When Intel launched its new high-end desktop platform a few weeks ago, we were provided with Core-X CPUs from quad cores on the latest Kaby Lake microarchitecture, and 6/8/10 core parts on the Skylake-SP microarchitecture derived from the enterprise line and taking a different route to how the cache was structured over Skylake-S. At the time we were told that these latter parts would be joined by bigger SKUs all the way up to 18 cores, and up to $2000. Aside from core-counts and price, Intel was tight lipped on the CPU specifications until today.

Skylake-X goes HCC

The original Skylake-X processors up to 10 cores used Intel’s LCC silicon, one of the three silicon designs typically employed in the enterprise space, and the lowest core count. The other two silicon designs, HCC and XCC, have historically been reserved for server CPUs and big money – if you wanted all the cores, you had to pay for them. So the fact that Intel is introducing HCC silicon into the consumer desktop market is a change in strategy, which many analysts say is due to AMD’s decision to bring their 16-core silicon into the market.

Both the new HCC-based processors and the recently released LCC-based processors will share the same LGA2066 socket as used on X299 motherboards, and all the processors will differ in core count, with slight variations on core frequencies, TDP and price.

The Skylake-X line-up now looks like:

Skylake-X Processors
  7800X 7820X 7900X   7920X 7940X 7960X 7980XE
Silicon LCC   HCC
Cores / Threads 6/12 8/16 10/20   12/24 14/28 16/32 18/36
Base Clock / GHz 3.5 3.6 3.3   2.9 3.1 2.8 2.6
Turbo Clock / GHz 4.0 4.3 4.3   4.3 4.3 4.3 4.2
TurboMax Clock N/A 4.5 4.5   4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4
L3 1.375 MB/core   1.375 MB/core
PCIe Lanes 28 44   44
Memory Channels 4   4
Memory Freq DDR4 2400 2666   2666
TDP 140W   140W 165W
Price $389 $599 $999   $1199 $1399 $1699 $1999

Along with this, we have several release dates to mention.

  • The 12-core Core i9-7920X will be available from August 28th
  • The 14-18 core parts will be available from September 25th (my birthday…)

On the specification side, the higher-end CPUs get a kick up in TDP to 165W to account for more cores and the frequency that these CPUs are running at. The top Core i9-7980XE SKU will have a base frequency of 2.6 GHz but a turbo of 4.2 GHz, and a Favored Core of 4.4 GHz. The turbo will be limited to 2 cores of load, however Intel has not listed the ‘all-core turbo’ frequencies which are often above the base frequencies, nor the AVX frequencies here. It will be interesting to see how much power the top SKU will draw.

One question over the launch of these SKUs was regarding how much they would impinge into Intel’s Xeon line of processors. We had already earmarked the Xeon Gold 6154/6150 as possible contenders for the high-end CPU, and taking the price out of the comparison, they can be quite evenly matched (the Xeons have a lower turbo, but higher base frequency). The Xeons also come with multi-socket support and more DRAM channels, at +60% the cost.

Comparing against AMD’s Threadripper gives the following:

Features Intel Core
Intel Core
AMD Ryzen
Threadripper 1950X
Platform X299 X299 X399
Socket LGA2066 LGA2066 TR4
Cores/Threads 18 / 36 16 / 32 16 / 32
Base/Turbo 2.6 / 4.2 / 4.4 2.8 / 4.2 / 4.4 3.4 / 4.0
GPU PCIe 3.0 44 44 60
L2 Cache 1 MB/core 1 MB/core 512 KB/core
L3 Cache 24.75 MB 22.00 MB 32.00 MB
TDP 165W 165W 180W
 Price $1999 $1699 $999

We fully expect the review embargoes to be on the launch dates for each CPU. Time to start ringing around to see if my sample was lost in the post.

Related Reading

Update on 8/8:

Due to some sleuthing, PCGamer managed to obtain turbo frequencies based on per-core loading. I'm surprised Intel doesn't give this data out like candy when the products are announced, but we're glad to have it nonetheless.

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  • B3an - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

    These CPUs and the motherboard platform is a joke. I'm not paying 2K when i can get basically the same performance for half the price, which i will be doing.
  • beck2050 - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

    Love 18 core 7980xe in a new Mac Pro.
  • Da W - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

    Incredible how long we've been stuck with 4 cores processors and out of sudden they are able to throw 18 core at us in a few month span!!! Shows how bad a monopoly can be.
    Whatever it is Intel can come up with, i'll buy AMD stuff for my next rig just to help them STAY ALIVE for a while longer and continue to bring competition to the market. The desktop market has been boring for a decade! I was getting sick to come to Anandtech just to read crappy phone reviews ;)
  • sld - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    Well said. And AMD has made it compelling to buy their processors, finally. One will really need to stretch logic and reality to continue with a near-monopoly situation like the past at least FIVE years.
  • Gothmoth - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    i guess a lot of sandy bridges are retired this year.

    but from what i see, in my surrounding, not with INTEL cpu´s.

    i was ready to buy x299 ...but it is a big disappointment.

    i rather spend my money on a nice threadripper build.
  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

    will the error in the last slide be fixed?

    turbo slows down i5??
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

  • Manoa - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - link

  • twtech - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    Pretty nice. I wish in a way that I had waited to buy my workstation build for this - but it's always going to be the case that something faster comes out later.

    Is the 4.2GHz number the all-cores turbo boost? That's pretty high for an 18-core part. Especially since the 2687Wv4 maxes out at 3/3.1.
  • Gothmoth - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - link

    depends on how long it can run at 4.2 GHz before throtteling.....

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