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The Slumbering Giant Wakes: Intel to Introduce 18-core X-Series Processors?

Videocardz is advancing an exclusive in that Intel seems to be about to introduce even more cores in a single package than previously thought. Intel's X299 platform, which we've just started officially started seeing some motherboards for (just scroll down on our news feed), looks to be the awakening of a slumbering giant. But you don't have to believe me on this: before we ever knew of AMD's Ryzen line of processors (much less about their Threadripper line), leaks on Intel's Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors only showed core counts up to 10-cores - in line with previous Intel HEDT platforms (see below image.) Cue more recent leaks, and it would seem that Intel is increasing the core-counts on its upcoming platform on a daily basis - especially if the most recent leak referencing 14, 16 and 18-core parts pans out. (I am reminded of a "moar cores" meme that used to float around the web. Maybe one of you in the comments can find it for me?)

A new, leaked slide on Intel's X-series processors shows 18, 16, 14, and 12-core configurations as being available on the upcoming X299 platform, leveraging Intel's turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 (which is apparently only available on Intel's Core i9-7820X, 7900X, 7920X (which we know to be a 12-core part), 7940X (probably the 14-core), 7960X (16-core) and the punchline 7980XE 18-core processor, which should see a price as eye-watering as that name tumbles around on the tip of the tongue. There is also mention of a "Rebalanced Intel Smart Cache hierarchy". But you don't want me to be rambling on about this. You want to comment about this story. Feel free to partake in a joyous conversation over these news (I'll also leave you with a bonus picture of some purported, upcoming Intel X-series packaging efforts. They're certainly colorful.)

Threadripper a Brand, not Codename: AMD, More Details

At its follow-up conference call for its Analysts Day presentation, AMD clarified that Threadripper is a brand, and not a codename to its upcoming line of HEDT processors. This effectively implies that the chips will be called either Threadripper (followed by a model number), or Ryzen Threadripper, but not "Ryzen 9." Responding to questions by TechPowerUp, AMD also mentioned that it will put out more details about Threadripper in its May 29th pre-Computex event in Taipei.

AMD also confirmed that Threadripper is very much a client platform product and not enterprise; although its target audience is "a bit of both" power-users looking for a huge amount of CPU power, and high-end gamers. The Epyc line of processors are firmly in the enterprise domain. Finally, AMD confirmed that motherboard manufacturers will show off Threadripper motherboards at Computex 2017. AMD hopes to launch Threadripper within Summer 2017 (that's before September end). Wake me up when September ends.

Intel's Upcoming Core i9 Skylake-X CPU Benchmarks Surface

It seems that Intel's accelerated released schedule for its upcoming HEDT platform is starting to slowly bear fruits, with many details leaking through the cracks almost non-stop during the last few days (and before you ask, yes, I did have more links to show you.)

These should be two of the top performing processors in Intel's line-up, and the i9 7900X (10-core) and 7920X (12-core) have been tested on integer and floating point calculations. The 10-core i9-7900X (3.1 GHz base frequency, no Turbo listed)) scores 107 points in single-core benchmarks, and 1467 points in the multi-core test. The 12-core, 2.9 GHz base frequency 7920X, however, scores a head-scratchingly-higher 130 points in the same single-threaded benchmark, despite carrying the same architecture at... hmm... lower clocks. Maybe this processor's Turbo is working as expected, up to 3.25 GHz (average), and that's the factor for the higher single-core performance?

AMD Ryzen 9 Series "Threadripper" CPU Socket Detailed

AMD Ryzen 9 "Threadripper" series 12-core, 14-core, and 16-core client desktop processors, which will form the company's next-generation high-end desktop (HEDT) lineup, which goes against Intel Core i9 "Skylake-X" series, could come in a brand new socket. This shouldn't come as a surprise because the chips have higher electrical requirements, besides double the I/O of socket AM4 Ryzen processors, such as a 44-lane PCIe gen 3.0 root complex, quad-channel DDR4 memory interface, and more. This socket, according to a "HotHardware" report, is an LGA (land-grid array) with 4,094 pins.

