Intel announces monster 18-core Skylake X Core i9 CPU

Ken Copeland
May 31, 2017

It sits in a new range of Core X-series chips targeting enthusiasts. This is the first time such a "scalable, accessible and powerful desktop platform", has been offered to consumers, says Intel.

Intel at Computex in Taipei on Tuesday unveiled its new family of "Core X" desktop processors and its first 18-core high-end Core i9 CPUs.

According to Forbes, it seems that Intel is planning for a far more potent line-up of processors and that the 18-core, 36-thread part obviously stands out compared to AMD. That's due in part to Intel's improved Turbo Boost technology, which is created to maximize both single-core and dual-core performance by choosing a "favored core" for each processing task. Intel plans to release six CPU models and these are: Core i7-7640K, Core i7-7740K, Core i9-7800X, Core i9-7820X, Core i9-7900X and Core i9-7920X.

In other words, these chips should do very well at content creation (and other tasks that can take advantage of multiple cores) while at the same time delivering strong out-of-the-box performance for gaming applications, which generally can't make good use of many processor cores today. You start off with four core i5 processors and end up with 18 cores and impressive 36 threads in a new Core i9 Extreme.

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Other members of the Core i9 family are more realistically priced and range from $999 for 10 cores to $1,699 for 16 cores (12 and 14 cores are also available). It's headlined by the Core i9 series, which replaces the Core i7 at the top end of Intel's lineup.

The now available top Intel consumer CPU from is the 10C/20T Core i9-7900X, with a TDP of 140W, at $999.

Intel launched this series with two architectures - Kaby Lake X and Skylake X. The 4-core processors, the Intel Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X, will be built on Kaby Lake X, while the rest of the processors will be built on the upgraded Skylake X architecture. The Core i9 family has support for a more refined version of Turbo Boost Max 3.0, quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory, and Optane (3D XPoint) memory technology. Improving the I/O capabilities over Intel's old version, it'll have 30 total high-speed I/O lanes and up to three Intel Rapid Storage Technology PCIe 3.0 x4 storage support. AMD is planning to release its own high-end enthusiast Ryzen line - dubbed the "Threadripper" - later this year with up to 16-cores and 32-threads, something that the newly announced 18-core i9 Extreme will compete head-to-head against.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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