Leaker claims Intel launching powerful 'Core i9 Skylake X,' 'Kaby Lake X' processors in Ju...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2017
Intel may be preparing to add a new tier of processor to its lineup, with an image suggesting a new high-end Core i9 with six processors using the "Kaby Lake-X" and "Skylake-X" architectures are set to be unveiled by the chip producer starting in June -- but if they will see the light of day in an Apple desktop isn't clear.




The post on the Anandtech forums by user "Sweepr" indicates there will be four Core i9 processors, two each in the i9-7900 and i9-7800 ranges, along with two Core i7 chips. The highlight of the list is the Core i9-7920X, which will have 12 cores and 24 threads, and 16.5 megabytes of L3 cache, but clock speeds for the chip were not revealed.

The Core i9-7900X has 10 cores, 20 threads, and 13.75 megabytes of L3 cache, with both 7900-series chips offering 44 PCIe lanes. It is claimed the i9-7900X will offer a base clock speed of 3.3GHz, rising to 4.3GHz under Turbo Clock 2.0, and up to 4.5GHz under Turbo Clock 3.0, a third clock state that can allow the processors to perform at a higher clock speed than in Broadwell-E.

The Core i9-7820X is said to have 8 cores, 16 threads, and 11MB of L3 cache, while the i9-7800X offers 6 cores and 12 threads, along with a lower base clock speed of 3.5GHz to the i9-7820X's 3.6Ghz. Both processors are claimed to use 28 PCIe lanes, with the i9-7820X also boasting Turbo Clock 3.0 support up to 4.5GHz.

The two Core i7 processors are the i7-7740K and the i7-7640K, with the quad-core chips using 8MB and 6MB of L3 cache respectively, and supporting 16 PCIe lanes.

Photograph of a supposed Intel presentation with details of the Core i9 processors
Photograph of a supposed Intel presentation with details of the Core i9 processors


According to the forum post, there will be 1MB of L2 cache in the Skylake-X chips, with support for Dual DDR4-2666 in the Kaby Lake-X processors and Quad DDR4-2666 for the Skylake-X group. All of the Core i9 variants will also apparently support AVX-512 extensions, new instructions that will double the number and width of data registers compared to Intel's AVX2.

It is believed Intel will launch the new processors in June, except for the Core i9-7920X, which will apparently be unveiled in August. Pricing is not yet known, but is presumably well in excess of existing non-Xeon Skylake and Kaby Lake processors.

While faster processors would be welcomed by desktop Mac users, it is uncertain whether or not Apple would put the chips into its higher-specification iMac or refreshed Mac Pro.

The 12-core Xeon E5 processor used in the highest-specification Mac Pro currently available has a TDP of 130W. The forum post suggests the new chips will offer a usable TDP of 112W for the Kaby Lake-X chips, but the higher-power Skylake-X processors could have a TDP of up to 140W, potentially making thermal management a concern if Apple decides to use it in the future -- if it sticks with a similar thermal profile.

In an April interview about the 2018 Mac Pro refresh, Apple software chief Craig Federighi admitted the company had backed itself into a "thermal corner" with the computer's design. The modular design for the next generation of the Mac Pro may help Apple avoid such thermal design issues, and potentially allow for the inclusion of these higher TDP chips.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,825member
    iMac Pro anyone?
    mkrewsonbdkennedy1002repressthispscooter63darwiniandude
  • Reply 2 of 22
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 397member
    macxpress said:
    iMac Pro anyone?
    I think so.  Current Xeons have way too high cooling requirements to fit in a conventional iMac form factor.  a "Core i9" might be that bridge between the workstation/server class and consumer grade silicon...a true "prosumer" product.
    repressthisnetmage
  • Reply 3 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,909member
    macxpress said:
    iMac Pro anyone?
    Sure... works for me. 

    But I think the article is right to worry about heat dissipation. Also, the Core i9 parts have a different socket from Core i7, which would mean Apple would need two different motherboards for the iMac instead of just one. 

    Certainly those are not insurmountable issues. The question is just whether Apple chooses to surmount them. 
    pbruttorepressthisirelandpscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 22
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,074member
    My guess is that these will only cost one arm and one leg rather than two arms and a leg for the Xeons.

    high end Intel processors are IMHO (in this day and age) stupidly expensive for little performance improvement over the previous 'n' iterations.

    watto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 5 of 22
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Previously reported yesterday by appex: Intel i9 series feature up to 12 Cores https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/200093/intel-i9-series-feature-up-to-12-cores
    edited May 2017 repressthispscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,909member
    My guess is that these will only cost one arm and one leg rather than two arms and a leg for the Xeons.

    high end Intel processors are IMHO (in this day and age) stupidly expensive for little performance improvement over the previous 'n' iterations.

    Yup. 

