Advanced Technology: Intel Core i9 X with 18 cores and 1 TFlops

Written by Andy Prosper

At Computex, Intel announces its technology advanced LGA2066 platform with X299 motherboards and processors from the Core i5-7640X to the Core i9-7890XE for 2000 US dollars.

The speculation was right – and Intel is still doing it: the two grand costs, Core i9-7980XE processor with 18 cores, 165 watts and the extended AVX-512 instruction set provides more than 1 TFlops. With this, Intel is countering the Ryzen attack from AMD, where the Ryzen Threadripper with up to 16 cores and 32 threads is in action – the most advanced technology.

The Core i9-7980XE fits on mainboards with the LGA2066 process acquisition and the X299 chipset, which is closely related to the series 200 chipsets for LGA1151 motherboards and Kaby Lake CPUs of the Core i-7000 series. However, LGA2066 boards are equipped with processors from two different families: the Kaby Lake X types (KBL-X) with four cores, differently packaged for LGA2066, and Skylake X chips derived from the upcoming Skylake SP Xeons (SKL -X) with 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 or 18 nuclei. Previously, a maximum of ten to twelve nuclei had been speculated.

Only with the latter can all the possibilities of the LGA2066 platform “Basin Falls” excite: four DDR4 memory channels, up to 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes. With the cheaper KBL-X CPUs Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X, however, only two memory channels and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes function directly on the CPU.


The Powerful Technology

Intel is calling for core-i9 models to be priced between 600 and 2000 US dollars. The Core i7-7820X is around 500 US dollars cheaper than its predecessor Core i7-6900K (Broadwell-E, LGA2011v3) and the Core i9-7900X is the discount in the Compared to the Core i7-6950X even about 700 US dollars. Intel apparently responds to AMD Ryzen.

The theoretical performance of the Technology advanced newcomers is thanks to AVX-512 per clock step twice as high as the predecessors with AVX2 – but only if synonymous AVX 512 code runs. It is rare. But the many cores also bring other powerful multi-threaded software on the go

The four RAM channels are also suitable for DDR4-2666 memories for the most expensive Core i9 types; Presumably only if only one module per channel is plugged in. The maximum memory expansion is not called by Intel; However, the advanced technology incorporated unbuffered DIMMs (UDIMMs) are currently available with 8 GBit chips and therefore 16 GB. On boards with eight DIMM slots, a maximum of 128 GB main memory should be possible. But this only applies to the SKL-X processors, which with KBL-X control as expected only two DDR4 channels and thus half as much memory.

Turbo Boost Max 3.0

Reworked, Skylake-X also has also been incorporated in this advanced technology, the Turbo Boost function. Instead, as with Broadwell-E only one core, now two cores reach high frequencies. This particularly tactile core marks Intel in the selection of the processors.

The multipliers for the clock frequencies of the many cores are unrestricted, so they can be adjusted slightly higher. For AVX-512 code, separate, lower multipliers are valid: Such software loads the CPU cores more, they then create less high frequencies.

Thick L2 caches

The Skylake-X is closely related to the soon-to-be-anticipated Skylake SP-Xeons of the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze families: the AVX-512 extensions and the L2 and L3 caches. Instead of only 256 KB, each SKL-X core has 1 MByte L2 cache available exclusively. The L3 cache, which is shared by all cores, shrinks to 1.375 instead of 2 Mbytes per core. The L3 segments of the individual cores are interconnected via a very fast interface.

To cool the technology advanced Core i9 cars with up to 165 watts of thermal design power (TDP), Intel offers pre-filled water cooling with closed circuit. It is expected to cost around 90 US dollars.

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Andy Prosper