Intel’s $2,000 Core i9 CPU will launch on September 25, with the 14 and 16-core chips

Intel Core i9 specs

Update, August 7, 2017: Intel have just confirmed the official specs for the rest of the Core X-series processors, matching last week’s leaked slide.

Don’t have the scratch for a processor this huge? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a guide to the best CPUs for gaming out there, and not all of them involve remortgaging your house.

The official slide Intel have released this afternoon matches the slide VideoCardz published last week, detailing the 4.4GHz Turbo clockspeed of the 18-core Core i9 7980XE. We also now know the official specs of the rest of the Core X-series too.

Intel have also released the on sale dates for the new chips too. The 12-core i9 7920X will launch in retail on August 28, while the 14-, 16-, and 18-core processors will start shipping on my wife’s birthday, September 25. This is a touching tribute from Intel, matching AMD releasing Vega on my mother’s birthday, August 14.

They’re just obsessed with one-upping each other, aren’t they?

Intel Core X-series CPUs

We’re starting to get early benchmarks in from the rival AMD ThreadripperCPUs too, with my sources matching early Alienware Area-51 benchmarks, putting the 16-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper30% faster than the 10-core Intel Core i9 7900X. In Cinebench’s multi-threaded benchmark the 7900X scores 2,329 while the Threadripper 1950X hits 3,024. That’s a pretty hefty performance boost from a chip that costs the same amount…

Original story, July 31, 2017: The full specs of Intel’s monstrous 18-core i9 7980XE CPU have been revealed in a leaked presentation slide, along with details of a few more X-Series SKUs.

The slide confirms the nerve-wracking $1,999 price tag, but for your many, many monies you’ll be receiving a processor with 18 cores and 36 threads, which is also capable of a 4.4GHz boost clock at the very top end.

Intel Core X Series Specs Leak

The i9-7980XE is rocking a pretty miserly 2.6GHz base clock, but can be pushed to a Turbo Boost 2.0 speed of 4.2GHz, and a Turbo Boost 3.0 speed of 4.4GHz. However, it’s worth mentioning the small print at the bottom of the slide, which reveals the Turbo Boost numbers are a maximum dual-core frequency, and so are unlikely to represent the speed you’ll be getting when all 18 of those cores are running in tandem.

So Intel are outgunning AMD’s Threadripper 1950X by two cores, but they’re going to make sure you’re paying for it. For that extra punching power, the Core i9-7980XE is double the price – the top-spec Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is available for pre-order at $999.

The leaked slide also features details of the Core i9 7940X and Core i9 7960X. The Core i9 7940X is the smaller of the two, with 14 cores (still overkill, if you ask us), a 3.1GHz base clock, and a Turbo Boost 3.0 frequency of 4.4GHz. Of course, you’ll be paying $1,400 for it…

Intel Core i9 X-series tech

The Core i9 7960X is rocking 16 cores, putting it in the most direct competition with AMD’s Threadripper 1950X. It’s rocking an inferior base clock of 2.8GHz to the 1950X’s 3.4GHz, but outstrips it at the top end with a Turbo Boost 3.0 speed of 4.4GHz, as opposed to the flat 4GHz the 1950X boasts.

As mentioned above, though, the Turbo Boost speeds are taken as dual-core speeds, so until we can get Threadripper and Core i9 head-to-head it’s tough to say which will come out on top. The Core i9 7960X has a reported price of $1,700, but is it going to be $700 better than what AMD’s offering? Somehow, we think not.

AMD’s 12 and 16-core Threadripper CPUs are launching August 10, with the new eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1900X chip following on August 31 for $549.

AMD Threadripper packaging

All three of the above Intel SKUs have a reported thermal design power of 165W, a little more than the 155W the 1950X is pulling. Intel’s top-end CPUs are sporting 44 PCIe lanes, while every announced Threadripper SKU is streaking ahead with 64. It’s really not looking good for Intel…

Of course, until Intel come forward and confirm these details, we have to treat these details as rumour for now. VideoCardz received the slide, but made the point that they couldn’t confirm whether or not it is genuine.

The slide also stresses processor numbers aren’t a measure of performance. It’s always good to temper your enthusiasm a little before the performance numbers come in (yes, even with an 18-core CPU), and we’ll let you know how the i9-7980XE performs as soon as we can get our thermal paste-stained hands on one.

Thanks, VideoCardz.