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Intel Discontinues 9th Gen Core X Series "Skylake-X" HEDT Processors

Intel issued a product change notification (PCH) announcing the discontinuation of its 9th Gen Core X series "Skylake-X" HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package; in addition to at least 10 Xeon W-2000 series workstation processors that are based on a similar IP. Discontinuation involves several steps, the first of which is the discontinuation announcement, which is dated July 9, 2020. The last orders for these chips will be taken on January 22, 2021, which are non-cancellable and non-returnable (for distributors, end-users are still protected by product warranties and consumer laws regardless of when they buy the processor). The last orders ship before July 9, 2021.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX to Debut with a Lenovo Workstation

AMD's 64-core HEDT processor with an 8-channel memory interface, the Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX, could debut in a Lenovo-branded workstation. Lenovo's Workstations division recently tweeted a big workstation announcement for 14th July, 2020, the same day AMD is expected to announce the 3995WX. "A new Lenovo workstation is coming soon, and we aren't going to just change the game. We plan to change the rules," the tweet reads. This is also a major hint as to the availability of the 3995WX. It won't surprise us if the processor will be an OEM-exclusive (if not a Lenovo-exclusive). The Threadripper PRO 3995WX, in addition to the Ryzen PRO feature-set, reportedly features an 8-channel DDR4 memory interface, doubling the memory bandwidth over that of the current retail-channel flagship 3990X.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX Processor Pictured: 8-channel DDR4

Here is the first picture of the Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3995WX processor, designed to be part of AMD's HEDT/workstation processor launch for this year. The picture surfaced briefly on the ChipHell forums, before being picked up by HXL (@9550pro) This processor is designed to compete with Intel Xeon W series processors, such as the W-3175X, and is hence located a segment above even the "normal" Threadripper series led by the 64-core/128-thread Threadripper 3990X. Besides certain features exclusive to Ryzen PRO series processors, the killer feature with the 3995WX is a menacing 8-channel DDR4 memory interface, that can handle up to 2 TB of memory with ECC.

The Threadripper PRO 3995X is expected to have a mostly identical I/O to the most expensive EPYC 7662 processor. As a Ryzen-branded chip, it could feature higher clock speeds than its EPYC counterpart. To enable its 8-channel memory, the processor could come with a new socket, likely the sWRX8, and AMD WRX80 chipset, although it wouldn't surprise us if these processors have some form of inter-compatibility with sTRX4 and TRX40 (at limited memory bandwidth and PCIe capabilities, of course). Sources tell VideoCardz that AMD could announce the Ryzen Threadripper PRO series as early as July 14, 2020.

ASRock Rack Intros TRX40D8-2N2T ATX Motherboard for Threadripper-powered Servers

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors support up to 2 TB of quad-channel ECC memory, which means some companies can choose to cut costs by opting for 3rd gen Ryzen Threadrippers over EPYC "Rome" processors, if they're okay with a narrower memory bus. There weren't any server-grade AMD TRX40 chipset motherboards, until ASRock Rack picked up the challenge, with the new TRX40D8-2N2T. This motherboard is designed for high-uptime use, featuring server-grade VRM, networking interfaces, and an ASPEED IPMI+display+iKVM chip.

Built in the ATX form-factor, the TRX40D8-2N2T features one sTRX4 socket supporting 3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper processors (including the 3990X), eight DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 256 GB (32 GB per DIMM) of quad-channel DDR4 memory, with or without ECC. Memory speeds of up to DDR4-3200 are supported. The sTRX4 socket is wired to three PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots and one open-ended PCI-Express 4.0 x8. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gbps ports, and two M.2-22110 slots with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring. Networking includes two 10 GbE ports driven by an Intel X710-AT2 controller, and two 2.5 GbE ports put out by a pair of Intel i225-LM controllers. The ASPEED AST2500 chip puts out a GbE port and D-Sub (basic display) connector of its own. There's no onboard audio. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Rolls Out Prime TRX40-PRO S Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out the Prime TRX40-PRO S socket sTRX4 motherboard for 3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. This board is part of a mini-refresh of the company's sTRX4 product-stack, beginning with the ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha, the more recent ROG Strix TRX40-XE Gaming, and now the Prime TRX40-PRO S. Launch of the three boards is triggered by the niche of enthusiasts that likes to overclock their Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core/128-thread processors.

