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MSI, ASUS, ASRock and Gigabyte Tease Their X299 Motherboards for Computex

Disclaimer: It's currently unclear whether or not the majority of these are actual X299 motherboards. Remember MSI's GODLIKE tease, which was expected to be a X299 motherboard due to the number of PCIe slots on offer, but ended up being a Z270-based one? Well, we remember, hence why we start with this disclaimer to pour some cold water on expectations. However, there is one model that can be said to be a X299 offering pretty confidently: MSI's tease of a new Gaming Pro motherboard, which shows the four RAM slots as close to the I/O bracket: a design usually reserved for quad-channel supporting platforms. Port design in the PCIe and M.2 fronts seems similar to the GODLIKE Z270, but it would seem that MSI has designed another kind of an M.2 Shield interface, which now encircles a PCIe port while cooling two simultaneous M.2 SSDs.

The next motherboard, which we can't confirm is really a X299 based-one, is teased by ASUS, under its Republic of gamers branding, which shows the integration a an LCD screen in the motherboard footprint. The LCD seems basic enough, and could be useful so as to visually check operating frequencies and temperatures, though ASUS naturally had to add their ROG bling to it. Seems like simple LED support was too 2016 for them.

New Details On Intel's Upcoming 10-core Skylake-X i9 7900X Surface

SiSoft Sandra is one of the best (and more common) sources for details on upcoming, as-of-yet-unreleased hardware details and characteristics. Now, details on one of Intel's upcoming Skylake-X parts have surfaced, which gives us some details on what are likely final specifications, considering how close we are to X299's accelerated release.

The processor in the spotlight is one of Intel's 10-core processors, the Core i9 7900X (which is erroneously reported by the software as the Core i7 7900X), Intel's 10-core CPU. While initial reports pegged this CPU at as running at clock speeds of 3.30 GHz base and with 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost, it would seem Intel's release silicon will leverage much higher stock speeds, with the reported values on this SiSoft report being a staggering 4.0 GHz base, and 4.5 GHz Turbo Boost. These are extremely high clock speeds for a ten-core part, but all the other details about the Core i9 7900X check out: there are 14,080 KB (13.75 MB) of shared L3 cache, 1 MB L2 cache per core (for a total of 10 MB), as well as a 175 W TDP. This difference in clock speeds (especially when you compare it to Ryzen's much lower clock speeds) are probably an indicator of not only architectural differences between both designs, but a statement on Intel's fabrication process capabilities. And as an added bonus, check the motherboard that was used: a juicy, as-of-yet-unknown, X299 Gigabyte AORUS Gaming 7. Two details of this magnitude in a single screenshot? It's clearly a case of having your cake and eating it too.

CRYORIG Reveals New R5 Cooler, "Cu" Line Performance Coolers

PC Cooling innovator CRYORIG, is announcing two new CPU cooling projects ahead of Computex 2017. The CRYORIG R5 high-end single tower and the Cu Series of Copper Fin enhanced coolers. The R5 and Cu Series will both make their debut in the coming Computex 2017 from May 30th to June 3rd.

The R5 is the second cooler in CRYORIG's R series of flagship coolers. The R5 is the missing piece to CRYORIG's PC cooling lineup. It is a high-end dual-fan single tower that is designed to stay within the mainboard's CPU Keep-Out-Zone. This means that the CRYORIG R5 has Zero RAM Interference, even on Intel's X99/X299 based platforms. Made with performance in-mind the R5 contains multiple CRYORIG cooling innovations including: Convex-Align cooler base optimization, Multi-Seg Quick Mount System, 6 CRYORIG High-end Copper Heatpipes, CRYORIG Dual Fan Fin Optimizations and more. Dual XF140 800-1400 rpm PWM fans will be attached front and back for enhanced performance. The R5 will also see the debut of CRYORIG's brand new Quick Lock Mounting, that promises to simplify the way coolers are mounted.

