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.

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  • anoldnewb
    Fanboy comments!#%&
  • Kenneth_1984
    Competition. It's a good time to be a PC enthusiast.
  • 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.