Intel Announces 9th Gen HEDT Core X-Series And 28-Core Xeon W-3175X Extreme Workstation CPUs

Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition Processor
Last year, Intel threw down the gauntlet with respect to HEDT processors with the Core X-Series. Available with up to 18 cores (36 threads), these chips provided a stiff challenge to AMD's first-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors (albeit with much higher MSRPs). Now with AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors making the rounds, Intel is ready to counters with its latest family of Core X-Series processors.

There are seven processors in the new Core X-Series family, with the Core i7-9800X ($589) positioned as the entry-level offering and the Core i9-9980XE ($1,979) serving as the flagship. These new processors are built on a refresh of the existing Skylake-X architecture, which Intel calls Basin Falls Refresh. The processors still use LGA-2066, and are compatible with existing Intel X299-based motherboards. 

intel core x chart

Compared to the first-generation Core X-Series, Intel has boosted clock speeds across the board, and now all SKUs feature support for DDR4-2666 memory and 44 PCIe lanes. All of these processors now feature a TDP of 165W -- including the 8-, 10-, and 12-core parts which previously had a TDP of 140W. Likewise, all processors now have a maximum turbo frequency of 4.5GHz (with the exception of the Core i9-9820X which boosts to 4.2GHz).

With respect to performance, we should see gains across the board compared to last year's processors, although we'll need to get our hands on review samples before we can officially make that declaration. For example, the flagship Core i9-9980XE retains the 18-core/36-thread configuration of its Core i9-7980XE predecessor, but sees its base and turbo frequencies rise from 2.5GHz and 4.4GHz to 3GHz and 4.5GHz respectively.

core x performance

Of course, what everyone wants to know is how will these chips compare to AMD's new second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors. AMD’s HEDT processors are available in 12-core/24-thread, 16-core/32-thread, 24-core/48-thread and 32-core/64-thread configurations priced from $649 to $1,799. Intel says that despite the fact that its Core i9-9980XE "only" has 18 physical cores, it is up to 27 percent faster in 3D rendering (MAYA), 108 percent faster in video editing (Premiere Pro CC) and 13 percent faster in game build time (Unreal Engine) compared to the 32-core Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. It remains to be seen how those numbers will change once AMD releases its Dynamic Local Mode update.

xeon w 3175X

Finally, Intel announced the Xeon W-3175X, which is a new 28-core/56-thread processor that has been design for extreme workstations. The 265W TDP processor has 38.5MB of cache, comes multiplier unlocked, and features 3.1GHz base and 4.3GHz boost clocks. The processor supports a total of 68 PCIe lanes, with 44 of those attributed to the CPU itself, and the remaining 24 being handled by the chipset.

The Xeon W-3175X supports the LGA-3647 server socket, and both ASUS and Gigabyte are committed to offering motherboards to support the processor. Intel says that the Xeon W-3175X will go on sale in December, but pricing hasn't been announced at this time.