At the Computex 2016 Intel presented its first 10-core CPU for end customers – the step into the world of “Megatasking”. The chip was quite expensive – about 1700 euros – but it satisfied the raking needs of a certain customer group. And they can now rub their hands: Intel has introduced a whole new processor family for computing enthusiasts. The Core X Series and its flagship i9-7980XE with 18 cores. Decrypt movies, decompress files, run virtual machines, crunchen data crunches – this is a very good thing. Its real job is, however, to ban AMD’s 16-core threadripper CPU in second place in the processability competition.
If you want to buy it anyway: The 7980XE costs 2000 Euro. For that you have a teraflop calculation. Wow.
If 18 cores are too much, the product ladder can climb down. The Core i9 Extreme Edition is also available with 10, 12, 14 and 16 cores. The 10-core version costs only about 1000 euros – considerably cheaper than the version of the last year.
All i9 chips are clocked at 3.3 GHz, with Turbo Boost 2.0 to 4.3 GHz with Turbo Boost 3 to 4.5 GHz (all (dual core).) Turbo Boost 3.0 has also been improved for the Extreme Edition and now increases both Single and dual core speeds.
At the lower end of the X family there is also the 4-core model i5-7640X and the i7 models with 4, 6 and 8 cores.
More cores brings more heat. Intel counteres with its own liquid cooling, which works for all new chips but also a few older models. All new Core i9 processors and the 6 and 8 core i7s have a TDP (thermal design point) of 140 watts. This corresponds to the TDP of the last 10-core model, but is even further above the TDP of 91 watts of Intel’s cheaper i7-7700K.
Even if this looks like Overkill: Intel says the core i9 lineup was fired by the surprising demand for the 10-core chip last year. “Broadwell-E was such a kind of experiment,” says an Intel spokesman. “It sold itself …”