Until now it seemed like 2017 would be the year of AMD. With Ryzen they had not only a new generation of processors that could compete with Intels Core i series, but they went ahead and redifined the consumer segment. With 6 cores now being affordable not only to enthusiasts.
This kept everyone wondering why Intel wasn’t responding until now. The presumed drop in prices of the Core-i series failed to appear and some assumed Intel had become too confident over all those years of being the market leader. But at Computex 2017 everyone was taught a lesson about how assumptions can be wrong in so many ways.
The leaks regarding the performance (and core numbers of up to 12) of the new X-series of CPUs were followed by hard facts from Intel. The flagship won’t be the already known 7920X, but rather the 7980XE, sporting 18 cores. A very clear answer to AMD’s Threadripper, whose highest version is equipped with “only” 16 cores.
Even more revealing were the slides shown by Intel, which contain also pricing information. Prices are now much closer to the corresponding Ryzen CPUs, even though they are always a bit higher. Yet seeing that the clock rates are higher as well this isn’t surprising at all. Besides naming, core count and price, there is no further information about the new core monsters at all.
The first Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors are expected to hit the market in June, with the bigger ones following in August. The 7980XE could see the light even further in the future.
The latest news did raise one concern though: the new X-series processors will not switch to soldering the heatspreader on the silicon die, but rather continue with their TIM used in previous generations. Seeing that even the temps of a 7700K can be lowered by up to 30 degress by delidding them, it remains to be seen how this will affect the 140W+ processors.