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Intel’s Flagship Coffee Lake-S 8 Core CPUs Arriving in September on Z390 Refresh Platform – Skylake-X Here To Stay, Will Get 22 Core CPU Update This Year

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Intel has a lot of new desktop products planned for later this year which will be part of their high-end and mainstream PC platforms. While Intel confirmed that they will unleash a 28 core part to tackle the ultra high-end enthusiast market, they will also refresh their current consumer desktop platforms which include the Coffee Lake-S and Skylake-X families.

Intel Coffee Lake-S Refresh To Get 8 Core CPUs and Z390 Motherboards, Skylake-X Refresh To Get 22 Core CPUs and X299 Refresh Motherboards

So after the announcement of Intel's 28 core part which will be part of the new Cascade Lake-X family, it was confirmed that later this year, Intel will offer not two but three different desktop solutions. These families will be segmented all the way from the entry level to the very premium high-end market. The following is what Intel's desktop family will look like in a few quarters:

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  • Intel Cascade Lake-X (LGA 3647 / Ultra-Premium Desktop Market)
  • Intel Skylake-X Refresh (LGA 2066 / High-End Desktop Market)
  • Intel Coffee Lake-S Refresh (LGA 1151 / Mainstream Desktop Market)

These are the three families that we are expecting to release later this year but Intel will also be keeping the current lineups for the future since they are compatible across the same socket. In the mainstream range, the current Coffee Lake-S chips will be compatible with new platforms without an issue. Similarly, Skylake-X chips would work with the new platforms and the new CPUs that launch later this year will be compatible on current generation motherboards. The only Intel platform that is entirely new is the Cascade Lake-X platform which targets the ultra-premium HEDT niche and will be available on a new socket with an entirely new consumer HEDT chipset.

In our previous article, we confirmed that Skylake-X X299 platform is here to stay even after the launch of the Cascade Lake-X family. The reason is that Intel is targetting two different high-end desktop markets. The Core-X lineup is the tamer version while the Cascade Lake-X family aims to become the juggernaut of performance and would make X299 looks like child's play in comparison. Now there are more people in the APAC region confirming this like PCWatch who also have details on the launch schedules of the new processor families from Intel.

Intel's 8 Core Coffee Lake-S Processors Already With Manufacturers, Aiming September Launch Alongside Z390 Motherboards

According to PCWatch, Intel will be offering their first 8 core mainstream desktop processor to the consumer market in September 2019. We already got multiple glimpses of this chip a while ago and we can confirm today that board manufacturers already have the processor in their hands. The interesting thing that is mentioned here is that Intel's 8 core processors would be first arriving in the Xeon-E platform which is the mainstream server platform. This is expected to arrive sometime in July 2018.

A photo of the Intel 8086k processor. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

This means we are expected to see some early performance previews of the Intel 8 core part. The 8 core part is clearly a reaction to AMD delivering a better and faster 8 core solution to gamers and productivity enthusiasts compared to their already great Ryzen 7 1800X. Intel will be aiming their 8 core chip against the Ryzen 7 2700X which will be the top dog for the AMD team on the X470 platform till 7nm arrives. Motherboard manufacturers will also be offering the latest generation of Z390 motherboards which will be delivering more I/O and PCIe connectivity to consumers. Intel's 8 Core processors will have 95W and 80W SKUs and will be branded under the Core i9 segment with prices over the $400 US mark.

Intel Desktop Platform Chipset Comparison

Chipset NameAlder Lake-S (ADL-S) PCH / 600 Serie (Z690)Rocket Lake-S (RKL-S) PCH / 500 Series (Z590)Comet Lake-S (CML-S) PCH / 400 Series (Z490)Coffee Lake S (CNL-H) PCH / 300 Series (Z390/H370, B360, Q370, H310)Coffee Lake S (KBL-R) PCH / Z370 Platform
Process NodeTBA14nm14nm14nm22nm
Processor16C,12C,10C,6C,4C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)8C, 6C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)10C, 8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Corporate/vPro & Consumer
8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Corporate/vPro & Consumer
8C, 6C, 4C (6 Consumer SKUs at Launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Consumer Only
MemoryUp To DDR5-4800 (Native)
Up To DDR4-3200 (Native)
Up To DDR4-3200 (Native)Up To DDR4-2933 (Native)Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)
Media, Display & AudioeDP / 4DDI (DP, HDMI) Display CapabilitiesDP 1.2 & HDMI 2.0, HBR3
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
12-bit AV1/HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP With USB Audio offload
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
I/O & ConnectivityIntegrated USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20G)
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi6E/ 7 BT CNVio) with Gig+
Integrated SDXC 4.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 4.0
Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20G)
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi6E/ BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 4.0 (Maple Ridge)
Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
StorageNext-Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 5.0, 6x SATA 3.0
Next-Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 4.0, 6x SATA 3.0
Next-Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, 6x SATA 3.0
Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, 6x SATA 3.0
Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, 6x SATA 3.0
SecurityN/AN/AIntel SGX 1.0Intel SGX 1.0Intel SGX 1.0
Power ManagementC10 & S0ix Support for Modern StandbyC10 & S0ix Support for Modern StandbyC10 & S0ix Support for Modern StandbyC10 & S0ix Support for Modern StandbyC8 Support
Launch20222021201920182017

