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.
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.
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)|
|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|
|Socket Type||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066|
|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)|
|(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|
|L2 Cache||18 MB||16 MB||14 MB||12 MB|
|Memory||Quad DDR4||Quad DDR4||Quad DDR4||Quad DDR4|
|Socket Type||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066||LGA 2066|
|Price||$1999 US||$1699 US||$1399 US||$1189 US|