MSI Teases X299 Gaming Pro Motherboard

MSI posted its third teaser pic for one of its upcoming socket LGA2066 motherboards, which is likely the X299 Gaming Pro. Designed for Core i7 "Kaby Lake-X" and Core i9 "Skylake-X" processors, the board appears to feature eight DDR4 DIMM slots (four slots on the left side of the socket). The teaser also gives us a glance of the LGA2066 socket, which could feature a similar retention mechanism to the current LGA2011v3 socket, even if the cooler support isn't consistent, given that some cooler manufacturers such as Noctua are already giving away LGA2066 brackets. The teaser pic also reveals two CPU power inputs, an 8-pin EPS and 4-pin ATX. This is unusual for a "mid-range" brand extension such as Gaming Pro, unless some of the Core i9 "Skylake-X" chips really do have >140W TDPs that demand more power inputs than your run of the mill single 8-pin EPS.

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.

Intel Could Launch Core i7-7740K and "Basin Falls" Platform at E3

Intel's immediate answer to AMD's Ryzen challenge, the Core i7-7740K processor and "Basin Falls" platform, could launch on the 12th of June, 2017. Intel is the main sponsor of the PC Gaming Show hosted by PC Gamer magazine, in the backdrop of E3-2017, and we expect it to launch its first product, the Core i7-7740K on the occasion. Intel could announce retail availability of the chips immediately after. The Core i7-7740K launch will be accompanied by a more cost-effective Core i5-7640K, and the X299 Express chipset. Motherboard vendors could announce their first waves of socket LGA2066 motherboards based on this chipset.

Built on the 14 nm "Kaby Lake-X" silicon, the Core i7-7740K is a quad-core processor featuring higher clock speeds than the current i7-7700K. It features a dual-channel integrated memory controller, and lacks integrated graphics. It could feature a 28-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complex. The only ace up its sleeve is the X299 platform itself, which could be ready for bigger six-, eight-, and ten-core processors with more PCIe lane budgets.

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?

Intel to Accelerate Basin Falls Unveil, Coffee Lake Launch

According to DigiTimes, sources among Taiwan-based PC vendors have indicated that Intel's upcoming Basin Falls platform, which includes Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors on a new X299 chipset, will be unveiled at Computex 2017 (May 30th, June 3rd), in Taipei - two months earlier than expected. This move comes accompanied by an accelerated launch of the Coffee Lake microarchitecture, which still uses the 14 nm process, to August 2017 from an initial January 2018 launch. If true, this is big in a number of ways - that Intel would bring forward a product launch 4 months has some interesting implications - or at least, confirmations.

Remember that Coffee Lake is supposed to carry an increased number of cores in its mainstream designs. And we all know how Intel's line-up has almost been torn apart by Ryzen's aggressive core and thread-count, with AMD offering more cores and threads than Intel at virtually all price-points. And even if an argument is made regarding Intel's better gaming performance, that's one scenario out of many. Future proofing, professional work, multimedia, all of these assert AMD's dominance in a pure price-performance ratio. I, for one, would gladly give up some FPS in some games and accept an increased number of cores than go the other way around (especially with AMD's platform support and the number of patches that have increased game performance on Ryzen CPUs.)

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.)

Intel X99 Chipset Successor is the X299, Spotted Alongside Core i7-7740K

Intel's next-generation HEDT processor platform, based on the "Kaby Lake" micro-architecture, is the 7th generation Core i7 "Kaby Lake-X" family. The platform is based on the new LGA2066 CPU socket, and a new motherboard chipset, the Intel X299 Express. The platform builds on the strengths of the Intel HEDT (high-end desktop) market-segment, in offering double the memory bandwidth and PCIe lanes as the LGA1151 mainline desktop platform, and succeeds the current Core "Broadwell-E" family processors that run on socket LGA2011v3 motherboards, with Intel X99 Express chipsets.

The first chip on the X299 platform isn't a meaty two-figure core-count chip, but the 4-core Intel Core i7-7740K. This chip lacks an integrated graphics core. Its TDP has been increased to 112W from 91W of the i7-7700K. Someone with access to an i7-7740K sample paired it with an ASRock X299 Fatal1ty Gaming i7 motherboard, and posted SiSoft SANDRA processor arithmetic and multimedia performance scores of the chip. The chip performs close to the Ryzen 5 1600X six-core chip, but falls short of the Ryzen 7 1800X.
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