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Intel Unwraps The Rest Of Its Core X-series CPU Family

Just in time for the much-anticipated reviews of AMD's Threadripper HEDT processors this Thursday, Intel is once again attempting to steal some of its competitor’s thunder by strategically unveiling the complete details of its high-end desktop processor lineup, revealing final specifications and pricing for 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-core models.

Intel's lineup until today had peaked with the Core i9-7900X, the 10C / 20T Skylake-X. Conversely, AMD's Threadripper will debut with the 1950X (16C / 32T) and 1920X (12C / 24T). More than likely, AMD has a few more unannounced processors in its product stack, but for now we can get a better sense of the price/performance mix.

Intel's 18-core i9-7980XE 2.6GHz base clock speed may seem a bit low, but it’s the chip’s 4.2GHz Turbo Boost 2.0 and its 4.4GHz Turbo Boost 3.0 clock speeds that are impressive--especially considering this is an 18-core processor. All that performance comes at a price though. Intel's cream of the crop 18-core i9-7980XE processor costs a staggering $2,000 or $111.11 per core.

Let’s take a moment and put some perspective on pricing shall we? Intel’s i9-7960X 16C / 32T CPU is relatively cheaper than the i9-7980XE but, at $1,699, it is roughly $700 more than AMD’s flagship Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor. Things aren’t much better in the middle of Intel’s product stack; the 12C / 24T i9-7920X will set you back $1,100 compared to AMD’s 1920X $799 MSRP. Further down the spectrum, pricing on Intel’s i7-7820X 8C / 16T processor is much more in line with AMD’s 1900X CPU, with only a $50 difference between the two CPUs.  So, while Intel has the IPC advantage and higher clock speeds, AMD’s parts on the high end have a significantly price advantage.

What does all this mean? Simply put, end users faced with a platform upgrade could buy an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor, a new TR4 motherboard, and a high-end graphics card for the same price as a single i9-7980XE processor.

CPUModelBase Clock(GHz)Boost Clock(GHz)Max Boost(GHz)Cores /ThreadsL3CachePCI-ELanesMemorySupportTDPPricing
i9-7980XE2.64.24.418/3624.75MB44DDR4-2666165W$1,999
i9-7960X2.84.24.416/3222MB44DDR4-2666165W$1,699
i9-7940X3.14.34.414/2819.25MB44DDR4-2666165W$1,399
i9-7920X2.94.34.412/2416.5MB44DDR4-2666140W$1,100
i9-7900X3.34.34.510/2013.75MB44DDR4-2666140W$999
i7-7820X3.64.34.58/1611MB28DDR4-2666140W$599
i7-7800X3.54.0N/A6/128.25MB28DDR4-2666140W$389
i7-7740X4.34.5N/A4/88MB16DDR4-2666112W$339
i5-7640X4.04.2N/A4/46MB16DDR4-2666112W$242
  • anoldnewb
    Fanboy comments!#%&
    Reply
  • Kenneth_1984
    Competition. It's a good time to be a PC enthusiast.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    The thing is the HEDT market covers a lot more than just gamers. There are professionals who buy Intel HEDT for workstation and production uses. That said, Intel has a name in that game right now while AMD has been mostly absent from the HEDT market for the past few years. Sure a few of the more loyal fans of AMD would buy it but the majority of workstations had either HEDT i7s or Xeons in them.

    That is probably why Intel is setting the price.

    Plus we have no real performance, thermal or power information on TR yet. For all we know the performance could be OK with horrible thermals. Or it could be excellent with mind blowing thermals. Until then, Intel will attempt to make more money. Intel probably has plenty of wiggle room to drop pricing if need be while I would assume AMD does not have nearly as much.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    20035215 said:
    The thing is the HEDT market covers a lot more than just gamers.
    HEDT is mostly useless for gamers when OC'd i7 beat HEDT chips in most games for a fraction of the cost. Unless you have unlimited disposable income, you need to use your PC for more than just gaming to justify the steep expense.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    @ invaliderror

    As a HEDT gamer I would have to mostly agree but I do also believe there is a decent market share there. I don't only game. I do a fair bit of video encode/decode as well. So I have some more reasons then some gamers to make the leap. I think you're right most gamers don't need that kind of set-up but the dynamics of "What a gamer is" has changed as well. A fair chunk of the HEDT audience probably started as a gamer before they got immersed in their professional/prosumer workloads. And when you take the fact game streaming has grown a lot in popularity as has youtube/video editing you get a decent population of folks who could use more cores who game as well. Your not wrong for a lot of these users 8C/16T is enough on the AMD space which price wise is high end mainstream but Intel is charging just enough more to really make it a HEDT part for the same core counts. I mean i am sitting on wanting to build this whole year. I may wait for next gen as my i7 3930K @4.2ghz with 2 GTX 1080s is fine for 4K though my wife uses my the old parts when I upgrade so I don't want to wait to long either or I'll be shelling out for 2 rigs. Her i7 970 @4ghz had a great run and still works fine for 60hz gaming on 1080P seeing how we both crank up the filtering and AA (16x by 8x) with as high as we can go with the everything else while maintaining that 16x by 8x (4x in a pinch). So for now the GPUs still end up being the bottlenecks. I am looking at the i7 7900x and the Threadripper 1920x as potential upgrade paths. Basically waiting on the price war that should ensue when Threadripper hits the streets. Point being there are certainly users like myself out there who will find HEDT parts useful in gaming.
    Reply
  • TheTechGen
    i9-7900X for $999? Really, yeah sorry Intel, but I am going with threadripper. Good luck with the price gouging as if you thought your monopoly would continue.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    20035433 said:
    @ invaliderror

