It’s interesting to see how E3 has changed over the years. It once used to revolve so heavily around consoles, that many PC gamers didn’t even bother tuning in. But today, hardware vendors have begun making announcements at the show. That includes NVIDIA, which announced that it’s bundling a copy of Destiny 2 with its GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards, as well as Intel, which used the event to announce the release schedule for its new Core X-series processors.
On June 19, Intel is going to begin preorders on five SKUs, ranging from $242 ~ $999 (4 cores to 10 cores). Both the i5 and bottom i7 chip use a dual-channel memory controller, while the bigger models bump that to a quad-channel one. Only the big gun i9-7900X offers 44 PCIe lanes; the others are spec’d for 28.
Any way you look at it, 28 PCIe lanes is a bit lacking on enthusiast parts, especially when you consider that AMD’s Threadripper is going to offer 64 for all SKUs (we’re still unsure where pricing will start on those, however). A single high-end graphics card will utilize 16 of those lanes, leaving just 12 for everything else (including NVMe M.2 SSDs). 44 lanes offers far more breathing room, especially for those wanting to go the dual GPU route.
|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)||28||Dual||112W||$339|
|i5-7640X||4.0 GHz||4.2 GHz||4 (4T)||28||Dual||112W||$242|
Most of the specs of the even beefier chips are unknown, but Intel has still given us a timeline on their release. The 12-core i9-7920X is expected to ship in August, while the top three chips will arrive in October. Some recent rumors have insinuated that the 18-core behemoth would be delayed until 2018, so it’s nice to see that Intel has shot that down, and will instead deliver it well in advance of the end of the year.
It still remains to be seen how this lineup will compare to AMD’s extremely ambitious Threadripper lineup. With both sets of chips launching over the next month, we won’t be waiting long to find out. It might be worth noting that we have yet to receive any Core X samples, though two are confirmed to be en route (i7-7740X and i9-7900X). Given the tight timing (June 26 is right around the corner), advance reviews might not happen, or could at least be the result of expedited benchmarking (which would mirror Ryzen’s launch back in March).