Intel's Cascade Lake-X CPUs Might Use 10000-Series Branding, Support More RAM and PCIe 3.0 Lanes

Asus might have just accidentally leaked Intel's upcoming Cascade Lake-X (CSL-X) processors' branding on one of the company's brand-new X299 motherbooard product pages.

(Image credit: Intel)

The expectations for Cascade Lake-X aren't set very high. The microarchitecture is still trapped on the 14nm process node, and it's the optimization phase of Intel's Process-Architecture-Optimization model. Therefore, Cascade Lake-X will most likely not usher in groundbreaking performance. Early leaks of the 10-core and 18-core models suggest that Cascade Lake-X's improvement over Skylake-X Refresh (SKL-XR) could be less than 10%. However, we can't really confirm that until the final products are out.

(Image credit: Intel)

According to the listing for Asus' Prime X299 Edition 30, Intel could market Cascade Lake-X under the 10000-series branding, much like its mainstream Comet Lake (CML) chips. It shouldn't come as a complete surprise considering the chipmaker was already at the 9000-series for its Skylake-X Refresh processors. Logically, the next step would be the 10000-series, and the recent Asus listing seems to confirm this.

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MicroarchitectureBrandingMax Cores / ThreadsLithographyPCIe 3.0Max MemoryMemory SupportLaunch Date
Cascade Lake-X*10000-series18 / 3614nm48256GB?2019
Skylake-X Refresh9000-series18 / 3614nm44128GBQuad DDR4-26662018
Skylake-X7000-series18 / 3614nm44128GBQuad DDR4-26662017
Broadwell-E6000-series10 / 2014nm40128GBQuad DDR4-24002016
Haswell-E5000-series8 / 1622nm4064GBQuad DDR4-21332014
Ivy Bridge-E4000-series6 / 1222nm4064GBQuad DDR3-18662013
Sandy Bridge-E3000-series6 / 1232nm40 (2.0)64GBQuad DDR3-16002011

*Specifications in the table are unconfirmed

Although many have dubbed Cascade Lake-X as the refresh of the Skylake-X Refresh, the new chips do seem to have some interesting advancements. The Prime X299 Edition 30 seemingly supports up to 256GB of memory, double of what previous X299-based motherboards support. It's safe to assume that Cascade Lake-X will play nice with 256GB of memory, which is a pretty significant upgrade since the last three generations of Intel HEDT (High-End Desktop) chips are only compatible with 128GB of memory. In terms of official memory speeds, we're uncertain at this point if Cascade Lake-X will maintain official support that stops at DDR4-2666.

The other big takeway from the Prime X299 Edition 30's specification table is a hint that Cascade Lake-X may arrive with more PCIe connectivity directly from the processor. Apparently, Cascade Lake features up to 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes, four more than both iterations of Skylake-X. The PCIe lane upgrade will certainly benefit multi-GPU systems and opens the door to massive NVMe SSD arrays as well.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.