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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, 2017
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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-20Related Intel Core i7-9700K 8 Core Processor Review Details Gaming Performance and Overclocking Capabilities – Intel’s Fastest Core i7 Processor For Gamers

Intel Core i9 18 and 16 Core CPU Review Roundup:

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

Review Publisher Processor Motherboard
Anandtech Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 7 Pro
TechSpot Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asrock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9
PCper Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
Computerbase Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 7 Pro
HardwareLuxx Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asus Prime X299-A
TweakTown Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS X299 ROG Rampage VI Extreme
MSI X299 XPOWER
Hothardware Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 3
Hardware.Info Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS STRIX X299-XE
HWbattle Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
ASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
ASUS STRIX X299-XE
Hardware.fr Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asus Prime X299-A
Phoronix Intel Core i9-7980XE
Intel Core i9-7960X
Asus Prime X299-A
PCGamer Intel Core i9-7980XE Asus Prime X299-A
Hexus Intel Core i9-7980XE Asus Prime X299-A
Bit-Tech Intel Core i9-7980XE Some X299?
Extremetech Intel Core i9-7980XE Asus Prime X299-A
Legitreviews Intel Core i9-7980XE ASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
Kitguru Intel Core i9-7980XE ASRock X299 Tachi
TechRadar Intel Core i9-7980XE ASUS PRIME X299-Deluxe
Tomshardware Intel Core i9-7960X MSI 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.

intel-core-i9-9900k-solder-ihs-cpuRelated Intel Core i9-9900K 8 Core/16 Thread, Core i7-9700K 8 Core/8 Thread and Core i5-9600K 6 Core/6 Thread CPU Single Core and Multi-Core Performance Leaks Out

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.

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 Name i9-7980XE i9-7960X i9-7940X i9-7920X i9-7900X i7-7820X i7-7800X i7-7740X i5-7640X
CPU Process 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+
Architecture SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X KBL-X KBL-X
Cores/Threads 18/36 16/32 14/28 12/24 10/20 8/16 6/12 4/8 4/4
Base Clock 2.6 GHz 2.8 GHz 3.1 GHz 2.9 GHz 3.3 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.0 GHz
(Turbo Boost 2.0) 4.2 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.2 GHz
(Turbo Boost Max 3.0) 4.4 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.5 GHz N/A N/A N/A
L3 Cache 24.75 MB 22 MB 19.25 MB 16.5 MB 13.75 MB 11 MB 8.25 MB 6 MB 6 MB
L2 Cache 18 MB 16 MB 14 MB 12 MB 10 MB 8 MB 6 MB 4 MB 4 MB
Memory Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Dual DDR4 Dual DDR4
PCIe Lanes 44 44 44 44 44 28 28 16 16
Socket Type LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066
TDP 165W 165W 165W 140W 140W 140W 140W 112W 112W
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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