Intel finally shares 18-core Extreme Edition CPU specs

Threadripper Benchmarks

Intel finally shares 18-core Extreme Edition CPU specs

There aren't many surprises in Intel's positioning, though we'd caution against making too much of the company's listed Turbo Boost frequencies. The i9-7920X has a base clock of 2.9 GHz; the i9-7940X (14-core/28-thread) has a base clock of 3.1 GHz; and the i9-7960X (16-core/32-thread) has a base clock of 2.8 GHZ.

It will be interesting to see how well these sell now that Intel is facing competition in the high-end desktop (HEDT) processor space. This can be ramped up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0, and Turbo Boost 3.0 can send that up even further to 4.4GHz. Boasting as many as 18 cores and 36 compute threads, these are some seriously powerful chips, and you won't have to wait long to get your hands on them. All of these CPUs have a Turbo Boost 3.0 boost clock of 4.4 GHz, with the Turbo Boost 2.0 boost clocks are 4.2 GHz or 4.3 GHz. Turbo clocks are pretty consistent throughout the entire Core i9 family, which means that real-world performance will largely depend on how well an application takes advantage of multiple cores and threads.

There is one other point of uncertainty which is that the existing Core i7/i9 models use a poor thermal interface that severely restricts the cooling for these CPUs. Moving beyond that, there's a drop of several hundred MHz at 13-16 core loads, and then the i9-7980XE drops a final 100MHz for 17-18 core loads. AMD's soon-to-release Threadripper HEDT CPUs though all have 64 PCIe lanes off of the CPU, and its top-of-the-line 16-core/32-thread Threadripper 1950X only costs $999. Multitasking becomes extreme mega-tasking with simultaneous, compute-intensive, multithreaded workloads aligned in goal, powered by up to 18 cores and 36 threads.

Content creators can expect up to 20 percent better performance for VR content creation and up to 30 percent faster 4K video editing over the previous generation. Gamers and enthusiasts will experience up to 30 percent faster extreme mega-tasking for gaming4 over the previous generation. The 12-core Intel Core X-series processor will be available starting on August 28th, and 14- to 18-core Intel Core X-series processors will be available starting September 25th.

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