    To a very great extent, Intel's manufacturing improvements over the past decade have been used to increase their profit margins rather than increase the performance of the chips. They make each generation just barely better enough to entice people to upgrade from two generations ago. 

    We can quantify this by looking at Intel's die sizes. They keep shrinking, which means Intel makes more money. If the die sizes didn't shrink, it would mean Intel was using its process advancements to provide more functionality (more cores, for example), while holding profits constant. 
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Am I the only one sick of the Mac Pros not being able to have i5/i7 (and now i9). The forced Xeon crap is getting old - especially since it's primary for data servers which Mac Pros are not and aren't used that way. IMHO it has always been an excuse to jack up the price of Mac Pros. I just want an i7 (or i9), in a Mac pro. It's a 500-800 in the decent PC small desktop world.

    I even looked at buying an i7 iMac motherboard and putting in a cheap PC case (or my old mac pro case). but the iMac motherboard is not very expandable.

    Chance of new new Mac Pro having i5/i7/i9 - 20% tops. Why can't Apple just give us what we want! I'll pay an extra grand - but no more.
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,909member
    Am I the only one sick of the Mac Pros not being able to have i5/i7 (and now i9). The forced Xeon crap is getting old - especially since it's primary for data servers which Mac Pros are not and aren't used that way. IMHO it has always been an excuse to jack up the price of Mac Pros. I just want an i7 (or i9), in a Mac pro. It's a 500-800 in the decent PC small desktop world.

    I even looked at buying an i7 iMac motherboard and putting in a cheap PC case (or my old mac pro case). but the iMac motherboard is not very expandable.

    Chance of new new Mac Pro having i5/i7/i9 - 20% tops. Why can't Apple just give us what we want! I'll pay an extra grand - but no more.
    I think there are two main advantages of Xeons. 

    1. In the past, the only way to get more than 4 cores is to go Xeon (or Xeon marketed under the "i7 extreme" label, but price issue is the same). Some users really do need more than 4 cores. So this is a real advantage of Xeons. 

    2. ECC RAM. I find it very difficult to assess whether ECC RAM provides noticeable benefits. The only studies I've seen of this issue are in a server context and I can't really make heads or tails of how the findings apply in a workstation context. So I don't know if this matters or not. 


    repressthisnetmage
  • Reply 9 of 22
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,074member

    1. In the past, the only way to get more than 4 cores is to go Xeon (or Xeon marketed under the "i7 extreme" label, but price issue is the same). Some users really do need more than 4 cores. So this is a real advantage of Xeons. 

    2. ECC RAM. I find it very difficult to assess whether ECC RAM provides noticeable benefits. The only studies I've seen of this issue are in a server context and I can't really make heads or tails of how the findings apply in a workstation context. So I don't know if this matters or not. 


    I have a six core i7 in a desktop. It needed a 2011-3 socket motherboard. It allows me to have 64Gb (or more) of RAM (non ECC).
    The 2011-3 chips set and 8 memory slots was the seller for me. It currently runs all the systems for an Oil Refinery in VM's using CentOS as the host OS.
    I'd love to be able to have server capabilities (8+ cores, 128Gb) in a machine that does not sound like a wadhing machine but Intel wants to keep its margins up so we won't get that in a year of sundays.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    1st1st Posts: 340member
    better than 1998?  (AMD)
  • Reply 11 of 22
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,352member
    Finally Intel have had a fire lit under their asses by AMD. Competition has finally forced them to actually do something.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    It seems an ok fit for the Mac Pro, while it has a higher consumption of power than the top of the range it still looks manageable. I believe the thermal issues apple discussed relate to the explosion of high power, hot running graphics cards which aren't adequately addressed by the single-fan design.
    netmage
  • Reply 13 of 22
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    evilution said:
    Finally Intel have had a fire lit under their asses by AMD. Competition has finally forced them to actually do something.
    These things were likely in the cards already, it will have obligated to sell them for a decent price instead of ripping people off though.
    That's were AMD's pressure has the biggest impact.

    In applications that require much parallel processing, AMD is putting some real hurt on Intel's margins.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,037member
    It seems an ok fit for the Mac Pro, while it has a higher consumption of power than the top of the range it still looks manageable. I believe the thermal issues apple discussed relate to the explosion of high power, hot running graphics cards which aren't adequately addressed by the single-fan design.
    Didn't they suggest part of the problem was the design relied on 3 fairly even processors.So it could be they some more envelope up their sleeve but need to keep all the parts fairly balanced.

    Was surprised to find the BTO iMac 27 pushes 250W compared to 350W for the new Mac Pro.
    I do wonder if both could take these chips in current form.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 15 of 22
    At this point, this is less a leak than someone using a camera to break the press NDA (announce May 30, details June 16).

    This echoes the change on the Xeon side from three to four tiers. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and i3, i5, i7, i9.

