Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X ‘Core-X Series’ CPU Review Roundup – Core i5-7640X, Core i7-7740X, Core i7-7800X, Core i7-7820X, Core i9-7900X and X299 Motherboards

Hassan Mujtaba

Intel is finally going to lift the NDA on their HEDT Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors today. The processors are part of the latest Core-X series family and will be featuring support on the high-end X299 platform.

Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X 'Core-X Series' CPU Roundup on HEDT X299 Platform

While Intel is lifting the NDA today, do note that those who pre-ordered the processors or plan on buying one won't get their chip or motherboard in hand till 26th of June. Nevertheless, those who do plan to buy or upgrade to the X299 platform can check out the reviews prior to their purchase. Intel is segmenting their 'Core-X' series family in three parts. These include the following:

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  • Intel Kaby Lake-X (4 Core CPUs)
  • Intel Skylake-X (6, 8, 10 Core CPUs)
  • Intel Skylake-X Xtreme Core Count (12, 14, 16, 18 Core CPUs)

As detailed earlier, the initial launch would include the Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors. The Kaby Lake-X lineup features two models and are priced below $350 US. The Skylake-X family comes with up to 10 cores (initially) and priced up to $1000 US. Lastly, we have the XCC (Extreme Core Count) models which will ship with up to 18 cores priced up to $2000 US but launching during Q3 2017.

There are some technologies that will be featured on Skylake-X processors but not on Kaby Lake-X series. These technologies are worth mentioning as they lead to better performance and efficient CPU functioning. Upgrades such as the new Mesh architecture interconnect and Turbo Boost MAX 3.0 will be thoroughly discussed in the reviews posted below.

Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X 'Core-X Series' Review Roundup

You can find the reviews from various tech sites in the links below. The reviews may or may not include multiple processors of the Core-X family which will be pointed out in our listing. It's also worth noting that like AMD's Ryzen platform, the X299 platform is constantly being updated and new BIOS's are being released to further optimize and increase performance of the new CPUs. It will take some time before we get to see the actual performance being squeezed out of these chips.

Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X 'Core-X Series' Review Roundup

Review PublisherProcessorProcessor FamilyMotherboard
AnandtechIntel Core i9-7900X
Intel Core i7-7820X
Intel Core i7-7800X
Skylake-XASRock X299 Taichi
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon
GIGABYTE X299 Gaming 9
HothardwareIntel Core i9-7900X
Intel Core i7-7740X
Kaby Lake-X
ASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
CoolalerIntel Core i9-7900X
Intel Core i7-7740X
Kaby Lake-X
AORUS X299 Gaming 7
TechbangIntel Core i9-7900X
Intel Core i7-7820X
Skylake-XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
Overclock3DIntel Core i7-7820XSkylake-XASUS X299-A Prime
PCOnlineIntel Core i7-7820XSkylake-XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
PCPerIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
TomshardwareIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XMSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
Tech ReportIntel Core i9-7900XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
TweakTownIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XAORUS X299 Gaming 9
Guru3DIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XMSI X299 GAMING Pro Carbon
PCWorldIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
Hardware.infoIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
4GamerIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XASUS ROG STRIX X299-E GAMING
Mobile01Intel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XASUS Prime-X299 Deluxe
HardwareCanucksIntel Core i7-7740XKaby Lake-XASUS ROG STRIX X299-E GAMING
VortezIntel Core i7-7740XKaby Lake-XAORUS X299 Gaming 3
ExpreviewIntel Core i7-7740XKaby Lake-XAORUS X299 Gaming 7
Bit-TechIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XNot Mentioned
HexusIntel Core i9-7900XSkylake-XNot Mentioned

As far as our review is concnerned, we have delayed it till the platform is further optimized for testing. We currently have the ASUS X299 Prime-Deluxe motherboard and a Core i7-7820X in our hands. We are expected to receive more motherboards such as ASRock's X299 Taichi and AORUS X299 Gaming 7 in the coming weeks along with a Core i7-7740X, Core i7-7800X and the Core i9-7900X for evaluation purposes. Stay tuned for our review.

Intel Kaby Lake-X CPU Models (Up To 4 Cores, $389)

The Intel Core i7-7740X: Intel’s New Mainstream Quad-Core with 4 Cores / 8 Threads

Priced at $349 (you are paying $87.25 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.

Intel Skylake-X CPU Models (Up to 10 Cores, $1000)

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.

Intel Skylake-X Extreme Core Count CPU Models (Up to 18 Cores, $2000)


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.

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.

Intel Core-X Series Family Slide Deck:


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+
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 Cache24.75 MB22 MB19.25 MB16.5 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
Price$1999 US$1699 US$1399 US$1189 US$999 US$599 US$389 US$349$242
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