Something to look forward to: Intel has unveiled details on its Cascade Lake-X line of high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. The biggest takeaway? It appears that the threat from AMD’s upcoming new Threadripper and Ryzen 3950X chips has seen team blue slash its prices, with the flagship chip costing under $1,000.
We’d already seen some of the Cascade Lake-X Core-i9s appear on Geekbench last month, boasting scores that put it ahead of the Core i9-7980XE and Threadripper 2950X.
Now, Intel has revealed information on its upcoming line of HEDT chips, which are more affordable than its previous Skylake-X line—that series' Core i9-9980XE cost $1,979. Prosumers will be pleased to hear that the 18-core/36-thread flagship Core i9-10980XE has had its price cut in half to $979, less than the last-gen Core i9-9900X, which has just ten cores.
Cascade Lake-X is still based on Skylake and the 14nm++ process node, but Turbo Boost Max 3.0 speeds are up to 4.8GHz (4.7GHz for the i9-10900X), and all the CPUs support 256GB of quad-channel memory and come with 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes (72 when including the chipset). Memory speed support is listed as DDR4-2933 for 1 DIMM per channel, and DDR4-2666 for 2 DIMMs per channel.
Each chip is unlocked and comes with a TDP of 165W, which Intel says will help them turbo for longer under the company’s recommended settings. They're also compatible with X299 motherboards.
Other Cascade Lake-X features include support for Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Gig+), Thunderbolt 3, and Optane 905P SSDs. They also have Intel Deep Learning Boost (DLBoost) AI instructions that can double or triple the performance of FP16 or INT8 AVX-512 vector code. Overclocking, meanwhile, can be carried out using Intel’s “one-button” Performance Maximizer (IPM) tool, which allows both automated and manual overclocks.
With Cascade Lake-X’s aggressive pricing, it appears Intel is aiming to compete with AMD’s upcoming high-end processors. The 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X launches next month at $749, while Threadripper 3 will likely offer massive performance at competitive prices. Plus, AMD's chips are now on 7nm, rather than Cascade Lake-X’s 14nm++.
The Cascade Lake-X line will be available in November.