Intel’s latest CPU is packed with raw grunt, writes PAT PILCHER.
Last year Intel unveiled a 10-core consumer CPU. It cost a wallet searing US$1700, but it packed more grunt than a piggery. Not satisfied with a mere 10 cores, Intel are upping the ante with the Core X-series whose flagship silicon is the 18-core i9-7980XE. I think we’re talking piggeries, bacon factories and anything else that can be filed under ‘raw grunt’.
If there’s a gotcha, its this – the i9-7980XE will be priced at a whopping US$1999. This silicon won’t be found in the latest cheapie laptop from Warehouse Stationery anytime soon.
The i9’s searing power arguably comes to you courtesy of competition. Intel are taking aim at AMD’s 16-core Threadripper CPU. Competition aside, the i9 is the first Intel silicon to deliver over a teraflop’s worth of computing power.
If the i9’s steep sticker price is out of reach, Intel also has other Core i9 chips. These come in 10 through to 16-core variants. Price-wise, the 10 core i9-7900X isn’t too painful, retailing for just US$999.
i9 silicon clocks in at 3.3GHz, and can reach 4.3GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 and 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost 3.0. X-Series CPU’s will also come with quad-core i5-7640X and i7 models which will sport 4-, 6- and 8-core variants.
All these cores generate new challenges. More power of course equals more heat and this demands new cooling solutions. To this end, Intel has developed its own liquid cooling to keep those costly CPUs from getting too toasty.
With slinky ultra-portable laptops stealing the limelight over recent years, Intel’s core X silicon could re-ignite interest in the oft neglated DIY desktop PC as hardware geeks and hardcore gamers race to build rigs powered by with Intel’s new silicon.