Intel Turns Up The Dial To Core i9

Core i7-7740K: 4 cores, 8 threads, 4.3GHz base, 4.5GHz Turbo, no Turbo Boost 3.0, 8MB L3, 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0. In fact, you may avail Intel's next generation chipsets before the end of May. That sounds like a contradiction but the thinking is that serious workstation people pay extra for reliability and are happy to leave it to the gamers to sort out the bugs in new speed silicon.

Word from the CPU grapevine is that Intel is turning up the dial another notch on its processors, with the introduction of Core i9 models as a new high-end option.

It's not clear if Intel plans to stick with a "good, better, best" scheme, with what would have previously been a Core i3 becoming a Core i5, a Core i5 becoming a Core i7, and a Core i7 becoming a Core i9, or if Intel plans to keep the Core i3 around while introducing the Core i9 as a sort of "extreme" product tier. However this is a minor revision from LGA2011-3 and we hear from cooler company Noctua that existing coolers can be used on the new platform without the need for any adapters. But it's not over yet: Intel has a new line of CPUs of their own, starting with Skylake-X in June this year. Currently, the Core i7-6850K supports 40 PCI-Express lanes with an MSRP of $617 - $628. Both of these will also have 1MB of L2 cache but have 28 PCIe 3.0 lanes, just like the two lower placed Core i9 SKUs, the Core i9-7800X and the Core i9-7820X. The Core i7-7640K surprisingly lacks HyperThreading, has 6MB of L3 cache and works at 4.0GHz base and 4.2GHz Turbo clocks. These are based on the Kaby Lake-X architecture. It is curious to see how the appearance of an Intel Core i9 was raised no less than eight years ago. Increasing cache sizes without negatively impacting cache latency is a significant undertaking; Intel would have had to do a fundamental respin on Skylake to make this change.

Intel is expected to launch these new CPUs and X299 in mid-June with product on sale at the end of June, but it is keeping one CPU in reserve. The Core i9-7800X is going to feature 6 cores, 12 threads and will carry a total of 8.25 MB of L3 cache.

That is the point when we expect AMD Whitehaven to break cover. As for the prices, we will still have to wait for the official announcement.

The Core i7 has been the highest-performing consumer chip for a long time.

The biggest isn't always the best, so check out our guide to the top gaming CPUs around right now. It would not be a surprise if Intel tags with a list price of more than $1,000. No details about clock speeds were leaked.

These are the Intel Core i9, which will appear in the next few weeks in two versions with 10 and 12 process cores and will also have up to 44 PCIe tracks to create desktop PCs with truly fantastic features.

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