Mythical Intel Core i5-7660X Smiles For The Camera

Intel Core i5-7660X (Image credit: 县城撕裂者/Twitter)

Legend has it that Intel prepared the Core i5-7660X three years ago, but never officially released the processor. A Chinese Twitter user recently obtained a working sample of the forgotten child from the Skylake-X family.

The Core i5-7660X clearly uses the Skylake microarchitecture. Therefore, the processor is manufactured on Intel's 14nm+ process node and slides into the LGA2066 socket just like any other Skylake-X chip. The Core i5-7660X inherited all of the attributes of Skylake-X, like support for quad-channel memory (128GB max) and AVX-512 instructions.

Had Intel released the Core i5-7660X, the hexa-core processor would have been an interesting offering at the time. The Core i5-7660X would not only be the chipmaker's first Core i5 HEDT (high-end desktop) processor, but also the first Core i5 SKU to support quad-channel memory.

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ModelCores / ThreadsBase / Boost Clock (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)TDP (W)
Core i9-7980XE18 / 362.6 / 4.224.75165
Core i9-7960X16 / 322.8 / 4.222165
Core i9-7940X14 / 283.1 / 4.319.25165
Core i9-7920X12 / 242.9 / 4.316.5140
Core i9-7900X10 / 203.3 / 4.313.75140
Core i7-7820X8 / 163.6 / 4.311140
Core i7-7800X6 / 123.5 / 4.08.25140
Core i5-7660X6 / 63.4 / 5.08.25140

The CPU-Z screenshots show the Core i5-7660X with six cores, six threads and 8.25MB of L3 cache. These parameters alone are enough to assume that the Core i5-7660X is closely related to the Core i7-7800X. 

The Core i5-7660X comes equipped with a 3.4 GHz base clock, which isn't a big deal. Its boost clock, however, is pretty impressive. Previous Skylake-X offerings maxed out at 4.3 GHz, and the Core i5-7660X exhibits a 5 GHz boost clock, the highest of all the Skylake-X SKUs.

At the end of the day, the Core i5-7660X is essentially a Core i7-7800X with higher clock speeds but without Hyper-Threading. It's rated with the same 140W TDP (thermal design power), but by disabling Hyper-Threading, Intel could jack the Core i5-7660X's boost clock through the roof.

As a matter of fact, the Core i5-7660X could have been a product of Intel recycling subpar silicon that didn't meet the standards for a Core i7-7800X. This would certainly explain the close similarity between the two HEDT processors.

Not that it matters anymore but, the Core i5-7660X provides 28 PCIe 3.0 lanes and supports DDR4-2400 memory modules just like the Core i7-7800X. As you might recall, only the Core i7-7820X and above natively supported DDR4-2666.

It remains a mystery why Intel never released the Core i5-7660X to the public. Probably Intel was concerned with either lack of interest, or it wanted to keep HEDT as a platform for Core i7 and above (never mind the short-lived i5-7640X). Word on the street is that some i5-7660X samples actually made it to the hands of a few selected overclockers.

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.

  • JarredWaltonGPU
    Not sure this is a "fairy tale" so much as a "Intel really wanted people to pay more for HEDT and decided this wouldn't help them sell 8-core and above CPUs." Okay, that's a cynical view, but I can just imagine some of the meetings surrounding this CPU and its eventual cancellation. Shades of Larrabee for sure.
  • GetSmart
    Admin said:
    Twitter user reveals photograph and specifications of the unreleased Core i5-7660X Skylake-X processor.

    Mythical Intel Core i5-7660X Smiles For The Camera : Read more
    Actual source is here :p