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Intel Unleashes 18 Core, Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition CPU Along With 16 and 14 Core “Core X” Models – 7980XE Overclocked To 6.1 GHz Across All Cores, 6 World Records Claimed

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Sep 25
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Aside from the whole embargo breaking situation revolving the 8th generation desktop CPUs, Intel also launched their most high-end desktop chips to date including the flagship Core i7-7980XE with 18 cores.

Intel’s Biggest and Most Expensive Mega-Tasking Chip, The Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition Launched Alongside Its 16 and 14 Core Brothers

Finally, the time has come when enthusiasts can purchase the higher end 18, 16 and 14 core, Core-X processors that were announced back in June. These include the flagship Core i9-7980XE, Core i9 7960X and the Core i9-7940X. All three processors are compatible with current X299 motherboards and to show their potential, overclockers have already taken these chips to extreme heights. There are several world records already broken by these chips which we will be detailing along with the review roundup. So before doing that, let’s take a quick recap of the specifications.

intel-8th-gen-core-3RelatedIntel To Launch Ice Lake 8 Core, 16 Thread Mainstream CPUs in Second Half of 2018 – Will Feature Support on 300 Series Platform

Intel Core i9 18 and 16 Core CPU Review Roundup:

Intel Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7960X Review Roundup:

Review PublisherProcessorMotherboard
AnandtechIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 7 Pro
TechSpotIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asrock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9
PCperIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
ComputerbaseIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 7 Pro
HardwareLuxxIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asus Prime X299-A
TweakTownIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS X299 ROG Rampage VI Extreme
MSI X299 XPOWER
HothardwareIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 3
Hardware.InfoIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS STRIX X299-XE
HWbattleIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
ASUS STRIX X299-XE
Hardware.frIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asus Prime X299-A
PhoronixIntel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asus Prime X299-A
PCGamerIntel Core i9-7980XEAsus Prime X299-A
HexusIntel Core i9-7980XEAsus Prime X299-A
Bit-TechIntel Core i9-7980XESome X299?
ExtremetechIntel Core i9-7980XEAsus Prime X299-A
LegitreviewsIntel Core i9-7980XEASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
KitguruIntel Core i9-7980XEASRock X299 Tachi
TechRadarIntel Core i9-7980XEASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
TomshardwareIntel Core i9-7960XMSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

The Core i9-7980XE: Intel’s Unbeatable Flagship ‘Skylake-X’ Processor with 18 Cores / 36 Threads – 2.6 GHz Base, 4.2 GHz Boost Clocks

Priced at $1999 MSRP (you are paying $111.11 per core) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition is a beast of a processor will be the ideal go-to processor for content creators that want the maximum throughput in terms of rendering performance. This is a processor that will almost certainly be overkill for gaming (unless you are running some sort of CaaS enterprise).

It has 18 cores and 36 threads which makes it an absolute juggernaut and beefier than AMD’s 16 core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. Core clocks for the Core i9-7980XE are maintained at 2.6 GHz (base), 4.2 GHz (Turbo Boost 2.0) and 4.4 GHz (Turbo Boost Max 3.0). The CPU features an L2 Cache of 18 MB (1 MB per core) as well as an L3 cache of 24.75 MB. Quad channel DDR4 up to 2666 MHz is. The processor has a TDP of just 165W and is housed on the LGA 2066 socket like the rest of the lineup.

The Core i9-7960X: Intel’s 16 Core / 32 Thread Offering That Will Take On AMD’s Threadripper Platform – 2.8 GHz Base, 4.2 GHz Boost Clocks

Priced at $1699 and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Core i9-7960X has the exact same core count as AMD’s highest end Threadripper CPU, the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and that’s not a coincidence. Intel has positioned this particular CPU to take on the Threadripper platform in all its glory (and core count) and features the Turbo Max 3.0 technology just like its bigger brother.

intel-core-i9-7920x-extreme-core-count-core-x-deliddingRelatedIntel’s Extreme Core Count Die Exposed Through Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7920X Delidding – A Monster Chip Designed For Enthusiasts, Still Lacks Solder

Core clocks are maintained at 2.8 GHz (Base), 4.2 GHz (Turbo Boost 2.0) and 4.4 GHz (Turbo Boost Max 3.0). It will feature an L2 Cache of 16 MB (1MB per core) as well as an L3 cache of 22MB. Memory support is the same for all Skylake-X processors and remains quad channel DDR4-2666. The wattage is also locked at 165W.