The new LGA-4094 socket, so-called SP3r2, will be slightly scaled up from the SP3 socket AMD has been selling enterprise Opteron-brand multi-socket CPUs on (pictured below). The consumer version of this socket could feature a more user-friendly retention mechanism that shouldn't require a screwdriver to fasten. Motherboards based on this distinctively rectangular socket will feature up to eight DDR4 DIMM slots to hold quad-channel DDR4 memory, and over four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, with support for 3-way and 4-way multi-GPU solutions. The motherboards will also feature copious amounts of onboard devices, M.2 slots, and other storage connectivity. Since "Threadripper" is rumored to be a multi-chip module of two 14 nm "Summit Ridge" dies linked together on-package with with an Infinity Fabric interconnect, only one of the two dies links to the motherboard chipset (AMD X399 chipset), while all the PCIe lanes of the second die (including those which would make up the chipset bus) are freed up.

AMD Ryzen 9 "Threadripper" Lineup Leaked

Today is an eventful day in the tech world, with two high-impact leaks already offering themselves up to our scrutiny. We had previously covered AMD's upcoming HEDT platform, based on the company's new X399 chipset, as having a quite distinctive lineup of processors, with not only 16 and 12-core offerings hot on foundries presses', but also some 14-core, 28-thread chips as well. Now, a leak has apparently revealed the entire Ryzen HEDT platform, whose processor marketing name, Ryzen 9, sounds really close to Intel's Core i9.

AMD's offerings look to offer an edge at least on core-count, with the Red team's top offerings, the Ryzen 9 1998X and Ryzen 9 1998, bringing in a game-changer 16 cores and 32 threads to the table. Perhaps even more importantly, we have to mention that the 1998X (these names, if true, are quite a mouthful, though) achieves a 3.5 GHz base, 3.9 GHz boost clock, which owes nothing to AMD's Ryzen 7 1800X consumer flagship CPUs. Rumors of AMD's frequency demise on higher core-count Ryzen CPUs have been greatly exaggerated, it would seem. And did I mention that these chips are coming with a TDP of 155 W - 5 W lower than Intel's purported 12-core, i9-7920X offering? Consider that for a moment.

MSI Continues Teasing High-End, X299 Motherboard - It's GODLIKE

The folks at MSI seem to be particularly fond of puzzles at this point in time, for no discernible reason. I say so because they've been giving us snippets of an upcoming high-end motherboard, which we have previously covered. At the time, we posited it would fall somewhere along the X299-end of the spectrum, considering the huge amount of PCIe x16 ports on-board.

It would seem those suspicions were founded, since MSI's other GODLIKE branded motherboards (which means they have all the bells & whistles available on time of their release) were X99-based, so it would follow that the new GODLIKE would usher in their footsteps as well. From the new piece of the puzzle, we can glean that this motherboard will offer, in addition to its 4x PCIe x16 ports and 3x M.2 slots over the X299's 44 PCIe lanes, 3x Ethernet connectors, 6x USB 3.1, and 2x Wi-Fi antennas. Expect this motherboard to be one of the most feature-packed offerings for Intel's expected ninth coming (of their Core i9-branded HEDT processors, that is.)

MSI Shows Upcoming High-End Motherboard, Likely X299-based

Recent reports mentioned Intel's moves to bring forward the launch of their Basin Falls HEDT platform, which succeeds their X99 platform. Intel is doing this in hopes to hold the blue flag against AMD's upcoming X399 Ryzen-based HEDT platform (there's seemingly a war in numbers here), pitting 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-core CPUs against AMD's expected 12-core and 16-core processors.

As such, it's only natural motherboard makers would also have to expedite their work on X299-based motherboards, and it would seem that MSI has done just that, simultaneously advancing their marketing campaign. A teaser image from the company showcases an as-of-yet unreleased motherboard (not just any motherboard, but the "Best. Motherboard. Ever") which boasts of a trio of M.2 slots (with MSI's M.2 Shield thermal solution), and four PCIe x16 slots. Are you still counting the number of PCI lanes needed to drive all these slots? Well, it just so happens Intel's Basin Falls is expected to deliver up to 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes, so those should be enough to at least make this ridiculous amount of slots worthwhile... For some use cases. There's also an additional power-supply connector on top of the first PCIe slot, which should increase power delivery for these. It's almost open season on these HEDT platforms, kind sirs.

