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.
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.
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.
|Microarchitecture||Branding||Max Cores / Threads||Lithography||PCIe 3.0||Max Memory||Memory Support||Launch Date|
|Cascade Lake-X*||10000-series||18 / 36||14nm||48||256GB||?||2019|
|Skylake-X Refresh||9000-series||18 / 36||14nm||44||128GB||Quad DDR4-2666||2018|
|Skylake-X||7000-series||18 / 36||14nm||44||128GB||Quad DDR4-2666||2017|
|Broadwell-E||6000-series||10 / 20||14nm||40||128GB||Quad DDR4-2400||2016|
|Haswell-E||5000-series||8 / 16||22nm||40||64GB||Quad DDR4-2133||2014|
|Ivy Bridge-E||4000-series||6 / 12||22nm||40||64GB||Quad DDR3-1866||2013|
|Sandy Bridge-E||3000-series||6 / 12||32nm||40 (2.0)||64GB||Quad DDR3-1600||2011|
*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.