At Computex a couple of weeks ago, Intel announced its new Basin Falls platform, consisting of the X299 chipset with motherboards based on it, a pair of Kaby Lake-X processors, and a set of Skylake-X processors going all the way up to eighteen cores, denoting the first use of Intel’s enterprise level high core-count silicon in a consumer product. For the most part, we had assumed that the news was just that, and following traditional Intel strategy they would not officially give a launch date until the reviews go live sometime later. So imagine our surprise when Intel starts announcing dates at the E3 show this week.

As part of Intel’s E3 press release, as well as their presentations at the show, the new Core i9 processors were discussed, along with Intel’s continued commitment towards eSports. Intel gave the dates for the new platform as the following:

  • 4, 6, 8 and 10-core parts available for pre-order from June 19th
  • 4, 6, 8 and 10-core parts shipping to consumers from June 26th
  • 12-core parts expected to ship in August
  • 14, 16 and 18 core parts expected to ship in October

This means that the following five processors will be available from June 26th:

Intel Basin Falls X299 Processors, June 26th
  i5-7640X i7-7740X i7-7800X i7-7820X i9-7900X
Cores 4C/4T 4C/8T 6C/12T 8C/16T 10C/20T
Base Clock 4.0 GHz 4.3 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.3 GHz
Turbo Clock 4.2 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.0 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.3 GHz
TurboMax Clock N/A N/A N/A 4.5 GHz 4.5 GHz
L2 Cache 256 KB per core 1 MB per core
L3 Cache 6 MB 8 MB 8.25 MB 11 MB 13.75 MB
PCIe Lanes 16 28 44
Memory Channels 2 4
Memory Freq DDR4-2666 DDR4-2400 DDR4-2666
TDP 112 W 140 W
Price (1k tray) $242 $339 $389 $599 $999

The two quad-core parts are part of the Kaby Lake-X family, essentially using the mainstream Kaby Lake-S silicon but disabling the integrated graphics and expanding the voltage/frequency window and TDP limit to give extra frequency. As already demonstrated, extreme overclockers have hit over 7.5 GHz on these chips at a special Computex Intel event using Liquid Helium, with positive words coming out about 24/7 overclocking capabilities on air and water.

The other three parts are the Skylake-X family, with the 6, 8 and 10-core variants all coming from the same harvested low-core-count die. The big upswing for these processors is the rearranged cache arrangement, with Intel moving from 256KB of L2 cache on the previous generation to 1MB of L2 cache on Skylake-X (and changing the L3 cache from being a fully inclusive cache to being a non-inclusive cache). This significantly enhances software which is L2 cache size sensitive, although it remains to be seen how much of an effect it will have for consumers.

For the other parts, 12 core and up, Intel is staggering their launch to the extent that we do not even know many of the details. Intel's own documents list them all as TBD for frequency, power and DRAM support – the only certainties are core counts, pricing, and the fact that they will use the same socket as the above five processors. The August shipping date for the 12-core will be interesting, given that Dell has announced that pre-orders for its ThreadRipper Alienware desktops start on July 27th. The same announcement from Dell states 'and the Area 51 featuring Intel Core X-Series will arrive on August 22nd, and the product page states that this includes the 12-core option, as well as 6-10 cores. Whether the wording 'arrive' means pre-order or release we do not know, although the TR version explicitly states 'pre-order'. Ryan points out that this could just mean the 6-10 core options, as it doesn't explicitly state the 12 core and Intel hasn't made a firm date themselves yet.

Further Reading

Source: Intel

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  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    well judging how ryzen fares against the consumer intel CPU´s.... i bet threadripper will be more than competitive.

    and if they can deliver the 16 core TR for 1000$ then intel is in deep s**t.
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    " deliver the 16 core TR for 1000$ then intel is in deep s**t."

    But why? The standard consumer won't spend that amount of cash on a cpu.
  • Dark Man - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    "The standard consumer" does not not to invest in X299 platform, too

    And hence, rmb there are still 12C TR too. If 16C TR is 1000$ (I doubt about that), surely 12C TR would cost lesser than

    Hwr, I don't think AMD would sell TR at that much cheap. They still need profit, too
  • notashill - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    It's not really a new idea, though it's been a while since it was popular. Intel's first dual core CPU, the Pentium D, was a pair of Pentium 4 dies in an MCM and likewise the original Core 2 Quad was a pair of Core 2 Duo dies. Dual socket systems of course also suffer from similar latency issues, so most software designed to take advantage of large core counts *is* designed with it in mind.

    The inter-core latency does impact performance in some situations with a lot of thread dependencies but seems the impact is usually pretty small, sub 5%. Of course we should still wait for benchmarks and all but historically similar setups have been around for years and not been a major issue.
  • nevcairiel - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    No, its not new, but it shows the underlying design of TR, and what AMD really did. Intel actually has a huge die with many cores, AMD has 4-core modules and 8-core dies that they can piece together like legos - flexible for sure, but at a cost (even if it remains <5%).

    In any case we literally know nothing about TR, no clocks, no pricing, no performance. We know PCIe lanes and core counts, but thats it. People make fun of the HCC SKL-X CPUs for not knowing any details, but its not like TR is different.
  • bigboxes - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - link

    I'm sure we can say that TR will be a lot cheaper than KB-X. Now, you can still build your KB-X build at twice the price if you'd like. It's all about competition. Who cares which company beats who? I'm a consumer and I want to win!
  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    i don´t see how intel can hold on to the price for the 10 core.

    this seems like 200$ too expensive.
  • jabber - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    It's one big hot mess! Well done Intel. Just goes to show even the biggest corporations can be lead into a blind panic.
  • RaistlinZ - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    I need to spend $1,000.00 to get over 28 PCI-E lanes. F.U. Intel.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    I'm not sure a single user needs more than 28 PCI-E lanes. I've never seen a benchmark that shows where having more PCI-E lanes made a machine faster.

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