While the older Prime TRX40-PRO is perfectly capable of running- or even overclocking the 3990X, the new PRO S is better suited for the task, and comes with bolstered 16-phase CPU VRM with 70 A power stages, same ones found on the original ROG Zenith II Extreme, while the Extreme Alpha has been amped up with 90 A power stages. ASUS upgraded the ROG Strix TRX40-XE Gaming the same way. The board's feature-set is otherwise identical to that of the original Prime TRX40-PRO. The Prime TRX40-PRO S is expected to be priced around the $430-mark.
ASUS PRIME TRX40-PRO S

No Intel "Rocket Lake-S" or "Ice Lake-X" This Year?

A roadmap slide from an Intel Partner Connect presentation suggests that the company's client-segment processor lineup will be unchanged for the rest of 2020, with the company briskly launching its 10th generation "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor lineup through May-June, and "Comet Lake-H" a month prior. The Core X "Cascade Lake-X" processor lineup will continue to lead the company in the high core-count HEDT segment, with no indications of new models, at least none higher than 18 cores.

More importantly, this slide dulls expectations of the company refreshing its desktop process segment just before Holiday 2020 with the 11th generation "Rocket Lake-S" silicon that has next-gen "Willow Cove" CPU cores, Gen12 Xe integrated graphics, and PCIe gen 4.0 connectivity, especially with engineering samples of the chips already hitting the radar. Intel is expected to launch 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" Xeon enterprise processors in 2020, and there was hope for some of this IP to power Intel's next HEDT platform, the fabled "Ice Lake-X," especially with AMD's "Castle Peak" 3rd gen Threadrippers dominating this segment. While there's little doubt that the slide may have originated from Intel, its context must be studied. Partner Connect is a platform for Intel to interact with its channel partners (distributors, retailers, system integrators, etc), and information about future products is far more restricted on these slides, than presentations intended for large OEMs, motherboard manufacturers, etc. Then again, with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing supply chains off rails, it wouldn't surprise us if this slide spells Gospel.

Distant Blips on the AMD Roadmap Surface: Rembrandt and Raphael

Several future AMD processor codenames across various computing segments surfaced courtesy of an Expreview leak that's largely aligned with information from Komachi Ensaka. It does not account for "Matisse Refresh" that's allegedly coming out in June-July as three gaming-focused Ryzen socket AM4 desktop processors; but roadmap from 2H-2020 going up to 2022 sees many codenames surface. To begin with, the second half of 2020 promises to be as action packed as last year's 7/7 mega launch. Over in the graphics business, the company is expected to debut its DirectX 12 Ultimate-compliant RDNA2 client graphics, and its first CDNA architecture-based compute accelerators. Much of the processor launch cycle is based around the new "Zen 3" microarchitecture.

The server platform debuting in the second half of 2020 is codenamed "Genesis SP3." This will be the final processor architecture for the SP3-class enterprise sockets, as it has DDR4 and PCI-Express gen 4.0 I/O. The EPYC server processor is codenamed "Milan," and combines "Zen 3" chiplets along with an sIOD. EPYC Embedded (FP6 package) processors are codenamed "Grey Hawk."

Linus Torvalds Upgrades to AMD Threadripper After 15 Years with Intel

Linux and Git creator Linus Torvalds revealed that he upgraded to an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X processor powered machine after 15 years of upgrading among Intel processors. This is likely his main machine from which he does pioneering work on the future of Linux and his other creations. His May 24 dated "State of the Kernel" blog post reveals that his hardware upgrade was the most exciting piece of news to share among the community.

"In fact, the biggest excitement this week for me was just that I, upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn't Intel-based. No, I didn't switch to ARM yet, but I'm now rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x. My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be, which doesn't matter so much right now during the calming down period, but I will most definitely notice the upgrade during the next merge window," he stated. What makes this story big is the fact that the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and a processor with a similar multi-core architecture to AMD's EPYC enterprise processors, is now being used by the creator of the most popular enterprise operating system.

