Red flags are waving as Intel reveals their Core-X prices

Look out everyone, red flags are waving as Intel reveals their Core-X prices.

Hot off the press, direct from, we now know what the world looks like when AMD provides healthy competition in the market.
For the price of Intel’s last-gen 3.7GHz 8-core processor (i7-6900k), you will soon be able to scoop up Intel’s latest 4.5GHz 10-core processor. Impressive! …or is it?

Intel’s latest Core-X pricing model should definitely be celebrated as a huge win for consumers but the keen eye might notice that Intel has cut corners on some serious specifications. For the sake of this article, I am going to focus on the 8c and 6c Core-X variants although these “cuts” likely apply throughout the entire range.

  • Intel has gone from offering 40+4 PCIe lanes on last generation’s i7-6900k down to 28+4 for their upcoming 8c/16t variant. This means that if you absolutely needed those extra lanes, the price goes back up to $999 for the i9-7900x that offers 40+4 PCIe lanes. This is a surprise move from Intel when you consider some reviewers/consumers saw AMD’s R7-series’ 20+4 PCIe lanes as a weakness (for reference the i7-7700k has 16+4 PCIe lanes).
  • Intel has gone from 20MB of L3 cache to 11MB (For reference Ryzen R7 series processors have 16MB).

Topping the charts, Intel’s latest king to the throne is a 18c/36t behemoth at an “impressive for Intel” price of just $1999 but a few of the specifications remain unannounced at this time.


Now that Intel is stepping up to the plate and offering more-affordable 6c/8c/10c/12c/14c/16c/18c (*whew*) consumer processors, how do these stack up to the competition?

The competition and some red flags
Professional overclocker, Roman Hartung (DER8AUER), recently had the opportunity to compare apples to apples using Cinebench R15 and the results may surprise you.

AMD’s $249 R5-1600x, overclocked to 5445MHz (stock 3.6GHz), scored a 1837cb (source).
Intel’s $389 i9-7800x, overclocked to 5700MHz (stock 3.5GHz), scored a 1874cb (source).

While Intel might be touting their newest x299/i9 Core-X linup for high-end enthusiasts, clock for clock, users will be able to pick up AMD’s more affordable R5 platform for a lot less and still expect similar performance.
For anyone with ~$389 to burn, perhaps with eyes set on the 6-core i9-7800x, the more-affordable 8-core R7-1700x ($349, stock 3.4GHz), overclocked to 5168MHz, scores an impressive 2337cb. That’s another win for AMD.

But that’s not the worse part, during his testing, DER8AUER also confirmed that Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors will NOT use a soldered on heat-spreader, a first for Intel’s High-end desktop (HEDT) platform (source). This is upsetting news as this will cause Intel’s CPUs to run much hotter, especially when overclocked. To make matter worse, this comes just a month after Intel told consumers to stop overclocking k-series processors to avoid high temps.

So what does this all mean?
This means that while Intel is now offering some lower-than-usual prices, consumers would be wise to do their research before pulling the trigger on an enthusiast x299 rig. While this article is backed by evidence passed on through our sources, we’re going to have to wait for official reviews to see if Intel can clear the air. If we hear any news that disputes these claims, we’ll update our article accordingly.

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