X299 Skylake-X Refresh is Clearly Happening But There's A Lot Going On With The HEDT Lineup

On the HEDT front, Intel is pushing their new 28 core chip like crazy. The whole 5 GHz overclock demonstration clearly shows that Intel is trying to woo the audience although the demo was not one bit closer to real-world implementation. The reason Intel will stick to the X299 Skylake-X CPU family and not take an entire jump to Cascade Lake-X platform is due to price. The Cascade Lake-X platform is going to at least, twice as much expensive as the current Core-X processors and their accompanying platform.

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There are factors behind this, first is the chip itself which are basically repurposed Xeon Platinum and Xeon Gold parts. These chips cost north of $5000 US and the top variant comes in at $10,000 US (28 Core Xeon Platinum 8180). Considering the Intel Core i9-7980XE costs $2000 US for 18 cores, we can expect the 28 core model to be close to $5000-$6000 US easily. Even though there's a 24 core part and more configurations on the way in the Cascade Lake-X, we expect the price to put a heavy toll on your wallets.

Secondly, the thing is the fact that motherboard manufacturers are putting extra RnD in building the new LGA 3647 socketed motherboards. The ones Intel used as a demo on their Computex press conference stage was a prototype and not a final variant. The motherboard vendors we had a talk with revealed that they expect the launch of Cascade Lake-X motherboards to slip to 2019 as it will take a long time getting the stability on the processors correct. We are talking about over 200W TDP parts and Intel board vendors had a hard time getting 18 core parts (under 200W) stable on current X299 parts.

The other factor is the DRAM prices, you will be getting hexa channel memory over a quad channel with the new boards. Considering the current DDR4 prices, you can expect to be paying a lot for the memory alone when compared to quad channel memory interfaces that are available on X299 and X399 platforms as you are paying for at least four sticks compared to the six DIMM sticks that you will have to pay for on the Cascade Lake-X platform.

Furthermore, to continue X299 as a more cost-effective HEDT solution, Intel is going to offer new configurations with a never before seen 22 core part. Intel's current Xeon-W family maxes out at 18 cores but looks like they will be offering a higher core configuration to the masses. It is not known whether this chip will also be available to the Xeon-W server side but to consumers, it can come around the same $2000 US mark where we found the Core i9-7980XE (18 core chip).

The latest X299 processors will also be accompanied with new X299 refresh boards that push the TDP support up to 300W. AMD and their board partners are going to take a similar approach as their 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper chips bump the TDP to 250W. It looks like chipzilla is working on a lot of stuff and we will definitely be keeping you posted with all the new developments in that regard.

Intel HEDT Processor Families:

Intel HEDT FamilySapphire Rapids-X?Cascade Lake-XSkylake-XSkylake-XSkylake-XBroadwell-EHaswell-EIvy Bridge-ESandy Bridge-EGulftown
Process Node10nm ESF14nm++14nm+14nm+14nm+14nm22nm22nm32nm32nm
Flagship SKUTBACore i9-10980XEXeon W-3175XCore i9-9980XECore i9-7980XECore i7-6950XCore i7-5960XCore i7-4960XCore i7-3960XCore i7-980X
Max Cores/Threads56/112?18/3628/5618/3618/3610/208/166/126/126/12
Clock SpeedsTBA3.00 / 4.80 GHz3.10/4.30 GHz3.00/4.50 GHz2.60/4.20 GHz3.00/3.50 GHz3.00/3.50 GHz3.60/4.00 GHz3.30/3.90 GHz3.33/3,60 GHz
Max CacheTBA24.75 MB L338.5 MB L324.75 MB L324.75 MB L325 MB L320 MB L315 MB L315 MB L312 MB L3
Max PCI-Express Lanes (CPU)64 Gen5?44 Gen344 Gen344 Gen344 Gen340 Gen340 Gen340 Gen340 Gen232 Gen2
Chipset CompatiblityC790?X299C612EX299X299X99 ChipsetX99 ChipsetX79 ChipsetX79 ChipsetX58 Chipset
Socket CompatiblityLGA 4677?LGA 2066LGA 3647LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2011LGA 2011LGA 1366
Memory CompatiblityDDR5-4800?DDR4-2933DDR4-2666DDR4-2800DDR4-2666DDR4-2400DDR4-2133DDR3-1866DDR3-1600DDR3-1066
Max TDPTBA165W255W165W165W140W140W130W130W130W
LaunchQ2 2022?Q4 2019Q4 2018Q4 2018Q3 2017Q2 2016Q3 2014Q3 2013Q4 2011Q1 2010
Launch PriceTBA$979 US~$4000 US$1979 US$1999 US$1700 US$1059 US$999 US$999 US$999 US
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