EK Water Blocks Announces the EK Quantum Momentum TRX40 Monoblock for ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme Motherboard

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, makes another push into the HEDT market by releasing the world's first Socket sTRX4 based monoblock made for made for the ROG Zenith II Extreme motherboard. This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the ASUS motherboard that is based on AMD TRX40 chipset for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme motherboard.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS, this monoblock uses Velocity sTR4 cooling engine to ensure the proper cooling of the large IHS that hides the spread-out chiplets. This water block directly cools AMD sTR4X type CPU, as well as the voltage regulation module (VRM). This kind of efficient VRM cooling on a TRX40 platform opens up even greater overclocking capabilities. Using a monoblock gets rid of the small fans that can be found on these TRX40 motherboards, hidden under the VRM heatsink grill.

VIA CenTaur CHA NCORE AI CPU Pictured, a Socketed LGA Package

VIA's CenTaur division sprung an unexpected surprise in the CPU industry with its new CHA x86-64 microarchitecture and an on-die NCORE AI co-processor. This would be the first globally-targeted x86 processor launch by a company other than Intel and AMD in close to 7 years, and VIA's first socketed processor in over 15 years. SemiAccurate scored a look at mock-up of the CenTaur CHA NCORE 8-core processor and it turns out that the chip is indeed socketed.

Pictured below, the processor is a flip-chip LGA. We deduce it is socketed looking at its alignment notches and traces for ancillaries on the reverse-side (something BGAs tend to lack). On the other hand, the "contact points" of the package appear to cast shadows, and resemble balls on a BGA package. Topside, we see an integrated heatspreader (IHS), and underneath is a single square die. CenTaur built the CHA NCORE on TSMC's 16 nm FinFET process. The package appears to have quite a high pin-count for a die this size, but that's probably because of its HEDT-rivaling I/O, which includes a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface and 44 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes.

Intel Reportedly Looking Into Further Reduction in CPU Pricing for 2020

Intel's policy on CPU pricing has been a strong, definite one for years: no price reductions. Faced with less than admirable competition from a struggling AMD back in its Phenom and especially Bulldozer days, Intel enforced a heavy hand on the market and on CPU pricing. However, a much revitalized AMD and difficulties in the transition to the 10 nm process have left Intel with no other recourse than to cut pricing on its CPUs in order to remain competitive. No uptake of new I/O technologies such as PCIe 4.0 has also taken its toll on Intel's position in the server and HEDT market, which has led to recent price-cuts and tightening of Intel's Xeon line of CPUs - as well as price-cuts in the order of 50% in their Cascade Lake-X processors compared to the previous generation.

DigiTimes, citing industry PC makers, says that Intel is gearing up to keep fighting in the only front it actually can, besides puny core count increases on their heavily-iterated Skylake architecture - pricing. This move comes in a bid to keep its market dominance, which Intel themselves have said - after Zen 2, that is - isn't a priority for the consumer market. You can rest assured that Intel is very, very likely already practicing hefty price reductions for tray-quantity purchases for partners. However, it seems that the company might bring some price cuts on to its upcoming Comet Lake CPUs. The company has always been loathe to reduce pricing on existing inventory, rather choosing to reduce the price on new launches (see the Cascade Lake-X example above), which, arguably, saves Intel's face on claims of only being able to compete on pricing - which lurks dangerously close to Intel being painted as the budget, price-cut alternative to AMD.

AMD CEO To Unveil "Zen 3" Microarchitecture at CES 2020

A prominent Taiwanese newspaper reported that AMD will formally unveil its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture at the 2020 International CES. Company CEO Dr Lisa Su will head an address revealing three key client-segment products under the new 4th generation Ryzen processor family, and the company's 3rd generation EPYC enterprise processor family based on the "Milan" MCM that succeeds "Rome." AMD is keen on developing an HEDT version of "Milan" for the 4th generation Ryzen Threadripper family, codenamed "Genesis Peak."

The bulk of the client-segment will be addressed by two distinct developments, "Vermeer" and "Renoir." The "Vermeer" processor is a client-desktop MCM that succeeds "Matisse," and will implement "Zen 3" chiplets. "Renoir," on the other hand, is expected to be a monolithic APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture, with updated display- and multimedia-engines from "Navi." The common thread between "Milan," "Genesis Peak," and "Vermeer" is the "Zen 3" chiplet, which AMD will build on the new 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication process at TSMC. AMD stated that "Zen 3" will have IPC increases in line with a new microarchitecture.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3980X is a 48-core Monster for When 64 Cores Are Too Many, 32 Too Few

In the press-deck of its 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper 3970X/3960X launch, AMD teased its flagship HEDT part for the TRX40 platform, the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, with a 2020 launch date. It should come as little surprise then, that the core-count gap between the 3970X and the 3990X has an SKU in the middle - the 3980X. This SKU reportedly surfaced in CPU-Z 1.91 code. The 3980X is a 48-core/96-thread monstrosity for when 64 cores are too many, and 32 too few.

