Intel’s 12 Core ‘Skylake-X’ Core i9-7920X ES Geekbench Performance Leaked

Usman Pirzada
Featured image of Intel's Skylake-X flagship: the Core i9-7980XE

Intel went with a staggered launch approach with their Intel Core-X lineup, with the 10-Core (LCC) parts arriving first and the 12-Core and above parts (HCC) arriving at a later date (28tht August 2017). The Core i9-7920X is the first of the high core count parts and features 12 Cores and 24 Threads based on the Skylake architecture and X299 platform, the full Geekbench performance of which has leaked out.

Geekbench performance of Core i9-7920X engineering sample leaks out - still some way to go for optimal performance

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Geekbench is a fairly consistent benchmark (within the same vendor at any rate) so it was slightly surprising to see less than expected performance from the Core i9-7920X. The base clock as read by Geekbench is 2.9 GHz, which is consistent with Intel's official reveal and should mean the clockrate isn't the issue. It is likely then that this is an engineering sample that is using imperfect drivers to run Geekbench. The reason I say this is because we have seen Geekbench performance of the Intel's LCC parts and they outstrip this one easily. We have seen this sort of issue with the early Threadripper benchmarks as well.


In fact, the Core i7-7820k (8-core part) scores around 6000 points in single core and 47000 points in multi core. This level of performance is actually on par with the the Core i9-7800X (6-core part) which scores 6000 points and 37000 points respectively. It goes without saying that as the core count increases we will be seeing scaling losses on the multi-core side but this is just too lackluster a performance for it to be present in the final product. I expect Intel will be tweaking their parts to kingdom come as the 28th August launch draws near and I wouldn't rule out Day 1 (or after) microcode/bios updates either. The theory that Intel rushed all parts above 10-Core in response to Threadripper appears to be getting validated every passing second.

Priced at $1199 (you are paying $99.916 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 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.

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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