Intel ‘Cascade Lake X’ High-End Desktop CPU Platform Launched, Prices Up to 50 Percent Lower Than Last Gen


Following a premature leak, Intel has released information about its upcoming Cascade Lake-X generation of high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. While these CPUs are not yet officially listed, Intel has published information about their pricing and specifications. The four models that have been revealed feature between 10 and 18 cores, and are based on a revision of the current Skylake-X HEDT platform. The most interesting change is that Intel has cut prices by up to 50 percent compared to the equivalent Skylake-X models. They will go on sale in November. The news comes just after AMD confirmed that its third-generation Threadripper CPU lineup, aimed at the same target market, will launch in November.

The new Core i9-10900X is a 10-core CPU with a base speed of 3.7GHz and all-core boost speed of 4.2GHz. It can clock itself up to 4.7GHz using Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 feature. Next is the 12-core Core i9-10920X which has base and boost speeds of 3.5GHz and 4.4.3GHz respectively. The 14-core Core i9-10940X is clocked at 3.3GHz with a boost speed of 4.1GHz, while the top-of-the-line 18-core Core i9-10980XE has speeds of 3.0GHz and 3.8GHz respectively. The three higher-end models all feature a 4.8GHz Turbo Boost Max 3.0 speed, which now applies to the four fastest-performing cores.

All four models have 165W TDPs, which is the same as the previous generation, as well as Hyper-Threading for twice the number of effective threads as their physical cores. Intel has also implemented its DL Boost technology for accelerating AI instructions targeting modern-day workloads.

Intel has cut prices drastically, with the Core i9-10900X starting at $590 (approximately Rs. 42,575) , the Core i9-10920X coming in at $689 (approximately Rs. 49,720), the Core i9-10940X at $784 (approximately Rs. 56,572), and the flagship 18-core Core i9-10980XE costing only $979 (approximately Rs. 70,645). Prices for the equivalent previous-generation chips were between $989 and $1,979.

The Cascade Lake-X processors are manufactured using a 14nm process, though Intel has not specified which generation. They will also feature updated hardware-level mitigations for recent side-channel attacks. They will all be compatible with existing motherboards based on the Intel X299 chipset, though motherboard manufacturers are likely to release new models with updated features such as Wi-Fi 6 and 2.5Gb Etherhet. The new CPUs also support up to 256GB of DDR4-2933 RAM across four channels, and 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes for components and peripherals.

Intel’s latest high-end CPU lineup will compete with current and upcoming AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs as well as the upcoming $749 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X which is positioned as a mainstream CPU but supports PCIe 4.0.

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