Next-Generation Intel Processors May Include Core i9 Variant

It looks like Intel is going all out with their upcoming HEDT line of processors that are part of the Skylake X Family. These are based on the Kaby Lake-X architecture. Codenamed Ryzen 9, it's rumored to have 16 cores, 32 threads, and a clock speed of 3.5GHz in normal mode, boostable to 3.9GHz.

In this column, I'd like to offer up my thoughts on the introduction of the Core i9 brand for the company's ultra-high-end processors.

At the end of the day, Intel's goal is quite simple: It wants to try to get consumers to buy a richer product mix to boost its processor average selling prices and ultimately increase revenues/profits in a challenging overall personal computer market. If these cache counts are accurate, they reflect plans Intel made a year or more ago, not any recent response to a renewed competitive environment.

The chip will be clocked at 3.6 GHz base, 4.3 GHz boost with Turbo 2.0 and 4.5 GHz base with Turbo 3.0. The higher-end Core i7-7740K has two threads per core enabled, while the lower end i7-7640K has just one thread per core enabled.

And, finally, these chips both have 16 PCI Express lanes.

"The slide, which an Anandtech forum member claims is an internal Intel document, provides details of four new Skylake-X processors and two Kaby Lake-X CPUs". The chip also features 44 PCIe lanes and a 13.75 MB L3 cache. The 7900X might be at its base 3.3GHz frequency, and the 7920X at 3.3GHz, which would explain these scores. It's unclear at this point when Intel's next-generation processor family is going to be launched. The full 4.5GHz clocks on these Core i9 beasts might be scary good. Of those, only the 7920X's base and boost clocks aren't immediately known based on this morning's benchmarks. The most important element is that it takes away one of the main advantages AMD has with Ryzen right now: the i9 series starts with the hexacore/12 threaded i9-7800X, and goes all the way up to a 12 core/24 threaded i9-7920X, which will presumably settle into the same territory that the Broadwell-E/Haswell-E CPUs have done. It'll be interesting to see if this product stack is compelling enough to drive upsell from Intel's mainstream desktop platform to the high-end desktop platform, and up the stack within the high-end desktop platform.

Shares of Intel closed higher on Monday.

  • Joey Payne