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Intel 10th Gen Core X "Cascade Lake-X" Pricing and Specs Detailed

Ahead of their October 7th product launch and November availability, we have confirmation of the specifications and pricing of Intel's 10th generation Core X "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package. These chips feature compatibility with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards with a UEFI BIOS update, although several motherboard manufacturers are launching new products with some of the latest connectivity options, such as 2.5 GbE wired Ethernet, and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 WLAN.

The 10th generation Core X HEDT processor family is based on the new 14 nm++ "Cascade Lake" silicon, which comes with hardware fixes against several classes side-channel vulnerabilities, and introduces an updated instruction-set that includes more AVX-512 instructions, and the new DLBoost instruction. DLBoost leverages new fixed-function hardware on silicon to accelerate AI deep-learning neural-set building and training by up to 5 times. Intel's first wave of 10th gen Core X lineup is rather slim, with just four processor models. The company did away with the Core i7 brand extension, as core-counts in the mainstream desktop segment have already reached 8-core. The lineup now begins at 10-core/20-thread, with the chip's full 48-lane PCI-Express and 4-channel DDR4 interfaces enabled across the board. All models feature the "XE" brand extension, and feature unlocked base-clock multipliers.

Intel 10th Gen Core X "Cascade Lake" HEDT Processors Launch on October 7

October 7 promises to be an action-packed day, with not just AMD's launch of its Radeon RX 5500 series graphics card, but also Intel's 10th generation Core X "Cascade Lake" HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package. With AMD having achieved near-parity with Intel on IPC, the focus with the 10th generation Core X will be on price-performance, delivering double the number of cores to the Dollar compared to the previous generation. Intel will nearly halve the "Dollars per core" metric of these processors down to roughly $57 per core compared to $103 per core of the 9th generation Core X. This means the 10-core/20-thread model that the series starts with, will be priced under $600.

The first wave of these processors will include the 10-core/20-thread Core i9-10900XE, followed by the 12-core/24-thread i9-10920XE around the $700-mark, the 14-core/28-thread i9-10940XE around the $800-mark, and the range-topping 18-core/28-thread i9-10960XE at $999, nearly half that of the previous-generation i9-9980XE. There is a curious lack of a 16-core model. These chips feature a 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface supporting up to 256 GB of DDR4-2933 memory (native speed), and compatibility with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards with a BIOS update. The chips also feature an updated AES-512 ISA, the new DLBoost instruction set with a fixed-function hardware that accelerates neural net training by 5 times, and an updated Turbo Boost Max algorithm. Intel will extensively market these chips to creators and PC enthusiasts. October 7 will see a paper-launch, followed by November market-availability.

Intel Core i9-9990XE OEM-only, Even Then it's a Lottery

In a sign of just how arid the DIY retail channel has become for Intel, Tom's Hardware reports that the new socket flagship LGA2066 HEDT processor model Intel sneaked into its product-stack, the Core i9-9990XE, is restricted to the OEM/SI (system integrator) channel. Even to OEMs, ordering a tray of i9-9990XE chips isn't as simple as ordering other chips, such as the i9-9900K. Apparently, Intel has been running secret online auctions that are OEM-only, for these chips. OEMs get to bid on the per-chip price in n-unit tray quantities.

Workstation integrator Puget Systems was able to score itself some i9-9990XE inventory at USD $2,300 per chip. Puget Systems last week received its first batch of chips from Intel, and released performance benchmarks. At this price, the i9-9990XE is being sold at a 21% premium over the retail-channel SEP price of the i9-9980XE, and a whopping 65% premium over the i9-9940X. Intel can't shake off comparisons between the i9-9990XE and the i9-9940X because both chips are 14-core/28-thread with 19.25 MB shared L3 cache, with the i9-9990XE only offering significantly higher clock-speeds, but at an astounding TDP of 255W. The i9-9990XE was shown beating the 18-core i9-9980XE in a variety of HEDT-relevant benchmarks.

New Intel Core i9-9990XE Sheds Cores in Favor of High Clock Speeds, Benchmarked

Intel is giving final touches to a new socket LGA2066 high-end desktop processor with an interesting model number for its specifications. The new Core i9-9990XE is positioned above the current flagship i9-9980XE. Normally you'd expect it to be the same 18-core "Skylake-X" chip with a speed-bump, however, the i9-9990XE is a unique proposition. It sheds cores in favor of significantly higher clock-speeds than the i9-9980XE.

The i9-9990XE is a 14-core/28-thread processor, based on a binned "Skylake-X" HCC (high core count) die, and uses STIM (soldered thermal interface material) between the die and integrated heatspreader (IHS). It features some aggressive clock-speeds, with 4.00 GHz nominal clock-speeds, and a massive 5.10 GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency that beats even the Core i9-9900K. Besides 14 cores, the i9-9990XE is configured with 19.25 MB of shared L3 cache, and 1 MB of L2 cache per core. The four disabled cores alone don't help Intel's efforts to dial up clock-speeds. Intel has increased the chip's rated TDP all the way up to 255 Watts!
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