Intel’s Core-X Series Will Be Seeing Staggered Launch: Core i9-7900X and Below Ready To Launch, Core i9-7920X Through i9-7980XE Delayed

Core i9 7900X Launch
Core i9 7900X Launch

Intel has recently unveiled its Kaby Lake-X and SkyLake-X processors and as a part of its Core-X series made everyone surprised by the huge amount of core counts that included in the lineup. With options ranging from 4 Cores / 8 Threads to 18 Cores / 36 Threads, this is a very first time when Intel has departed so heavily from moderate yearly core count increases on HEDT side of things.

Intel’s High Core Count parts, the Core i9-7920X, i9-7940X, i9-7960X, and i9-7980XE, are not yet ready; were thrown in at the last minute to establish a counter-narrative to AMD’s ThreadRipper

Intel’s Core-X series will be rolling out in staggered launch fashion once which suggest that all parts including and above 12-Core (Core i9-7920X) variant were thrown into announcement last second to compete with AMD’s marketing tactics.

Intel Core i9

To be fair both Intel and AMD have high core count parts which are announced on paper basis right now, but this is something that can be considered a deviation from Intel’s usual confident scheduling.

SEE ALSO: Intel Core i9 7900X OCed To 5.7GHz+, Breaks Cinebench R15 & 11.5 HWBOT 10 Core Records

Intel’s public documentation about Core-X Series confirms this. Firstly the Core-X specifications document states only Core i9-7900X (10-Cores) and below are available right now with Core i9-7920X and above “coming soon” tag. Secondly, Intel’s official ARK portal only lists processors up to Core i9-7900X in Core-X Series.

Core-X-Series-7900X-and-below

The troubling implication here is that Intel did not even have enough configuration details for paper launch. That is something confirmed by the fact that all but most broad specifications of Core i9-7920X and above are to be announced yet.

So just what is going on? Intel has apparently announced 12 core to 18 core parts that don’t even have finalized specifications right now, or Intel is keeping it a secret to compete with AMD’s upcoming platform. In fact, there is every reason to believe that Core-X processors above the 10 Core-mark were thrown in as a last minute decision to counter AMD’s ThreadRipper announcement last month.

Well, the good thing is Intel already has the dies ready thanks to its Xeon efforts but re-configuring them for LGA 2066 socket will take time. The specs will have to be finalized, and clock speeds will be locked in thermal envelop streamlined.

Intel promised the Core i9-7900X and below by Q2 2017 so we should see them get retail availability by the end of June. However, there is no word for when we might get our hands on the high core count variants (Core i9-7920X through Core i9-7980XE), it might be a few more weeks or it might be a year as some rumors indicate; although a release sometime in 2H 2017 seems more likely to me. All that said, even if the head-start AMD gets is just of a few weeks, this is a valueable opportunity for team red to capitalize on the temporary respite in competition (for what seems to be the first time in years) in the high core count segment and establish momentum for its ThreadRipper products – assuming it can beat Intel’s High Core Count parts to channel and not end up in another Vega-like fix with ThreadRipper.

Intel Core X Series Processor Family Specifications and Timeline Confirmed

Availability Q2 2017 (Late June) Q2 2017 (Late June) Q2 2017 (Late June) Q2 2017 (Late June) Q2 2017 (Late June)
CPU Name i9-7900X i7-7820X i7-7800X i7-7740X i7-7640X
CPU Process 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+
Architecture SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X KBL-X KBL-X
Cores/Threads 10/20 8/16 6/12 4/8 4/4
Base Clock 3.3 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.0 GHz
(Turbo Boost 2.0) 4.3 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.2 GHz
(Turbo Boost Max 3.0) 4.5 GHz 4.5 GHz N/A N/A N/A
L3 Cache 13.75 MB 11 MB 8.25 MB 6 MB 6 MB
L2 Cache 10 MB 8 MB 6 MB 4 MB 4 MB
Memory Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Dual DDR4 Dual DDR4
PCIe Lanes 44 28 28 16 16
Socket Type LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066
TDP 140W 140W 140W 112W 112W
Price $999 US $599 US $389 US $369 $242

Intel Core X Series Processor Family Specifications and Timeline TBA

Availability TBA (Expected 2H 2017) TBA (Expected 2H 2017) TBA (Expected 2H 2017) TBA (Expected 2H 2017)
CPU Name i9-7980XE i9-7960X i9-7940X i9-7920X
CPU Process 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+
Architecture SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X SKL-X
Cores/Threads 18/36 16/32 14/28 12/24
Base Clock TBA TBA TBA TBA
(Turbo Boost 2.0) TBA TBA TBA TBA
(Turbo Boost Max 3.0) 4.5 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.5 GHz
L3 Cache TBA TBA TBA TBA
L2 Cache 18 MB 16 MB 14 MB 12 MB
Memory Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4 Quad DDR4
PCIe Lanes 44 44 44 44
Socket Type LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066 LGA 2066
TDP 165W 165W 165W 140W
Price $1999 US $1699 US $1399 US $1189 US

 

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