INTEL HAS ANNOUNCED details of its heavily trailed Core X-Series processors as well as a compute card, a virtual reality collaboration and an always connected PC demo.
Gregory Bryant, corporate vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel Corporation, provided more details ahead of his keynote at Computex in Taipei.
Details of the Core-X processor range had been artfully leaked beforehand, first two weeks ago when some details of the new processors appeared on a blurry slide. But they held back on the juiciest details until yesterday when enthusiasts got hold of further info - including a top-of-the-range 18-core 36 thread $1,999 monster, the Core i9-7980XE, which Intel says is the first teraflop desktop CPU.
That's also two more cores than AMD's recently announced "Threadripper".
Initial rumours about the branding of the top-level CPUs - Core i9 rather than Core i7 - proved to be correct. Rival AMD named its top-end processors Ryzen 7 in a deliberate attempt to draw comparisons with Intel's current Core i7 range, with which it competes at a much lower price.
While full specifications are not yet available, hardware site videocardz.com has compiled a feature list which seems to be pretty accurate from what we can tell, the details of which are summarised below.
The new processors are aimed firmly at what Bryant terms the "enthusiast community", which includes gamers and also content creators who "can have fast image rendering, video encoding, audio production and real-time preview - all running in parallel seamlessly so they spend less time waiting and more time creating".
Indeed, Bryant spends quite a bit of his post bigging up the ailing PC market, as he would of course.
He also mentioned the new x299 chipset with additional I/O and overclocking capabilities, and an upgrade to the firm's Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, which "will now identify the two top performing cores and direct critical workloads to those cores for a big jump in single- or multithreaded performance".
And Bryant promised to share more news on the 8th generation Intel Core Processor "in the future".
All well and good, but what of the prices? The cheapest Core X, the Core i5-7640X, is $242, while the Core i7 X-Series range from a $339 (4-core / 8-thread) to $599 for the 10-core 20-thread model. The Core-i9 range starts at $999 and goes all the way up to $1,999 for the Core i9-7980XE.
Other new products include the Intel Compute Card "a modular computing platform with all the elements of a full computer — all in a package that is slightly longer than a credit card", and a prototype of an always connected PC, with long battery life and full Windows functionality.
On the VR front Bryant wrote of a collaboration with smartphone vendor HTC.
"We will be working together to leverage Intel's WiGig technology to create a VR accessory that allows Vive customers to get high-fidelity, low-latency, immersive VR experiences without the wire," he said. μ
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