Like the 3990X, the 3980X will likely be built with eight "Zen 2" CCDs (chiplets) for optimal IFOP bandwidth utilization and heat-spread. Each CCD will likely be configured with 6 cores (3 per CCX), adding up to 48 cores on the package. Much like the 3990X, clock-speeds of the 3980X remain under the wraps. AMD is expected to launch the two some time in 2020, featuring compatibility with existing AMD TRX40 chipset motherboards. The company could target a sub-$3,000 price-point to make the Xeon W-3175X obsolete both in performance and value.

ADATA XPG Announces Tested Compatibility with Ryzen 9 3950X and 3rd Gen Threadripper

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories is pleased to announce that ADATA and XPG DDR4 memory modules are compatible with latest 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper HEDT (High-end Desktop) platforms. Whether for creators that demand high-capacity modules or gamers and overclockers seeking high-performance modules, ADATA and XPG offer memory products that meet their specific needs.

ADATA and XPG have always strove to ensure high compatibility of their memory modules through the use of high-quality, rigorously tested IC chips and PCB boards. With the recent launch of AMD's most powerful desktop processors- Ryzen 9 3950X processor with X570 platform and AMD HEDT Ryzen Threadripper 3960X/3970X processor with TRX40 platform, ADATA's and XPG's commitment to high compatibility remains a key consideration, in addition to robust performance and sufficient capacity.

Intel Marketing Claims i5-9600KF Better than 3800X, i3-9350KF Better than 3600X

Intel marketing is at it again, making sweeping performance claims about its embattled 9th generation Core processors against AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen. In a recent press conference in China, the company was shown claiming that its mid-tier 6-core/6-thread Core i5-9600KF is a "better" processor than AMD's 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 3800X. This claim is hard to defend with gaming, when even the "slower" 3700X is seen performing within 1% of the i5-9600K (identical CPU specs to the i5-9600KF) at gaming, and 22 percent faster at CPU tests, beating the i9-9900K in quite a few multi-threaded tests.

The marketing slide makes four key claims: 1. that Intel processors are faster in "real-world" use-cases (gaming, home/office, light content-creation), ; 2. that with boost-frequencies reaching 4.60 GHz, the higher IPC of these chips benefit gaming; 3. that the K-series chips easily overclock to 5.00 GHz yielding even more performance; and 4. that Intel processors have "smooth and stable drivers" compared to AMD. As if that wasn't bad enough, the slide claims that the 4-core/4-thread Core i3-9350KF is "better" than the 6-core/12-thread Ryzen 5 3600X, and the entry-level i3-9100F being better than the 6-core/6-thread Ryzen 5 3500. This incident closely follows its September gaffe that sought to sourgrape AMD's HEDT creator performance leadership by discrediting its lead in certain applications by claiming they don't reflect "real world usage." Making Intel's test relevance claims comically wrong was the fact that it used app usage data gathered exclusively from notebooks.

EK Water Blocks Announces sTRX4 Compatibility with EK Velocity sTR4 Series Blocks

The EK Velocity sTR4 series water blocks that are specifically designed for HEDT AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors are compatible with all newly released AMD TRX40 based motherboards equipped with socket sTRX4 which supports Ryzen Threadripper 3000 Series Processors.

With the release of 32 core count HEDT computer processors and potential for even more cores, the requirement for the top of the line cooling has never been bigger. The sTR4 Lineup of EK-Velocity water blocks, designed for the sTR4 socket, is perfectly compatible with the newly released AMD TRX40 motherboards that are using the sTRX4 socket. The only difference between the sTR4 and sTRX40 sockets is the pin layout, thus it has no effect on the cooling performance or the mounting itself.

