Intel’s massive 18-core Core i9 chip starts a bloody battle for enthusiast PCs – PCWorld

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With Core i9, the Intel vs. AMD battle rages anew. Announced Tuesday at Computex in Taipei, Intel’s answer to AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper is an 18-core, 36-thread monster microprocessor of its own, tailor-made for elite PC enthusiasts.

The Core i9 Extreme Edition i9-7980XE, what Intel calls the first teraflop desktop PC processor ever, will be priced at (gulp!) $1,999 when it ships later this year. In a slightly lower tier will be the meat of the Core i9 family: Core i9 X-series chips in 16-core, 14-core, 12-core, and 10-core versions, with prices climbing from $999 to $1,699. All of these new Skylake-based parts will offer improvements over their older Broadwell-E counterparts: 15 percent faster in single-threaded apps and 10 percent faster in multithreaded tasks, Intel says.

If these Core i9 X-series chips—code-named “Basin Falls”—are too rich for your blood, Intel also introduced three new Core i7 X-series chips, priced from $339 to $599, and a $242 quad-core Core i5. All of the new chips are due “in the coming weeks,” Intel said.

Most of the Core i9 chips will incorporate what Intel calls an updated Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, a feature where the chip identifies not just one, but two cores as the “best” cores, and makes them available to be dynamically overclocked to higher speeds when needed. They’ll be Optane-ready, too, with over 130 Optane-ready motherboards waiting in the wings, Intel said.

If there’s a catch, it’s that all of the new 165W, 140W, and 112W chips are designed around the new Socket R4. This 2,066-pin LGA socket is compatible with just one Intel chipset, the new X299.

Intel and AMD have a real fight going again, and we’ll have to wait and see who’ll end up on top. With Core i9, Intel’s just staked an aggressive claim to the high end of the market. AMD will now be forced to disclose the 14, 12, and 10-core versions of its Threadripper parts, as well as their prices. Intel’s laid down its cards, but the hand has yet to be played.

Intel core i9 familyIntel

Adding the Core i9 Extreme Edition and the Core i9 X-series fills out Intel’s high-end processor lineup.

Intel’s disclosure of the new Core i9 chips may be one of the most significant announcements this week at Computex, the Taipei-based trade show that has quietly evolved into a celebration of all things PC. But you can expect much more from Intel, too, including this bombshell: Intel executives will reveal that its next 10nm chip, Cannon Lake, will deliver 30 percent greater performance than the current Kaby Lake chips, a spokeswoman said.

Intel will also reveal more details about a wireless link to the HTC Vive VR headset using its WiGig technology. The initial HTC-Intel partnership was announced this past January, at CES. Intel also plans to announce that availability of its Compute Card will begin in August.

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