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Skylake X Scales Extreme PCs

July 25, 2017

Author: Jag Bolaria

Spurred by strengthening competition from AMD, Intel has preemptively dropped prices and is channeling the brute performance of its server portfolio into PC platforms. It launched its Extreme products last year, but they only had two more cores than the company’s other PC processors. The new Extreme series almost doubles the core count at about the same price. Intel is offering this massive performance boost under the freshly minted Core i9 brand, stepping up from Core i7, its previous high-end PC processor. The company sells three Extreme-series models and promises to launch more before the year’s end.

AMD also disclosed plans to bring new high-performance processors to market under the Threadripper brand. The first models are the 16-core Ryzen 1950X and 12-core Ryzen 1920X. Both use the same Zen CPU that appears in the other Ryzen processors as well as in the company’s new Epyc server processors. Like the Core i9, Threadripper is based on a server-class chip.

Although neither company has released performance numbers, we believe AMD’s top-of-the-line Ryzen Threadripper is neck and neck with the Core i9 in performance and features. The Core i9 and Threadripper 1950X should deliver enough performance to spur new applications, particularly among game and content developers. Early applications include games with fast action, such as Project Cars, which is designed to work with 360-degree 12K-resolution video. Although unit shipments for these processor will be small, revenue could exceed half a billion dollars.

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