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Intro

Recently, Intel launched a new high-end platform, the X299, that uses the new LGA2066 socket. The new CPUs for this platform are codenamed Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X, and so far the highest-end model is the Core i9-7900X, which has 10 physical cores, 20 threads, 3.3 GHz base clock, 4.5 GHz Turbo clock, and supports quad-channel DDR4 memory. Let’s test it and see how fast is it.

The X299 platform comes to replace the previous HEDT (high-end desktop) platform, X99. The main feature of this platform is, besides the support for high-end CPUs, the memory access in four channels.

For this platform, Intel launched not only high-end CPUs, with six or more cores, but also two four-core CPUs, one Core i7 and one Core i5. These two processors are based on the “Kaby Lake X” architecture, while the other ones are based on “Skylake-X” architecture. Besides having less cores, these two basic moldels have only 16 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, and access memory with only two channels.

The table below shows the CPUs launched (so far) for this new platform. Intel already annouced a few more models to be launched briefly.

Model Base Clock Turbo Boost Clock Cores/Threads L3 Cache PCI Express lanes TDP Memory channels MSRP
Core i9-7900X 3.3 GHz 4.3 GHz 10/20 13.75 MiB 44 140 W 4 USD 999
Core i7-7820X 3.6 GHz 4.3 GHz 8/16 11 MiB 28 140 W 4 USD 599
Core i7-7800X 3.5 GHz 4.0 GHz 6/12 8.25 MiB 28 140 W 4 USD 389
Core i7-7740X 4.3 GHz 4.5 GHz 4/8 8 MiB 16 112 W 2 USD 339
Core i5-7640X 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 4/4 8 MiB 16 112 W 2 USD 242

The Core i9-7900X CPU also supports a 4.5 GHz Turbo Boost 3.0 Clock when running on up to two cores.

Figure 1 shows the Core i9-7900X CPU.

Core i9-7900XFigure 1: the Core i9-7900X

In Figure 2 we have the underside of the CPU.

Core i9-7900XFigure 2: underside of the Core i9-7900X

For our benchmarks, we compared the Core i9-7900X to its predecessor, the Core i7-6950X (read the review here), which has the same number of cores. We also included the highest-end CPU from AMD we have in our lab, the Ryzen 7 1700X (review here). Please mind that we included this AMD CPU as a curiosity, since the Core i9-7900X costs about three times more than the Ryzen 7 1700X, so they are not direct competitors. AMD is about to launch a new series called Ryzen Threadripper, that will be direct competitors to the tested processor.

We used a GeForce GTX 1080 video card on all tests.

Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.