improved IGP, i.e. the Intel HD Graphics 530 has been turning quite a few heads as well. While adoption might take a back seat given how expensive DDR4 memory is at the moment, that will change within a year.
Price: Rs. 33,990
Best Buy: Intel Core i7-5775C
The beast that never was. While most haven’t even heard of this processor, it turned out to be an underdog that is yet to hit the spotlight. With a massive 128 MB cache sitting right next to the processor this little Broadwell CPU had a significant advantage compared to every other CPU in its price range.
Moreover, it happens to have a TDP of only 65 W compared to most desktop flagships that end up having something around 81 W – 91 W. So it’s cooler, runs equally fast or sometimes better in certain scenarios as compared to flagships and is economically price. Unfortunately, it was released a little too close to Skylake which completely eclipsed the Intel Core i7-5775C.
Price: Rs. 27,670