Dell Calls Out Intel for CPU Shortages Affecting its 2019 Full Year Revenue Forecast

PC major Dell in its quarterly results call blamed Intel for cuts in its revenue forecast for 2019 (full year) sales. "Intel CPU shortages have worsened qtr-over-qtr, impacting our commercial PC and premium consumer PC Q4 forecasted shipments," said Dell COO Jeffrey Clarke. Intel's CPU shortages are caused due to demand in the PC and server markets significantly outpacing supply, and not because Intel is supplying below its capacity. The company increased its capex toward manufacturer by $1 billion YoY, retrofitting its manufacturing facilities to make 14 nm processors, all while juggling resources to execute its 10 nm rollout for high-volume mobile and high-margin server processors.

The company hasn't launched 10 nm desktop or HEDT processors, yet, and is reportedly preparing yet another 14 nm line of processors for these platforms, codenamed "Comet Lake." This microarchitecture has also seen a mobile rollout for mainstream mobile form-factors, while Intel focused 10 nm "Ice Lake" for ultraportables and ultra low-power form-factors. Intel executive VP for sales Michelle Johnston Holthaus recently wrote a letter to its customers (primarily companies like Dell,) informing them that despite their best efforts, demand continues to beat supply, and that they hadn't managed to solve their supply issues.

CORSAIR Offers a Range of High-Performance Components for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper Builds

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a range of products including liquid CPU coolers, high-frequency DRAM, and efficient power supplies fully tested and validated for compatibility with the new 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop processors. With the highest core and thread count on the HEDT market, combined with the lightning-fast PCI-Express 4.0 platform, AMD's most powerful desktop processor can create, composite, render, encode, and deliver with unprecedented multitasking power - and CORSAIR is ready with the widest range of guaranteed-compatible products to help get the best performance out of a new Ryzen Threadripper-based PC.

AMD Paves Upgrade Path for TRX40 Platform with 64-core 3990X in 2020

AMD is hours away from market-availability and reviews of its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors, which includes two models at launch, the 24-core 3960X, and the 32-core 3970X, with prices starting at USD $1,399. The two are closely related to the 2nd generation EPYC "Rome" server processor family, which we know includes core-counts going all the way up to 64. It was hence obvious that a 64-core Threadripper will launch at some point, and that point is 2020, and the part goes by the name 3990X.

The slide detailing the 3990X mentions its core count of 64-core/128-thread, total cache (L2 + L3), which is a staggering 288 MB, and TDP of "just" 280 W. There is no mention of the chip's clock-speeds, and with the 3970X already priced close to $2,000, one can expect even higher prices for a chip with double the core count. At some point these products stop being HEDT and enter the realm of workstations. Intel's short-term response to even the 3970X could be limited to somehow sell the 28-core "Cascade Lake-SP" with quasi-HEDT branding the way it sells the Xeon W-3175X, and on a different platform than the X299.

AMD Announces Ryzen 9 3950X, Details 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper, unlocked Athlon 3000G

AMD today announced four new desktop processors across three very diverse markets. To begin with, the company crowned its socket AM4 mainstream desktop platform with the mighty new Ryzen 9 3950X processor. Next up, it released its new baseline entry-level APU, the Athlon 3000G. Lastly, it detailed the 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor family with two initial models, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and the flagship Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. The company also formally released its AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode, and with it, introduced a killer new feature for all "Zen 2" based Ryzen processors, called ECO Mode.

The Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core/32-thread processor in the AM4 package, compatible with all socket AM4 motherboards, provided they have the latest BIOS update with AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode. The processor comes with clock-speeds of 3.50 GHz base, with 4.70 GHz maximum boost frequency, and the same 105 W TDP as the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X. With 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 64 MB of shared L3 cache, the chip has a mammoth 72 MB of "total cache."

New Date for AMD's Announcement of 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper - November 7th

It's sort of a goalpost-moving world, but according to Videocardz, AMD has apparently scrapped plans to announce their new Ryzen Threadripper lineup for today, November 5th, and has since scheduled the announcement for November 7th. The website cites sources close to AMD's plans as a way to add credence to their report. This writer, for one, thinks an announcement on a day other than a 7th would be a missed opportunity, flavor-wise, considering the 7 nm manufacturing process of the new AMD HEDT lineup, but I digress.

As far as is known, all other plans are kept, including the announcement of three new processors: the Threadripper 3960X and 3970X, which will hit shelves come November 19th, when the review embargo lifts; and the Threadripper 3990X, which will only be available come January 2020. The new TRX40 platform and motherboards based on the design will also be showcased, and there should be a myriad of new product announcements on that front to accompany AMD's new products.

