CHIPMAKER Intel has announced the availability of its Core X-series processor family, which will compete with AMD's Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) CPUs.
The devices, which will be marketed as Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 models, have a higher than usual TDP, enabling Intel to boost their base clock speed. They also offer what Intel calls Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, pushing clock speeds on at least one of the multiple cores to 4.5GHz, in the case of the $999 Core i9-7900X.
That 10-core, 10-thread device, will compete against AMD's top-of-the-range Threadripper 1950X, which boasts 16-cores and 32-threads for the same price, which AMD has released this month.
The first of the new microprocessors out of the traps will be the 12-core, 24-thread Core i9-7920X, available from 28 August, with the 14-core Core i9-7940X and the top-of-the-range 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE available from 25 September.
The four and ten core microprocessors - the Core i5-7640X, the Core i7-7740X and the Core i9-7900X - are already available.
The parts were announced at Computex 2017 in Taiwan this year, at the same time that AMD unveiled its Threadripper HEDT microprocessor line - trumping Intel in terms raw features, pound for pound (or should that be dollar for dollar?).
For example, if you want four-channel DDR4 memory combined with 44 PCIe lanes for fast bandwidth and storage, you'll have to pay out at least $999. For the same price, AMD's Threadripper parts offer 64 PCIe lanes and a level 3 cache of 32MB on the Threadripper 1920X and 1950X - with the promise of more parts on the way.
The arrival of a genuinely competitive microprocessor architecture from AMD has suddenly forced Intel not only to up its game, but also to offer customers more microprocessor power for their money.
Unlike previous resurgences in AMD, though, the company's fab-less status means that, potentially, it could scale up production to far greater levels, far more quickly, than it has done in the past via deals with Samsung and TSMC - not just Globalfoundries, the fab AMD floated off just under 10 years ago. µ
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