    As a HEDT gamer I would have to mostly agree but I do also believe there is a decent market share there. I don't only game. I do a fair bit of video encode/decode as well. So I have some more reasons then some gamers to make the leap. I think you're right most gamers don't need that kind of set-up but the dynamics of "What a gamer is" has changed as well. A fair chunk of the HEDT audience probably started as a gamer before they got immersed in their professional/prosumer workloads. And when you take the fact game streaming has grown a lot in popularity as has youtube/video editing you get a decent population of folks who could use more cores who game as well. Your not wrong for a lot of these users 8C/16T is enough on the AMD space which price wise is high end mainstream but Intel is charging just enough more to really make it a HEDT part for the same core counts. I mean i am sitting on wanting to build this whole year. I may wait for next gen as my i7 3930K @4.2ghz with 2 GTX 1080s is fine for 4K though my wife uses my the old parts when I upgrade so I don't want to wait to long either or I'll be shelling out for 2 rigs. Her i7 970 @4ghz had a great run and still works fine for 60hz gaming on 1080P seeing how we both crank up the filtering and AA (16x by 8x) with as high as we can go with the everything else while maintaining that 16x by 8x (4x in a pinch). So for now the GPUs still end up being the bottlenecks. I am looking at the i7 7900x and the Threadripper 1920x as potential upgrade paths. Basically waiting on the price war that should ensue when Threadripper hits the streets. Point being there are certainly users like myself out there who will find HEDT parts useful in gaming.

    Yeah it just depends on what your needs are. Simple as that. Also can't forget power users (which I am one), who are PC enthusiasts and find ways to use all that power no matter what (for fun basically). It's sort of the reason why i got the Ryzen 7 1700X over a Ryzen 5 1600X (which would be plenty good for me), I wanted to play around with high end hardware. (But I only say sorta because I'm also using my PC for video encoding for youtube stuff (productive youtube aswell not just casual game streaming).)
    Reply
  • kinggremlin
    20035594 said:
    i9-7900X for $999? Really, yeah sorry Intel, but I am going with threadripper. Good luck with the price gouging as if you thought your monopoly would continue.

    Unless you're a purchasing agent for a Fortune 500 company, Intel doesn't care what you think. The old axiom was, "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." You can basically replace that with Intel today. Every generation, Intel has OEM Xeon's that sell for 6,7 even $8000 or more. If companies are willing to shell out that much, how much do you think they care about spending a few hundred dollars more for an Intel CPU they have a history with and trust?

    There isn't going to be a price war, because Intel would rather maintain their high margins at the expense of losing a slight bit of market share. Even if it isn't true, maintaining a higher selling price gives the impression they are selling a higher quality product, while getting into a price war tells customers that Intel has no confidence in their own products.
    Reply
  • englandr753
    "What does all this mean? Simply put, end users faced with a platform upgrade could buy an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor, a new TR4 motherboard, and a high-end graphics card for the same price as a single i9-7980XE processor."

    For the top 2% that have deep pockets, Intel may have the top tier still cornered, provided their product actually outperforms threadripper. I think Intels blue panties are still getting dug out of their marketing departments butts from AMD's sneak attack with Ryzen and threadripper.

    As for me and my house, I'll take that new shiny motherboard, high end video card and new threadripper cpu.
    Reply
  • jasonf2
    I like intel products but pushing the $2000 envelope is insane for a consumer product. I understand that they are trying to protect their xeon margins but nothing performance wise here is going to justify the price tag in consumer workloads. A $1000 chip is crazy enough. Intel's biggest problem here though is going to be AMDs lower end threadrippers. The PCI lane count alone is going to make serious headway into Intel's lower price higher volume -X chips which were your prosumer go to for custom builders. Less than ideal IPC and thermal clocking constraints made the PCI lane count the only advantage for -X Chips. Threadripper blows intel out of the water here especially compared with the lower end -x chips. Intel apparently doesn't remember what competition is. Instead they continue to increase price in a marketplace where they continue to struggle to prove a value in the first place. If they can't pull something truly magical out of their R&D skunkworks they will have to start competing on price. That is something they haven't had to do in a very long time.
    Reply