A LEAKED SLIDE seems to confirm that Intel will launch its first Core i9 processors later this year.
The slide, which an Anandtech forum member claims is an internal Intel document, provides details of four new Skylake-X processors and two Kaby Lake-X CPUs. The Skylake-X processors are described as Core i9, and if the leak is genuinely - and that's a fairly big if - the new Core i9s will replace Core i7s as Intel's top-of the-pile PC chipset range.
The most powerful of the new processors is the Core i9-7920X. Built on the Skylake-X architecture it has 12 cores and supports 24 threads. No details about clock speeds were leaked.
The i9-7920X comes next with 16.5Mb of onboard L3 cache and supporting 44 PCIe lanes. Next one down is the Core i9-7900X, with 10 cores, 20 threads, 13.75Mb of cache. Like its bigger brother, it also supports 44 PCIe lanes.
The 7900X processor reportedly has a base frequency of 3.3GHz, reaching 4.3GHz with Intel's Turbo 2.0 Boost Max technology for limited numbers of cores and 4.5GHz with Turbo 3.0 for single-threaded workloads.
The number of PCIe lanes in the eight-core Core i9-7820X and six-core Core i9-7800X is reduced to 28, and the boost clock speed of the latter to 4GHz.
The new Core i9 chips all feature hyperthreading, and offer 1Mb of dedicated L2 cache, which is four times that on the Core i7-7700K.
Of the two new Kaby Lake-X CPUs, the Core i7-7740K processor is the more powerful with four cores, supporting eight threads, 8Mb of L3 cache, and a base clock frequency of 4.3GHz with Turbo 2.0 pitched at 4.5GHz. The four-core Core i7-7640K comes with 6Mb of cache.
The specs are summarised here.
Support for DDR4-2666 memory (dual-channel on Kaby Lake-X and quad-channel on Skylake-X) is another rumoured feature, while heat specs are given as 112W TDP and 160W TDP, respectively.
It is thought the new chips will be available in the summer, possibly as soon as June. Prices are not known as yet.
The new chipsets, whatever specifications they eventually turn out to offer, will be up against stiff competition from AMD's newly-announced Ryzen range.
AMD claims that the Ryzen 7 (deliberately named to match Intel's Core i7 branding) will offer just under 10 per cent better performance for less than half the price of current Intel offerings.
However, if the leak is genuine and Intel's top-of-the range chips are to be called i9 rather than i7, Intel may have stolen a march on its rival in terms of branding at least. µ
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We'll stick with the dongle, cheers