Back in the day, Intel and AMD were entrenched in a clockspeed race, with both companies pushing increasingly higher frequencies with each new processor generation. It was never more exciting than the race to 1GHz. As time went on, things stalled out in that regard, and the focus shifted to core counts. Well, Intel is throwing down the gauntlet later this year with a monstrous 28-core processor that it claims will ship to customers by the end of the year.
Intel demonstrated the processor at Computex, running it through a few benchmarks. To be clear, this is a single-socket chip with 28 cores and 56 threads of computing muscle, clocked at up to 5GHz. It is a flat out beastly slice of silicon, even compared to Intel's burly Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processor, which is a high-end desktop (HEDT) Skylake-E part with 18 cores and 36 threads clocked at 2.6GHz to 4.2GHz.
The 28-core/56-thread part has ten more cores to play with, along with higher clocks. In the demonstration (embedded above, starting at around the 1hr10min10sec mark), the chip scored 7,334 in Cinebench R15, a benchmark we use frequently in many of our reviews. To put that number into perspective, when we tested the Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition, we recorded a multi-thread score of 3,350 in Cinebench. The mystery 28-core/56-thread chip is more than twice as fast, and nearly five times faster than a Core i7-8700K, which we recorded a score of 1,522 in the same benchmark.
Intel's benchmark run compares favorably with AMD's Threadripper processors, as well. When we reviewed the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, a 16-core/32-thread CPU clocked at 3.4GHz to 3.7GHz, it scored 3,033 in Cinebench R15. And on the mainstream side of things, the recently released second generation Ryzen 7 2700X scored 1,808.
Obviously none of those parts are going to cost as much as Intel's 28-core/56-thread CPU. Intel did not specify a price, but it's safe to assume it will cost more than the Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition, which debuted at $1,999 and now sells for close to $1,900 online.
Everything else is a mystery as well, including what platform this new chip will slip into, and what kind of cooling is required (hopefully just air). We'll know those details later this year—Intel is aiming to ship the new part sometime in the fourth quarter.