Intel's first Core X-series CPUs go up for pre-order today, first reviews hit the web

By Jos · 20 replies
Jun 19, 2017
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  1. Reviews of Intel's Core i9-7900X will go live today, but a couple of UK sites unconcerned about NDAs jumped the gun this weekend, so acknowledging that here at TechSpot we've been left out of the loop for a few more days due to a shipment delay of our CPU samples (in-house review coming in a few days, we promise), here's some preliminary information that's already available at Bit-tech and Hexus.

    The Core i9-7900X is a 10-core/20-thread chip, coming at the same $1000 price as earlier Extreme Edition models such as the Core i7-965 EE. This first Core i9 chip will operate all cores at a base frequency of 3.3 GHz, TurboBoost 3.0 to up to 4.5 GHz, and a huge 10 MB L2 cache. The chip has been given a 140 watt TDP rating, with quad-channel memory support and 44 PCIe lanes.

    The initial lineup coming out this month includes two Kaby Lake-X processors — Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X — and three Skylake-X chips — Core i7-7800X, Core i7-7820X and Core i9-7900X.

    Core i9 models sporting 12, 14 and 16-cores will become available later in the year at even less attainable prices. In the meantime, here are some performance graphs from Bit-tech and Hexus, you can visit those two sites for more performance figures. As a side note, we hear from fellow reviewers that until the very last minute these new Intel CPUs were having motherboard issues, with new BIOS revisions being issued this past weekend improving performance quite a bit.

    Intel formally introduced its X-series processors at Computex last month, which include both Skylake-X as well as the Kaby Lake-X architecture in variants featuring from 4 to as many as 18 cores. Today, the company is following up with more details regarding price and availability.

    According to a press release, 4-core, 6-core, 8-core, and 10-core chips will be available for preorder on June 19 with shipments commencing the following week on June 26. Availability for the rest of the family will soon follow, with the 12-core Intel Core i9-7920X X-series processor expected to start shipping in August, and the Intel Core i9-7940X X-series processor, Intel Core i9-7960X X-series processor and 18-core Intel Core i9-7980X Extreme Edition processors, expected to start shipping in October.

    “Intel’s heritage in gaming has been built around technical innovation that brings to life amazing experiences – and it’s also an area where we want to keeping pushing the limits of what’s possible with our technology,” said Gregory Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel Corporation. “From giving the world its first look at our upcoming Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition processor to accelerating esports and the future of VR esports, we’re excited to be part of one of the strongest PC gaming showcases at E3 in recent years.”

    All the Core X CPUs use the new X299 chipset (socket 2066), which boasts up to eight SATA 3.0 ports, up to ten USB 3.0 ports, and, when using CPUs with 10 cores or more, 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Be sure to check our breakdown of the upcoming lineup and how it’s positioned to compete with AMD’s Threadripper series.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2017
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,959

    Usual Intel's PR BS. No games today use more than 4 cores, much less need it. It's the graphical card that makes the difference, period. There is only a tiny advantage that one can get from a 6-core CPU while gaming, due to the fact the the OS is utilizing the other 2 cores for its internal needs, which is usually at its minimum when you're playing a full-screen game.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    IMO, the prices give AMD a target.
  4. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    There are plenty of games where the i7's roll way past the i5's, sometimes even when the i7 is at lower clock speeds. That being said, I think their comment had more to do with the quality of threading and architectural support for gaming engines, features and technology.

    Post #16.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
    VitalyT likes this.
  5. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 128   +20

    That, and if that were true by their statement, they'd offer more chips without on-die graphics in the past. Many games benefit from clockspeed. How about they work on combining the cores to look like one fast core to the OS? I know it wont be speed * cores = speed. But it'd be faster. Then it could disable cores to throttle, before dropping freqency/voltage. Core/threads are still a great technology. Once done make it selectable in bios.. Each added core would have diminishing returns, have a safety setting that always kept a minimum open to the operating system and offer any number of cores to combine. -wishful thinking. (like a gas & electric car)

    Why not try it? The game devs don't seem to give much of a crap for so many cores/threads.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,109   +1,286

    Intel trying to lock in as much money as possible before threadripper drops. AMD needs to advertise the heck out of threadripper to beat out Intel's brand recognition.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  7. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,073   +428

    There is zero reason to purchase any of these Intel processors. AMD comes in at a much better price for the same level of performance. Plus, you don't have to spend $1000 to get a lot of PCIe lanes. Not to mention the fact that the Intel chipset motherboards won't be able to be fully utilized unless you have the more expensive processors, but you are still stuck paying a lot for the features you can't even use.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,109   +1,286

    Don't forget, Intel's i9s aren't even soldered. Don't even think about delidding either as some components are near the edge of the chip and some even under the silicon glue. Not even a delidding tool guarantees it won't break the processor this generation.
    Kotters, Reehahs and Greg S like this.
  9. bob333

    bob333 TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +15

  10. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 181   +42

    No doubt the Core i9 would be superpowerful and this time seems affordable. The x299 platform sees new cutting edge tech such as a long awaited instruction set that is suppose to speed up many hard to do tasks
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  11. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,579   +719

    Wow.... slightly better performance than AMD (not including Threadripper) for only a gazillion times the price! I need to get me some of this!
  12. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Guru Posts: 360   +377

    All I see is CPU marketing hype war for Intel/AMD fan boys to blow huge sums of money
  13. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    16 PCIe lanes on-die plus chipset have done us well for a reason. Just because AMD has hardware supporting 64 lanes doesn't automatically mean we need them. Just like we all don't need 8 physical cores. Dual cores and quad cores are dominate on Steam for a reason.
  14. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Addict Posts: 248   +110

    My i5 4690k just feels like poop compared to the ryzen cpus. I want to convert my x264 movies to x265 to save storage space but my processor is just too slow for a lossless rip
  15. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    As far as I can tell, nobody is yet ready to take on my i3-2120. As long as you have an older but still fair CPU with at least 8 GB RAM and one or more SSDs... why bother upgrading? My mainboard/CPU/mem combo will be 5 years old in a few months and I am still waiting for something worth my money, most likely a new AMD chip with fast integrated graphics.
    erickmendes likes this.
  16. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Addict Posts: 230   +98

    Take a look at the Overwatch review here on techspot. It begs to differ
  17. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Addict Posts: 230   +98

    You must not play any games. If that is the case, yes, all you need is an ssd for good speed even with an old Core2Duo or Quad.
  18. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    So a $1000 Intel CPU beats a $450 AMD CPU by maybe 25% in certain things... I'll go AMD and keep over $500 or just wait for Threadripper.
  19. STbob

    STbob TS Enthusiast Posts: 25   +12

    OMG this is pathetic, Intel continues to baby step performance for 6+ years. A HUGE Yawn for 2017. Been Yawning since 2010. Booooooooo Intel. Give me something to open eyes about.
  20. Xtreme gamer

    Xtreme gamer TS Enthusiast Posts: 54   +13

    How many pci lanes will threadripper have?
    I need at bare least 32 for proper full speed SLI.
  21. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 452   +181

    From searching online, Threadripper will have 16 cores / 32 threads, 40 MB of CPU cache, 64 PCI-E lanes of which 48 are dedicated to graphics cards and quad channel DDR4 memory support.
    From various reviews I've seen, this CPU would be wasted on a pure gamer - it's more suited to someone who does streaming and/or video encoding. If you are only gaming, I doubt you need more than a 6/12 or possibly 8/16.

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