Intel Introduces Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X and X299 Platform

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Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition Processor Details

The Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition Processor series supports new features like Intel AVX-512 and improved Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 that was first seen on the Broadwell-E processor series.

Intel Core i9 Processor

Intel improved Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 by utilizing the two best cores on the processor and this means that you get a performance improvement in both single- and dual-core applications now. Two is obviously better than one, so Skylake-X processors will run at higher clock speeds at single- and dual-core workloads than ever before.

Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0

All Intel Core X-Series processors are unlocked and Intel is continuing to embrace the overclocking community with per-core overclocking, per-core voltage adjustments and allowing for quad-channel DDT4 memory clocking over 2666MHz. The new overclocking features for the Basin Falls platform would be Intel Advanced Vector Extension-512 (AVX-512) ratio offset, Memory controller trim voltage control and PEG/DMI overclocking. Intel is also still offering the Peformance Tuning Protection Plan for those that are willing to pay extra to warranty their processor and will be updating the Intel XTU utility to support this platform.

Intel Core X-Series Overclocking

Both the Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors are built using the 14nm process and we have been told that on Skylake-X there is 1MB of cache per core dedicated and 1.375 MB of cache per core shared. This is an interesting change over Broadwell-E where each core had 256KB of cache per core dedicated and 2.5 MB of cache shared.

Intel Skylake-X die

When it comes to power consumption the Intel Core i9-7980XE has a TDP of 165 Watts and water cooling is required. In fact water cooling is believed to be required on all processors once you get up to 12-cores on the Intel Core i9-7920X.

Intel Skylake-X Processor

Intel X299 boards should be coming out at the same time as Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors hit store shelves and from what we have seen so far they look pretty damn good. The Intel X299 chipset offers up to 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes versus just the 8 lanes of PCIe 2.0 that was on the Intel X99 chipset. This is a huge improvement and with 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes on the chipset and up to 44 on the Skylake-X processor it means you can have up to 68 PCIe 3.0 lanes on this platform for insane I/O capabilities. PCIe lanes left unused by graphics cards can be devoted to storage with Intel VROC technology, which combines multiple M.2 SSDs in a bootable RAID array connected directly to the CPU. An unknown number of PCIe drives can run in parallel to deliver staggering throughput and fast access for system drives. The Intel X299 platform also support Intel’s Optane Memory, which provides a solid-state cache to accelerate other storage devices.

Intel X299 Chipset

Final Thoughts

AMD fired off some shots at Intel with Ryzen 7 and now Threadripper, but Intel has clearly responded with what looks like a solid platform with impressive processors. This sets the stage for a very interesting summer if you are looking for a new high-end desktop computer. We can’t wait to get our hands on some samples to see how they perform!

Intel Core-X Series Specifications
Processor Cores/ Threads L3 Cache PCIe Lanes Base Clock Turbo Clock 2.0 Turbo Clock 3.0 Price
Core i9-7980XE
18C/36T
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD $1,999
Core i9-7960X
16C/32T
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD $1,699
Core i9-7940X
14C/28T
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD $1,399
Core i9-7920X
12C/24T
TBD
TBD
TBD TBD TBD $1199
Core i9-7900X
10C/20T
13.75 MB
44
3.3 GHz
4.3 GHz
4.5 GHz
$999
Core i9-7820X
8C/16T
11 MB
28
3.6 GHz
4.3 GHz
4.5 GHz
$599
Core i9-7800X
6C/12T
8.25 MB
28
3.5 GHz
4.0 GHz
N/A $389
Core i7-7740K
4C/8T
8 MB
16
4.3 GHz
4.5 GHz
N/A $339
Core i5-7640K
4C/4T
6 MB
16
4.0 GHz
4.2 GHz
N/A $242
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  • Xena Warrior

    That box art looks really bad.