Intel Unveils Full Specs For Its 18-Core i9 Extreme Edition CPU

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Intel unveiled the specifications and prices of its new range of Core X processors, including the 18-core Extreme Edition. The processors are aimed at the high-end desktop market and are compatible with the LGA 2066 socket found on Intels’s X299 chipset. 

Intel’s Core X Series processors are based on the Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X architecture, and are available in Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 models. The chips do not feature any integrated graphics, as all die space is occupied by CPU cores. 

Next-gen performance 

Intel said content creators can expect up to 20% better performance in VR content creation and up to 30% faster 4K video editing over the previous generation of Intel processors. Gamers will also see a performance improvement of up to 30% when multi-tasking. 

The Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition is the most powerful processor in the lineup, boasting 18 physical cores with 36 threads and a clock speed of up to 4.4GHz using Intel’s Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. 

The powerful CPU does not come cheap, however, and will retail for $1,999 (R26, 000) in the US. Intel Core X processors with 14, 16, and 18 CPU cores will be available from 25 September, while lower-end products will start shipping from 28 August. 

The specifications and US pricing for Intel’s new Core X Series processors are below. 

Intel made a big splash at Computex with its new Core i9 X-series family, with the crown jewel being its 18-core processor for desktops. But until we haven’t heard much in the way of technical details. Today, Intel revealed that the 18-core i9-7980XE will feature a base speed of 2.6GHz, with a Turbo Boost 2.0 clock of 4.2GHz. And using Turbo Boost 3.0, which speeds up performance of its fastest two cores, it’ll reach 4.4GHz. 

That’s just below the 4.5GHz top speed of Intel’s Core i7-7700K, its fastest mainstream processor for desktops. Basically, that means the 18-core chip will be no slouch when it comes single-threaded performance for games. (Check out our in-depth story on the development of the 18-core processor here.) 

It might seem strange to see the company’s most powerful processor with a base clock speed under 3GHz. But what’s more important are the boost figures, which will kick in when you actually need more computing power. As for the other members of the X-series family, the 16-core model will feature speeds between 2.8GHz and 4.4GHz, while the 14-core version starts at 3.1GHz. As usual, Intel can reach higher speeds on chips with fewer cores since there’s less of a heat issue to worry about. 

It’ll be a while until we get full benchmarks from these chips, but Intel gave us a small preview from its own testing. The 16-core i9 CPU reached a Cinebench R15 score of 3,200, while running an NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti GPU. That’s below a 24-core Xeon E5 2697, according to 3D Fluff’s database. The quad-core i7-7700K, meanwhile, scored just 966 on that same benchmark. 

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