Intel Skylake-X leak suggests first Core i9 CPUs are coming this year
Let's be honest, Intel hasn't released anything particularly exciting in a long while now. It's the reason my primary desktop is still rocking an Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor released several years ago. Sure, I could scamper over to an X99 configuration, but at this point it makes more sense to see what Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X bring to the table. That remains to be seen, though if the latest rumor is to believed, at minimum we can expect new branding, at least for Skylake-X.
A forum member at AnandTech posted what is purported to be an internal slide outlining a new crop of Core i9 processors. The photo is blurry and low quality, of course, because for whatever reason every leaker in the world seems to own a Fisher Price camera and has an aversion to screenshots. But criticisms over the quality of the leak aside, it looks like Intel is readying a potent lineup.
If information is accurate, Intel's Kaby Lake-X processors will stick with Intel's Core i7 branding. There will be two chips in this tier, including:
Core i7-7740K: 4C/8T, 4.3GHz to 4.5GHz, 8MB cache, 112W, 16 PCIe lanes
Core i7-7640K: 4C/4T, 4GHz to 4.2GHz, 6MB cache, 112W, 16 PCIe lanes
The other four processors shown in the slide are all Skylake-X chips with Intel's new Core i9 branding. It's a sensible change, with Intel moving all new 6-core and higher processors to the new brand. The i9 parts consist of the following:
Core i9-7920X: 12C/24T, unknown clocks, 16.5MB cache, 140W, 44 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7900X: 10C/20T, 3.3GHz to 4.3GHz, 13.75MB cache, 140W, 44 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7820X: 8C/16T, 3.6GHz to 4.3GHz, 11MB cache, 140W, 28 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7800X: 6C/12T, 3.5GHz to 4GHz, 8.25MB cache, 140W, 28 PCIe lanes
The two middle SKUs will also feature Turbo Max support with both the Core i9-7920X and Core i9-7900X being able to hit 4.5GHz in some situations. None of the other processors leaked here list Turbo Max support, though it's possible the Core i9-7920X will, since no clockspeeds were provided.
All the Core i9 Skylake-X and Core i7 Kaby Lake-X CPUs will run on Intel's upcoming X99/LGA2066 platform. That includes support for quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory, according to the slide.
None of this is official, of course, but if the specs do end up being accurate, it is interesting that Intel will again slash the number of PCIe lanes on its lower end enthusiast processors. That could push power users to purchase a higher end part even if the additional physical cores and threads aren't needed. Meanwhile, it looks like AMD may take a different approach with its Ryzen 9 series for enthusiasts, all of which are rumored to offer 44 PCIe lanes.
In related news, Guru3D dug up some supposed benchmarks of the Core i9-7900X and Core i9-7920X. In UserBenchmark, the former scored 107 points in single-core performance and 1,467 points in multi-core performance, whereas the latter scored 130 points and 1,760 points, respectively. As a point of reference, Intel's Core i7-6950X scored 117 points in single-core performance and 1,526 points in multi-core performance.