Intel is set to release their Haswell-E high-end desktop (HEDT) processors in the coming months. The lineup will include three processors of which the flagship is the 8-core, 16 thread Core i7-5960X. One of these processors has been recently de-lidded to reveal that it uses soldered TIM.
When Intel first released their Haswell processors they used cheaper thermal interface material (TIM) between the Internal Heatspreader (IHS) and the Haswell silicon. This resulted in poor contact and caused heat to be trapped between the chip. Intel recently improved upon this issue with their K-Series Haswell Refresh processors, codenamed Devil’s Canyon. These new processors use Next Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material (NGPTIM). While this was an improvement, a soldered design is far better.
Haswell-E processors are built on the same 22 nm microarchitecture as the normal Haswell processors, but they are more geared towards workstation and server use. Because of this Intel seems to be going with a soldered TIM design. This is the first time we have seen a Haswell-E processor de-lidded. The Core i7-5960X is said to have 8 cores, 16 threads, a 20 MB L3 cache, and 3.0 / 3.3 GHz clock frequencies. The chip will run with a 140W TDP and have a $999 price tag.
Looking closely at the de-lidded chip we can see that there are actually 12 core modules, so is this actually a Xeon variant? Or is the Core i7-5960X a Xeon variant with 4 disabled cores?