Noctua Provides Free Mounting Upgrade for Intel's Upcoming LGA2066 Platform

Noctua today announced that it will continue its tradition of supplying customers with its premium-class SecuFirm2 mounting kits for novel platforms free of charge. While most current Noctua heatsinks support the new LGA2066 socket of Intel's 'Basin Falls' X299 platform for 'Skylake-X' and 'Kaby Lake-X' CPUs out of the box, older models can be upgraded with the NM-I2011 or NM-i20xx kits at no additional cost.

"We're determined to provide the best possible support to our customers and, over the years, we've sent many thousands of mounting kits free of charge to users who wanted to upgrade to new platforms", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "With Skylake-X just around the corner, we're pleased to announce that we'll extend this offer for LGA2066. Owners of older Noctua retail heatsinks that don't support LGA2011/LGA2066 out of the box will be able to upgrade to the new socket free of charge!"

Intel's Core i7-7740K Kaby Lake-X Benchmarks Surface

Two days, two leaks on an upcoming Intel platform (the accelerated release dates gods are working hard with the blue giant, it would seem.) Now, it's Intel's own i7-7740K, a Kaby Lake-X HEDT processor that packs 4 cores and 8 threads, which is interesting when one considers that AMD's latest mainstream processors, Ryzen, already pack double the cores and threads in a non-HEDT platform. Interesting things about the Kaby Lake-X processors is that they are rumored to carry 16x PCIe 3.0 lane from the CPU (which can be configured as a singularly populated 16x or as a triple-populated 1x @ 8x and 2x @ 4x PCIe ports. Since these parts are reported as being based of on consumer, LGA-1151 Kaby Lake processors, it would seem these eschew Intel's integrated graphics, thus saving die space. And these do seem to deliver a quad-channel memory controller as well, though we've seen with Ryzen R7 reviews how much of a difference that makes for some of the use cases.

Intel's X299 Platform to Counter AMD's X399 with 12-core CPUs

Intel's X299 HEDT platform, whose launch we recently covered as having been pushed forward by the company so as to better compete against AMD's upcoming X399 HEDT platform, has some new, juicy rumors floating about it. Namely, Bench.Life has reported that Intel's upcoming Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X lines of high performance CPUs will also feature 12-core offerings on its Skylake-X materialization, instead of just the previously reported 6, 8, and 10-core designs.

This really looks like an Intel that's stretching its manufacturing and chip design prowess so as to prevent itself from being buried in higher-performing, higher core and thread count offerings from its rival AMD, which has turned Intel's line-up in the mainstream consumer market head-over-heels already. Latest reports peg the new series as being presented on Computex 2017 (specifically, on may 30th), with availability being expected on June 26th. Which platform are most interested in, and what do you think of this move from Intel?

AMD Ryzen 12-Core, 24-Thread CPU Surges on SiSoftware Sandra

In an interesting report that would give some credence to reports of AMD's take on the HEDT market, it would seem that some Ryzen chips with 12 Cores and 24 Threads are making the rounds. Having an entire platform built for a single processor would have always been ludicrous; now, AMD seems to be readying a true competitor to Intel's X99 and its supposed successor, X299 (though AMD does have an advantage in naming, if its upcoming X399 platform really does ship with that naming scheme.)

AMD's Rumoured Upcoming 16-core Part to Reportedly Run at 3.1/3.6 GHz

Some rumors and whispers have been making the rounds lately, regarding a HEDT platform incoming from AMD. This platform (built upon a new X399 chipset planned exclusively for it) would use a cut-down version of the Naples-based server SP3 socket called SP3r2. SP3r2 and the new chip will reportedly offer quad channel memory support, pitting them directly in competition with Intel's HEDT lineup in terms of memory bandwidth.

Reportedly, engineering samples of the 180W 16-core Ryzen currently run at 3.1 GHz Base, 3.6 GHz Boost clocks, which leads towards performance in the level of two Ryzen 7 1700 chips. If the rumors are true and such a platform is in development, then we will surely hear of some more chips designed for it. Going through the trouble of creating a new chipset and platform for a single CPU model doesn't seem likely. Perhaps some 12-core and 20-core chips are lurking just below the surface?
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