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Intel made a huge splash this week when it announced the Core i9 processor. Of course, 9 is higher than 7 (duh), so you’d expect it to be powerful (bigger duh).
But what are the key things to know about the new chip?
A lot of cores and threads
The Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition has a monster 18 cores and 36 threads, clearly being designed for the one-percenter wanting to one-up their middle class friends.
Otherwise, the company says the new chips are made with “advanced gaming, VR and content creation in mind”.
It’s part of Intel’s new X-Series family
Yep, the Core i9 isn’t the only new chip brought to market by Intel, as it’s actually part of a family of ultra high-end processors.
Other chips include the standard Core i9 7900X (10 cores/20 threads), the Core i7 7820X (8 cores/16 threads), Core i7 7800X (6 cores/12 threads), the Core i7 7740X (4 cores/8 threads) and Core i5 7640X (4 cores/4 threads).
The Core i9 Extreme Edition won’t be cheap though, receiving a suggested price of US$1999. Sheesh. How about the Core i9 7900X? Well, you’re looking at a US$999 price tag.
Able to pay more than US$999 but not willing to go to the US$2000 mark? Well, Intel is also readying 12, 14 and 16 core variants of the Core i9 chip, with suggested prices of US$1199, US$1399 and US$1699 respectively.
Otherwise, the cheapest chip in the family (Core i5 7640X) has a US$242 price tag.
About the socket
Intel has confirmed that the X-Series family takes advantage of a new LGA 2066 socket.
In other words, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard as well. Then again, if you’re buying the most expensive chip, it’s a small price to pay.
How powerful is it?
Intel claims that the family also includes their first teraflop CPU. But it’s not just due to sheer number of cores, apparently. Although that helps massively.
The company’s new boost tech sees the two best cores being identified, with heavy lifting then being directed to them for a performance boost.
Intel adds that you should be able to edit, transcode, animate and render simultaneously (presumably on the higher end chips).
What about gaming?
For starters, the company says it represents the best gaming performance in an Intel chip. Obviously.
But Intel says you can game, stream, record and transcode simultaneously too (again, we presume you’ll want to try this on the higher end processors).
Otherwise, the firm says the new chips have support for up to four graphics cards