Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Intel unveils new Core X range of high-end processors for gamers

Heather Davidson | 01 June, 2017, 01:38

While Intel's 10-core i7 Extreme Edition from a year ago cost around $1,700, its new 10-core Core i9 costs just $999. With this new upgraded technology, Intel chips can identify two top-performing cores as the optimal cores and direct critical workloads to them for an overall jump in performance. It was tipped to be AMD's rival to the new Core X-series processors Intel unveiled yesterday, which top out at the 18-core, 36-thread Core i9 Extreme. It brings more powerful versions of the existing Core-i5 and Core-i7 desktop CPUs along with the new Core-i9 CPUs.

Other chips include the standard Core i9 7900X (10 cores/20 threads), the Core i7 7820X (8 cores/16 threads), Core i7 7800X (6 cores/12 threads), the Core i7 7740X (4 cores/8 threads) and Core i5 7640X (4 cores/4 threads). The next line up - the Core i7 X-Series - ranges from a $339, 4-core, 8-thread model to a $599 8-core, 16-thread processor. AMD's Ryzen Threadripper is well on its way to becoming the most powerful consumer CPU ever introduced. "And, we are announcing updates to Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0", Intel added.

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Above 4GHz as clock speeds have plateaued at slightly, the challenge has to find a use for all of the additional cores silicon manufacturers are building into their chips. The 4-core models are based on Intel's Kaby Lake architecture, while the other models are based on the company's Skylake design. And as if its massive core count wasn't enough, the i9-7980XE is also the first Intel consumer chip that packs in over a teraflop worth of computing power. That's due in part to Intel's improved Turbo Boost technology, which is created to maximize both single-core and dual-core performance by choosing a "favored core" for each processing task. It's unlikely that many would go the 18-core route anyway, so the main battleground will likely be the mid-range arena. In part, the i9-7980XE seems created to allow Intel to hold onto its multi-core crown in the desktop space, however Intel has not revealed when the part will be available.

It sits in a new range of Core X-series chips targeting enthusiasts. Intel said its Core i9 Extreme Edition 9-7980XE, which starts at $1,999, is best for such applications as advanced gaming, virtual reality and content creation.

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