Intel has just expanded its high end lineup with the launch of the Core-X Series a few hours ago. This marks the first time that the "Core" branding has ventured out of the 4 core limit it has been sitting on for the past few years. And boy, has the limit been broken, from 4 cores (and 8 cores on the enthusiast side) Intel has increased the maximum core count to 18 cores / 36 threads. This is something that can only be attributed to AMD's resounding success with its Zen architecture and the immense competition that it sent Intel's way, and you know what they say, in a competition, the consumer wins at the end.
Intel unleashes the Core-X family: 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6 and 4 Core processors under the same X299 platform on the LGA 2066 socket
The brand new Core-X series includes both the Skylake-X architecture as well as the Kabylake-X architecture. All CPUs that have a core count of 6-18 cores are from the SKL-X family while the quad cores are from the KBL-X family. Since AMD has already realeased its 8-core Ryzen processors and is planning on following up with Threadripper which will increase that number to 16, not only has Intel replied tit for tat, but also managed to one-up them with their Core i9-7980XE flagship which features 18 cores. This is not going to be a cheap platform of course, but those that can afford it will be pleased to find an almost limitless scaling factor to their CPU of choice under the X299 platform.
The Core i9-7980XE: Intel’s Unbeatable Flagship ‘Skylake-X’ Processor with 18 Cores / 36 Threads
Priced at $1999 MSRP (you are paying $111.11 per core) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, this 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 and features Intel’s new Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology which can boost up to 4.5 GHz (the base clock is unknown at this point). 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 i9-7980XE Die Shot
The Core i9-7960X: Intel’s 16 Cores / 32 Threads Offering That Will Take On AMD’s ThreadRipper Platform
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 (thought to be called the Threadripper 1998X) and that’s not a coincidence. Intel has put 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. 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. At the moment, the base clock of this variant is unknown.
The Intel Core i9-7940X: Intel’s 14 Cores / 28s Thread Processor For Serious Content Creators
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 Turbo Max 3.0 Boost of 4.5 GHz (with unknown base clock). 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 remain the same.
The Intel Core i9-7920X: Intel’s 12 Cores / 24s Threads Processor for Content Creators
Priced at $1189 (you are paying $99.083 per core) ) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Core i9-7920X is one of the more value oriented offerings for VR and content creators. Priced at a relatively affordable level and still offering almost 3 times the core count of what you would usually get from a mainstream Core series (till the last generation), this particular processor is going to be a fan favorite. It features a Turbo Boost Max 3.0 of 4.5 GHz (same as its elder siblings) and an unknown base clock. 12 MB of L2 cache is complimented by 16.5 MB of L3 cache. It features 44 PCIe lanes as well as quad channel DDR4-2666. The TDP is lowered to 140W.
The Intel Core i9-7900X: Intel’s High End Enthusiast Class Flagship with 10 Cores /20 Threads
Priced at $999 (you are paying $99.9 per core) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Core-i9 7900X is the first processor that is priced below the $1000 mark. This means that it will be one of the few broad-spectrum processors offered by this lineup. It features a base clock of 3.3 GHz as well as a Turbo Boost Max 3.0 of 4.5 GHz. It also supports conventional Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 4.3 GHz. 10 MB of L2 cache is complimented by 13.75 MB of L3 cache and features quad channel DDR4-2666 memory. It is the last processor of this lineup to feature 44 PCIe lanes. The TDP remains 140W.
The Intel Core i7-7820X: Intel’s High End Gaming Powerhouse with 8 Cores / 16 Threads
Priced at $599 (you are paying $74.875 per core) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Core i7-7820X is a processor that is all set for mainstream success. Priced at the mainstream high end price of $599, this particular CPU will take on the Ryzen high end lineup which also features 8 cores and 16 threads. It has a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a Turbo Boost Max 3.0 of 4.5 GHz. This is a higher boost clock than what Ryzen can currently achieve. It can also conventionally boost up to 4.3 GHz (using Turbo Boost 2.0). It will feature only 28 PCIe lanes as well as 140W TDP.
The Intel Core i7-7800X: Intel’s Mainstream King with 6 Cores / 12 Threads
Priced at $389 (you are paying $64.83 per core) and featuring the Skylake-X architecture, the Core i7-7800X is something that is within the reach of the usual mainstream market. Consumers who would have previously gone for a Core i7 processor with only 4 cores and 8 threads can now enjoy the benefits of a 6 core – 12 threaded processor courtesy of competition from AMD's Ryzen. It can Turbo Boost (2.0) up to 4.0 GHz and features a base clock of 3.5 GHz. 6 MB of L2 cache is complimented by 8.25 MB of L3 cache and is the last processor to support 28 PCIe lanes in this lineup. TDP remains locked at 140W.
The Intel Core i7-7740X: Intel’s New Mainstream Quad-Core with 4 Cores / 8 Threads
Priced at $369 (you are paying $92.25 per core) and featuring the brand new KabyLake-X architecture, the Core i7-7740X is going to be Intel’s newest mainstream quad core offering. That said, the plus points of this particular processor might not appeal to everyone. For one, you are paying a significantly higher price per core and for not a lot of benefits. Secondly, this processor supports only dual channel DDR4-2666 and only 16 PCIe lanes. TDP has however been reduced to 112W, so power conscious buyers will like to go for this.
The Intel Core i5-7640X: Intel’s New Budget King with 4 Cores / 4 Threads
Priced at $242 (you are paying $60.5 per core) and featuring the brand new Kabylake-X architecture, the Core i5-7740X features just 4 Cores without Hyper Threading enabled. It features a 4.0 GHz base clock that can boost up to 4.2 GHz. 4MB of L2 cache is complimented by 6 MB of L3 cache. The processor supports Dual Channel DDR4-2666 and 16 PCIe lanes on the LGA-2066 socket. TDP is reduced to 112 Watts like its hyperthreaded brother. Unlike its hyperthreaded brother however, this processor actually offers a decent value proposition and should sell like hot cakes in the mid-end segment.
- New! Intel® Core™ i9 Extreme Edition processor featuring 18 cores and 36 threads
- New! Intel’s most scalable high-end desktop platform ever with 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 4core options
- New! Intel® X299 chipset with improved I/O capabilities
- New! LGA 2066 socket for Intel® Core™ X-series processor family
- New! Additional system performance and amazing responsiveness with Intel® Optane™ memory support
- Improved Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 (select SKUs) for single- and multithreaded performance
- Up to 44 lanes of PCIe 3.0 directly connected to the CPU
- Up to 4 channel DDR4-2666 memory support, support for the Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP) specification, revision 2.0 for DDR4
- Fully unlocked for performance tuning
- Rebalanced smart cache hierarchy
- Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
Intel Skylake-X & Kaby Lake-X: Core-X Series and X299 PCH Package Shots:
Intel 'Skylake-X' & 'Kabylake-X': Core-X Series Reveal Complete Press Deck
Intel Core X Series Processor Family Specifications:
|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|
|Socket Type||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066|
|Price||$1999 US||$1699 US||$1399 US||$1189 US||$999 US||$599 US||$389 US||$349||$242|