Intel’s second wave of Core-X series CPUs is almost upon us,  including some of the first Intel Core i9 processors. Back in June, we had the release of the 4 to 10-core Intel Core-X series CPUs, and now it’s the turn of the higher-end 12 to 18-Core Intel CPU lineup. These are the best of best of Intel’s new CPU family, designed to compete head-to-head with AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper CPUs.

We’ll start down at the ‘bottom’ end, with the $1199 Intel Core i9-7920X. This has 12 Cores / 24 Threads with a base clock of 2.9GHz and boosting up to 4.4GHz thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. It has a 16.5MB L3 cache, 44 PCIe lanes and a 140W TDP.

A step up from this is the Intel Core i9-7940X. It’ll set you back a cool $1399, and for your money, you’ll get a 14 Core / 28 Thread CPU with a base clock of 3.1 GHz and a boost clock of 4.4GHz. It has a 19.25MB L3 cache, 44 PCI Express lanes and a 165W TDP.

Next up is the $1699 Intel Core i9-7960X. It’s got 16 Cores and 32 Threads, the same as AMD’s highest-end Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. It’s capable of 2.8GHz base clock and 4.4GHz boost. It has a 22MB L3 cache and, once again, 44 PCIe lanes and a TDP of 165W.

Lastly, there’s the new Intel giant. The Intel Core i9-7980XE costs a hefty $1,999, but the lofty asking price will net you an 18 Core / 36 Thread processor with 2.6GHz base clock and 4.4 GHz boost clock. It has a 24.75MB L3 cache, 44 PCIe lanes and 165W TDP.

CPU Architecture

Cores/

Threads

L3 Cache PCIe Lanes Base Clock Boost Clock TDP Launch Price
Intel Core i9-7980XE Skylake-X 18/36 24.75MB 44 2.6GHz 4.4GHz 165W September 25 $1999
Intel Core i9-7960X Skylake-X 16/32 22MB 44 2.8GHz 4.4GHz 165W September 25 $1699
Intel Core i9-7940X Skylake-X 14/28 19.25MB 44 3.1GHz 4.4GHz 165W September 25 $1399
Intel Core i9-7920X Skylake-X 12/24 16.5MB 44 2.9GHz 4.4GHz 140W August 28 $1199
Intel Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10/20 13.75MB 44 3.3GHz 4.5GHz 140W June 26 $999
Intel Core i7-7820X Skylake-X 8/16 11MB 28 3.6GHz 4.5GHz 140W June 26 $599
Intel Core i7-7800X Skylake-X 6/12 8.25MB 28 3.5GHz 4.0GHz 140W June 26 $389
Intel Core i7-7740X Kaby Lake-X 4/8 8MB 16 4.3GHz 4.5GHz 112W June 26 $339
Intel Core i5-7640X Kaby Lake-X 4/4 6MB 16 4.0GHz 4.2GHz 112W June 26 $242

All of these Intel Core X-Series processors utilise socket LGA 2066. Intel reckons these new Core i9 chips will offer “up to 30 percent faster extreme mega-tasking for gaming over the previous generation.” From a gaming point of view, these are far too overkill for all but the most extreme power users. The lower base clock speeds could, in fact, prove detrimental to gaming performance compared to a solid, high clock quad-core processor. In theory, they can all get up to 4.4GHz, but it’s unlikely this is going to be achievable on a large number of cores. For those looking to do video encoding while recording and playing a game at the same time, the benefits become a little more tangible. For most normal uses though, these are well beyond the spectrum we’d recommend.

The 12-core Intel Core i9-7920X will be available from August 28th, while the 14, 16 and 18-core Core-X processors will be in stores from September 25th.