Intel is releasing a new 10-core desktop processor that it claims can handle the move from multi-tasking to ‘mega-tasking’.

Mega-tasking chips, Intel claims, are able to keep up with the increased demand from VR, gamers, overclockers and content creators. For this reason it’s built a new 10-core, 20-thread chip that offers faster speeds and, according to Intel’s Frank Soqui, “crazy good” performance.

In its Extreme Edition chip, Intel will offer four-channel memory support and a 25MB smart cache. It will also be fully unlocked, to offer flexibility for overclockers. These features (among others) will combine to handle the bigger workloads demanded by the likes of 4K gaming and VR. Furthermore, they can be handled without task switching.

Soqui explained further: “Multi-tasking is basically the ability to switch between unrelated applications. You might be doing a PowerPoint and then switch to the web or run a movie, but none of those things are actually related to each other. When we talk about mega-tasking we’re talking about simultaneous, compute-intensive, multithreaded workloads that are aligned in a purpose.”

25 per cent speed increases

According to Intel’s own tests, the new chip allows a 25 per cent speed increase in 4K video editing and 360-degree video creation. On the subject of multi-tasking, gamers can play in 4K, live stream the action in 1080p, then capture gameplay and transcode and upload it onto YouTube 25 per cent faster.

This new chip doesn’t just represent a hardware improvement for Intel, but also a change to the way it operates. Previously the tech giant ran a ‘tick-tock’ product cycle, in which chips were shrunk and updated in alternate years (with the shrinking being ‘tick’ years and improvements being ‘tock’). Now, it plans to run a ‘Process, Architecture, Optimisation’ model which will slow the size reduction cycle down to further optimise “products and process technologies while meeting the yearly market cadence for product introductions.”