Intel unveils monster 18-core Core i9: 'First teraflop-speed' consumer PC chip

As well as the Core i9, Intel has lifted the lid on the whole new Core X-series of high-performance CPUs.

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Intel has unveiled its Core-X series CPU and the Core i9 Extreme Edition.

Image: Intel

Intel has introduced its new Core X high-performance desktop chips, led by the Core i9-7980XE, its first 18-core processor.

Intel Core i9: It's not whether you need 12 cores, but whether you'll pay for them

The processor market is heating up once again, with AMD and Intel back to having "core and speed" wars. But if the latest leak is accurate, Intel's next-generation silicon is likely to be out of most people's budget.

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Compared with Intel's four-core, seventh-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors for mainstream users, the Core X-series is aimed at gamers who want to live-stream, and users running applications such as VR video editing, 3D modeling, and special-effects creation.

The top end of the series is for anyone who feels the need for extreme performance on the desktop and is willing to pay for it.

The Core X-series is spearheaded by the $1,999 Core i9 Extreme Edition processor, the i9-7980XE, which Intel boasts is the first consumer desktop CPU with teraflop performance and 18 cores.

Below the Core i9 Extreme Edition, the Core i9 X-Series CPUs scale down to the 10-core i9-7920X for $999. That price is significantly less than Intel's 10-core CPU offering from last year, the $1,650 i7-6590X. The 10-core Core i9 chip has a base clock speed of 3.3GHz.

Other Core i9 processors include the 16-, 14-, and 12-core variants, which will cost $1,699, $1,399, and $1,119 respectively.

The Core X-series also features three Core i7 chips in eight-, six-, and four-core variants, which cost $599, $389, and 339 respectively, and the entry-level four-core Core i5 at $242.

As Intel notes, the new Core X-series CPUs are based on Intel's Sky Lake processors, while the four-core CPU is based on Kaby Lake design. All the chips are designed to work with its new X299 chipset.

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Intel says the i9-7980XE is the first consumer desktop CPU with teraflop performance and 18 cores.

Image: Intel

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