Intel unveil the first 18-core CPU, delivering ‘unquestioned performance leadership’

Intel Core i9 18-core CPU

At their Computex keynote Intel’s Gregory Bryant unveiled the first ever 18-core desktop processor as part of their upcoming Core X-series platform. Okay, so that’s Intel’s response to both Ryzen and Threadripper is it? 

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Intel started off showing off the processing power of the Skylake-X 12-core, 24-thread CPU in both gaming, streaming and creativity tasks. In a game of one-upmanship with AMD’s Ryzen game-streaming claims, they had it on stage with one 12-core X-series chip running a VR setup with Virtual Rickality, while simultaneously re-mixing the visuals into the third person and adding in a green-screened image of the player to stream on Twitch. Normally that sort of VR streaming setup would need multiple machines to be able to produce such a video.

But that wasn’t where it ended, Gregory Bryant then explained they “didn’t stop at 12 cores, we didn’t stop at 14, we didn’t even stop at 16 cores. Right now you’re looking at the industries first ever 18-core desktop CPU.

“This thing touts industry-leading performance, for amazing responsiveness, amazing speed and it’s going to revolutionise activities like VR content creation and data visualisation and we’re extremely excited about it.”

Intel Core i9

Bryant then went on to introduce the class the new 18-core CPU would sit in, the Core i9 range.

“It’s the best of the best,” he explained. “The Core i9 brand is going to represent the highest performing processor for advanced gaming, for VR and for content creation. It truly delivers on our committment to bring you unquestioned performance leadership.”

It’s obvious this is a direct response to AMD’s 16-core Ryzen Threadripper CPUs ahead of further information about the platform coming around at their own Computex press conference tomorrow. With 18 cores and 36 threads of processing the new Core i9 Extreme is going to be a monster. And price? Well, if it drops at the last-gen’s top price of $1,700 I’ll be very surprised.