Guess what, it’s quick. Actually the i9 7900X is the quickest processor I’ve ever tested. Intel have launched the fastest desktop processor ever. That makes the Core i9 7900X a tough act to follow, not just for AMD’s Threadripper, but also for the rest of Intel's HEDT range.
The Intel Core i9-7900X is the 10 Core, 20 thread replacement to the Core i7-6950X. This chip will come with 10 cores, 20 threads but on a new Skylake architecture. The chip will feature a total of 13.75 MB cache, that’s 1.375 MB per core. The core clocks are maintained at 3.3 GHz base, 4.3 GHz boost with Intel Turbo 2.0 and 4.5 GHz boost with Intel Turbo 3.0. That’s a vast improvement over the current models and the chip will supposedly feature good overclocking capabilities with its TDP of 140W. The chip will have 44 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall at Intel HQ at the moment. This year has been the most interesting for a decade in the CPU market and mostly thanks to AMD. However, while the competition's lowered prices and increased core counts mean we’re enjoying one happy story, another more confusing area is Intel’s current lineup of CPUs.
The Intel Core i9-7900X offers an incredible 44 PCIe lanes for GPU connectivity as well as allowing NVME-SSDs direct access to the CPU and maintains a 3,3 GHz base clock. When required this CPU can activate all cores with Turbo Boost 2.0 and increase the frequency to a 4,3 GHz boost clock, with Boost Max 3.0 even allowing a maximum 4,5 GHz to be reached. Thanks to the unlocked multiplier the Intel Core i9-7900X can also be overclocked even further. Sufficient cooling is important for overclocking since the TDP of the CPU reaches 140 Watts prior to overclocking.
Intel's Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) are instruction set extensions used in SIMD calculations (Single Instruction Multiple Data). SIMD enables a CPU to carry out multiple calculations simultaneously, doubling the AVX/AVX2 instruction set extensions by means of the expanded 256-bit (previously 128-bit) SIMD register. AVX-512 allows the register bandwidth to be raised to 512-bit, thereby markedly increasing the computational power of individual CPU cores.
The entire family of upcoming Core X-Series processors is outlined in the chart below. Intel is claiming that these chips are the company’s “Most Powerful, Most Scalable” desktop processors to date, which seems fitting since they scale from a quad-core part with only 16 PCI Express lanes all the way on up to a monster 18-core chip with an expected 44 lanes (though that hasn't been confirmed just yet). The Core i9-7900X is equipped with Intel Hyper-Threading technology that enables each core to handle two instruction threads, providing the ability to handle up to twenty threads. If you need even more performance, this Skylake-X processor is unlocked, which lets you overlock the processor over its maximum speed. This Core X-series processor does not include a heatsink or fan and requires a sold-separately CPU cooling solution to function at these levels of performance.
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