Back at Computex 2017, Intel unveiled its new Core X-Series processors, effectively the re-branded Extreme Edition processors that make up Intel’s high-performance platform of CPUs. It also announced the new X299 chipset, with supporting motherboard vendors releasing their respective designs for the new LGA2066 socket and platform. Everything was new, everything was big, but also confusing, too.
Last week, we got confirmation of the official launch of the new CPUs, with pre-orders opening up June 19th (today!), and general availability and shipping scheduled for June 26th. As far as Intel CPU launches go, this one was a little bit rushed, especially when motherboard vendors were shocked to find out that the X-Series CPUs didn’t stop at 12-cores, but went all the way up to 18-cores.
To call the launch rocky, would be an understatement (you can read our thoughts about this here), especially when you get to hear that quite a few tech review sites, ours included, only just got our review samples into the lab for testing… on launch day. Some of the lucky sites managed to snag a sample early at a press event last week, but we were not one of them. However, we do have two CPUs inbound; the controversial Kaby Lake-X i7-7740X 4-core CPU, and the 6900K replacement Skylake-X i9-7900X 10-core beast.
So why are reviews stopping at 10-cores? Intel’s launch of the X-series will be staggered over the next few months, partly as units are produced, but also so that OEM partners can get to grips with the new platform, as designing boards that scale from 4-cores, dual channel memory and 16 PCIe lanes, all the way up to 18-cores, quad channel memory and 44 PCIe lanes… gets rather complicated.
|i9-7900X||3.3 GHz||4.3 GHz||10 (20T)||44||Quad||140W||$999|
|i7-7820X||3.6 GHz||4.3 GHz||8 (16T)||28||Quad||140W||$599|
|i7-7800X||3.5 GHz||4.0 GHz||6 (12T)||28||Quad||140W||$389|
|i7-7740X||4.3 GHz||4.5 GHz||4 (8T)||16||Dual||112W||$339|
|i5-7640X||4.0 GHz||4.2 GHz||4 (4T)||16||Dual||112W||$242|
The i9-7920X, or the 12-core CPU if you will, is scheduled to launch in August, however, details of that chip, and others above it, are still unknown, such as the core clocks and cache. The more interesting chips, and the most expensive, such as the i9-7940X up to the i9-7980XE (14-core to 18-core), won’t see a launch date until at least October this year, so there is a fairly large gap in the launch, which is likely why motherboards are currently only supporting CPUs up to 12-cores.
Our review of the 4-core and 10-core chips will be delayed slightly longer than usual, due to press meetings that extend the week (more details of that coming in the following days). However, if you want to get an idea of what to expect, you can hop on over to our friends at Gamers Nexus with their review of the i9-7900X.
Motherboard manufacturers also showed off their respective X299 designs at Computex as well, although many of them were overshadowed by news of AMD’s Threadripper and X399 platform. Still, if you like to see ASUS‘ Prime boards, GIGABYTE‘s RGB-mania, MSI‘s thermal inspirations, and EVGA‘s overclocking boards, you can check out our Computex coverage in the linked news.
Newegg is currently setting up pre-orders on five of the new CPUs, from the i5-7640X, up to the i9-7900X. Motherboards are up for pre-order too, with prices ranging from $230 to $400.