The Intel Core i9-7940X: Intel’s 14 Core / 28 Thread Processor For Serious Content Creators – 3.1 GHz Base and 4.3 GHz Boost

Priced at $1399 (you are paying $106.18 per core) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Core i9-7940X is one of the higher end offerings of this lineup and aimed dead center at content creators. Since no gamer is going to need more than 8 cores (and even that is debatable!) this entire lineup is targeted at the content creation industry which needs to do compute intensive tasks.

The Core i9-7940X features a base clock of 3.1 GHz (Base), 4.3 GHz (Turbo Boost 2.0) and 4.4 GHz (Turbo Boost Max 3.0). It features 14 MB of L2 cache as well as 19.25 MB of L3 cache. All other specs including quad channel DDR4 and TDP (165W) remain the same.

Intel Core X Family Final Specifications:

Intel Core X Series Processor Family Specifications:

CPU Namei9-7980XEi9-7960Xi9-7940Xi9-7920Xi9-7900Xi7-7820Xi7-7800Xi7-7740Xi5-7640X
CPU Process14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm+
ArchitectureSKL-XSKL-XSKL-XSKL-XSKL-XSKL-XSKL-XKBL-XKBL-X
Cores/Threads18/3616/3214/2812/2410/208/166/124/84/4
Base Clock2.6 GHz2.8 GHz3.1 GHz2.9 GHz3.3 GHz3.6 GHz3.5 GHz4.3 GHz4.0 GHz
(Turbo Boost 2.0)4.2 GHz4.2 GHz4.3 GHz4.3 GHz4.3 GHz4.3 GHz4.0 GHz4.5 GHz4.2 GHz
(Turbo Boost Max 3.0)4.4 GHz4.4 GHz4.4 GHz4.4 GHz4.5 GHz4.5 GHzN/AN/AN/A
L3 CacheTBATBATBA16.5 MB13.75 MB11 MB8.25 MB6 MB6 MB
L2 Cache18 MB16 MB14 MB12 MB10 MB8 MB6 MB4 MB4 MB
Memory Quad DDR4Quad DDR4Quad DDR4Quad DDR4Quad DDR4Quad DDR4Quad DDR4Dual DDR4Dual DDR4
PCIe Lanes444444444428281616
Socket TypeLGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2066
TDP165W165W165W140W140W140W140W112W112W
Price$1999 US$1699 US$1399 US$1189 US$999 US$599 US$389 US$349$242

Intel Core i9-7980XE and Core i9-7940X Break Extreme Performance Records – Achieve 4 World Records, 16 Global First Places, 1000W Consumption at 6.1 GHz Across All 18 Cores, 36 Threads

So the first performance feat is probably the most impressive. Intel’s flagship Core i9-7980XE was overclocked by Der8auer on LN2 on an ASUS Rampage VI Apex motherboard. The chip had all of its 18 cores and 36 threads overclocked to 6.1 GHz with 1.55V. That was the maximum frequency achieved with all cores enabled but the processor wasn’t stable enough at such high clocks and the power requirement jumped the 1 kilowatt mark.

Validations are one thing, but it’s far more impressive to run a test that puts all those cores to use. When subjected to the multi-threaded Cinebench R15 benchmark, the CPU topped out at an impressive 5.6GHz with a core voltage of 1.45V. The power demands under such conditions are incredible; we measured almost 1000 watts travelling through the EPS 12V cables during the benchmark. That just goes to show how robust the Rampage VI Apex’s optimized 8-phase power delivery circuit is! via ASUS

Tuning the chip down to a more stable 5.6 – 5.7 GHz resulted the overclocker to perform benchmarks and that resulted in a Cinebench R15 score of 5635 points which is mind blowing. Of course, the power consumption again wasn’t very pretty and was averaging around the 1000W mark. More details in the video below:

Following are the benchmark feats achieved on the Core i7-7980XE and the Core i9-7940X using the ASUS Rampage VI Apex motherboard.

The general conclusion for the Core i9 18, 16 and 14 core processors is that sure they are a best for heavy multi-thread and multi application workloads but they come at a cost. The $2000 US Core i9-7980XE is the fastest chip on the planet but it’s costly and is very power hungry. You also need to tame these beasts with the very best cooling solutions. So overall, if you are planning to go for the very best, you should also expect to be paying a much more premium price compared to the over all competition.

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