[Updated] Intel’s 18 Core Skylake-X Won’t Be Available Until Next Year – 14 & 16 Core Parts To See Delayed Availability

Intel officially announced its next generation lineup of Core X series enthusiast CPUs and their accompanying X299 chipset earlier this week. The company's brand new high-end desktop platform includes a wide array of CPU SKUs, from quad core Kaby Lake-X parts to an 18 core 36 thread Xeon derived flagship monster of a chip.

The new lineup in its entirety will be compatible with the company's new LGA 2066 socket and X299 chipset. For more details regarding Intel's new enthusiast platform make sure to check out our Computex coverage here.  For a quick recap of the lineup take a look at the table below.

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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

Intel's High Core Count Parts To See Delayed Availability, 18 Core i9 7980XE CPU Said To Be MIA Until Next Year

Intel's new platform is the very first to feature CPU bifurcation where we'll see SKUs based on different processor generations launch on the same socket. The Kaby Lake X lineup will be based on the same quadcore Silicon that's been available on the LGA 1151 socket since last year and will only offer slightly higher clock speeds.

The Skylake-X parts are where things get a little bit more interesting. Here Intel is again bifurcating its lineup by limiting PCIe Gen3 lanes on its Skylake i7 parts to 28 instead of 44. The Skylake-X chips also differ in other ways, perhaps most peculiar is the fact that Intel will actually be leveraging two different CPU dies for this lineup. An LCC (Low Core Count) die and an HCC (High Core Count) die. The LCC die maxes out at 12 cores, while the HCC die maxes out at 18 cores.

All Skylake-X parts based on the HCC die will see delayed availability Intel has told the press at Computex. When exactly they're going to be available Intel hasn't announced just yet. Although it appears that these parts will actually see a very significant delay. An Asus representative has revealed that Intel's 18 core CPU won't be available until next year.

[updated - 2017-05-05 6:39:53 PM]
The Asus spokesperson updated his comment to say "until later this year" instead of "until next year"
[End of update]

Seeing as how the 16 & 14 core parts are based on the same Silicon it's possible that these processors will also see delayed availability. The 12 core LCC flagship Core i9-7920X will also see delayed availability according to Intel, but will likely launch sooner than the HCC parts.

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Delayed Availability of HCC Parts Leaves A Sizable Gap For AMD To Take Advantage Of With Threadripper & X399

Just one day after Intel announced its Core X series and X299 chipset AMD came out with its own announcement of enthusiast Threadripper processors and X399 chipset. As you can clearly tell from the name AMD has chosen for its chipset, it's hell bent on one-upping Intel in the high-end desktop.

To add insult to Injury AMD announced that all of its Threadripper processors will feature 64 PCIe Gen3 lanes and quad channel DDR4 memory support. A clear dig at the fact that Intel's Kaby Lake Core X series parts will be limited to dual channel DDR4 and 16 PCIe lanes and mid-range Core i7 Skylake-X parts being limited to 28 PCIe lanes rather than 44 like the higher end i9 parts.

Intel Was Clearly Blindsided By AMD's Threadripper

It doesn't take a genius to realize that Intel had always intended to continue its incrementalism had it got the chance. To date and for the past decade we had only seen Intel leverage its LCC dies for its high-end desktop platform. The fact that the company is going to be leveraging an HCC Xeon die for its high-end desktop platform for the first time, nearly doubling the core count of its flagship CPU after years of incrementalism, speaks volumes. And the fact that these parts will see delayed availability tells us Intel was caught off guard and was clearly not ready for AMD's Threadripper surprise.

AMD announced that the Threadripper lineup in its entirety and X399 motherboards will be available this summer. Assuming AMD plays its cards right in terms of pricing the company could steal a big chunk of Intel's high-end desktop revenue until its high core count parts are released. At which point we could see AMD counter again. Ever since AMD's Ryzen launch earlier this year we've seen the CPU landscape get more fascinating by the minute and it doesn't look like it's going to stop any time soon.

AMD Summit Ridge
Intel Basin Falls
(Skylake X )
Intel Basin Falls
(Kaby Lake X)
Intel Union Point
(Kaby Lake)
SocketTR4 (4094 pins)AM4 (PGA)LGA 2066LGA 2066LGA 1151
CoresUp to 16Up to 8Up to 184Up to 4
ThreadsUp to 32Up to 16Up to 38Up to 8Up to 8
L3 CacheUp To 32MBUp To 16MBTBAUp To 8MBUp To 8MB
DDR4 ChannelsQuadDualQuadDualDual
PCIe Gen3641628-441616
LaunchMid 2017Q1 2017TBAMid 20172016
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