Intel CFO Talks About 7nm Rollout, Delay in 10nm, Increased Competition from AMD

Intel CFO George Davis in an interview with Barron's commented on the company's financial health, and some of the reasons behind its rather conservative gross margin guidance looking forward to at least 2023. Intel's current product stack is moving on to the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication process in a phased manner. The company is allocating 10 nm to mobile processors and enterprise processors, while brazening it out with 14 nm on the client-desktop and HEDT platforms until they can build 10 nm desktop parts. AMD has deployed its high-IPC "Zen 2" microarchitecture on TSMC's 7 nm DUV process, with plans to go EUV in the coming months.

"We're still keenly focused on gross margin. Everything from capital efficiency to the way we're designing our products. What we've said though, the delay in 10 nanometer means that we're going to be a little bit disadvantaged on unit cost for a period of time. We actually gave guidance for gross margin out in 2021 to help people understand. 2023 is the period that we were ultimately guiding [when] we're going to see very strong revenue growth and margin expansion. We've got to get through this period where we have the 10 nanometer being a little bit late [as] we're not optimized on a node that we're on. But [by] then we're moving to a two to two and a half year cadence on the next nodes. So we're pulling in the spending on 7 nanometer, which will start up in the second half of 2021 because we think it's the right thing to do competitively," he said.

Intel 10th Gen Core i9 XE "Cascade Lake-X" Possible Availability Date Revealed

Intel announced its 10th generation Core i9 XE "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processor family in October. At the time, market availability of these chips was slated for November 2019, although a date wasn't specified. A report by Chinese tech publication PCDIY sheds more light. According to the report, market availability of these chips could begin from 25th November, 2019, which would be 49 days or 7 weeks following its October 7 product announcement. Intel's lean 10th gen Core HEDT processor lineup includes 10-core, 12-core, 14-core, and 18-core SKUs at price-points ranging from roughly-$600 to $1,000.

Intel Core i9-10980XE "Cascade Lake-X" Benchmarked

One of the first reviews of Intel's new flagship HEDT processor, the Core i9-10980XE, just hit the web. Lab501.ro got their hands on a freshly minted i9-10980XE and put it through their test bench. Based on the "Cascade Lake-X" silicon, the i9-10980XE offers almost identical IPC to "Skylake-X," but succeeds the older generation with AI-accelerating DLBoost instruction-set, an improved multi-core boosting algorithm, higher clock speeds, and most importantly, a doubling in price-performance achieved by cutting the cores-per-Dollar metric by half, across the board.

Armed with 18 cores, the i9-10980XE is ahead of the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X in rendering and simulation tests, although not by much (for a chip that has 50% more cores). This is probably attributed to the competing AMD chip being able to sustain higher all-core boost clock speeds. In tests that not only scale with cores, but are also hungry for memory bandwidth, such as 7-zip and Media, Intel extends its lead thanks to its quad-channel memory interface that's able to feed its cores with datasets faster.

Intel to Halve Prices of 7th and 9th Gen "Skylake-X" HEDT Processors

In a bid to clear out inventories of its 7th and 9th generation Core X HEDT processors based on the "Skylake-X" silicon, Intel is preparing to halve prices of leftover inventory in the retail channel. The move is triggered by the company's own recent launch of the 10th generation Core i9 "Cascade Lake-X" processors that are compatible with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards. With "Cascade Lake-X," Intel halved the Dollars-per-core metric across the board (i.e. doubled the performance-per-Dollar), resulting in its top 18-core i9-10980XE being priced under the $1000-mark, half of what the i9-9980XE once commanded.

With prices of Core X "Skylake-X" chips being halved, you can expect the market to be flooded with 7th and 9th generation chips that are priced marginally lesser than their 10th gen "Cascade Lake-X" siblings. The single-thread performance (IPC) is identical between the three generations. All that's changed with "Cascade Lake-X" is the introduction of the DLBoost instruction-set that speeds up AI applications (irrelevant to gamers), and an improved Turbo Boost algorithm that spreads boost clocks across more cores, including Favored Cores capability that will come alive with Windows 10 2H19 update. If you've been on one of the cheaper 8-core or 10-core LGA2066 chips, your upgrade options just increased.
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