    These CPUs (Syklake-X 140W and Kaby Lake-X 112W) are all for the new HEDT ("high-end desk-top") LGA 2066 ["X299" "Basin Falls"] platform. The TDP are higher than the current iMacs (current 5K iMac maximum is the 91W i7-6700K), so if Apple does engineer an iMac Pro for these, it will require a redesign on the inside, at least.

    Since the Mac Pro is getting a full "architect" redesign, obviously anything is possible, but keep in mind that there is a core group of professional editors with Apple's ear. They use Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Logic Pro X. The 2013 Mac Pro was designed for these applications and 4K video, and the 2018 Mac Pro will be, too. In development, those are the applications that will be tested most directly. There are other important applications, like Adobe CC, but Apple has no control over them. The one thing Apple has complete control over is these Apple applications and how well they run on Apple's hardware. That is "job one" for a Mac Pro.

    So the real question in trying to untangle the emerging CPU/GPU landscape to guess what Apple will select for an iMac Pro or a Mac Pro is about this Apple software. The processing tasks required for FCP and Motion are first in line. I still tend to think this new "SP" (scalable processor) approach and new cache system that Intel is in the process of unveiling (so far, just the high-end, data-center stuff = Gold and Platinum) for Xeon will be the way they go for the Mac Pro. It just seems designed for what Apple is trying to do in a Mac Pro. We'll know more soon, like a month from now. In my fantasy world, Apple would use the SP approach to offer two different configurations, one for 4K+ video, another for more general use, i.e., Creative Cloud.

    But Basin Falls seems perfect for an iMac Pro. I don't know if 140W (Skylake-X) is realistic, but certainly 112W (Kaby Lake-X) seems in the ballpark.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 16 of 22
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 908member
    blastdoor said:
    macxpress said:
    iMac Pro anyone?
    Sure... works for me. 

    But I think the article is right to worry about heat dissipation. Also, the Core i9 parts have a different socket from Core i7, which would mean Apple would need two different motherboards for the iMac instead of just one. 

    Certainly those are not insurmountable issues. The question is just whether Apple chooses to surmount them. 
    It seems that Apple has already indicated they are interested in a Pro-configuration of iMac. That, to me, implies a willingness to invest in the tooling to make that happen. A pro main board for iMac would be great. It would also allow for more thunderbolt plugs, I'm sure, which would be most helpful in differentiating the product. 
  • Reply 17 of 22
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 908member

    Am I the only one sick of the Mac Pros not being able to have i5/i7 (and now i9). The forced Xeon crap is getting old - especially since it's primary for data servers which Mac Pros are not and aren't used that way. IMHO it has always been an excuse to jack up the price of Mac Pros. I just want an i7 (or i9), in a Mac pro. It's a 500-800 in the decent PC small desktop world.

    I even looked at buying an i7 iMac motherboard and putting in a cheap PC case (or my old mac pro case). but the iMac motherboard is not very expandable.

    Chance of new new Mac Pro having i5/i7/i9 - 20% tops. Why can't Apple just give us what we want! I'll pay an extra grand - but no more.
    I think you meant to say "why can't Apple give me what I want"

    While I hope Apple offers more options and expandability, I also hope they do not look to commodity PC components for inspiration. 

    Even with a failed design like the new MacPro, I trust Apple to push the state of the art ahead with their replacement design. 
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Am I the only one sick of the Mac Pros not being able to have i5/i7 (and now i9). The forced Xeon crap is getting old - especially since it's primary for data servers which Mac Pros are not and aren't used that way. IMHO it has always been an excuse to jack up the price of Mac Pros. [...]
    I feel your pain, but FYI, Xeon workstations are a thing. For example:

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/workstations/workstation-adobe-4k-guide.html

    More here.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    thttht Posts: 3,160member

    These CPUs (Syklake-X 140W and Kaby Lake-X 112W) are all for the new HEDT ("high-end desk-top") LGA 2066 ["X299" "Basin Falls"] platform. The TDP are higher than the current iMacs (current 5K iMac maximum is the 91W i7-6700K), so if Apple does engineer an iMac Pro for these, it will require a redesign on the inside, at least.

    Since the Mac Pro is getting a full "architect" redesign, obviously anything is possible, but keep in mind that there is a core group of professional editors with Apple's ear. They use Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Logic Pro X. The 2013 Mac Pro was designed for these applications and 4K video, and the 2018 Mac Pro will be, too. In development, those are the applications that will be tested most directly. There are other important applications, like Adobe CC, but Apple has no control over them. The one thing Apple has complete control over is these Apple applications and how well they run on Apple's hardware. That is "job one" for a Mac Pro.

    So the real question in trying to untangle the emerging CPU/GPU landscape to guess what Apple will select for an iMac Pro or a Mac Pro is about this Apple software. The processing tasks required for FCP and Motion are first in line. I still tend to think this new "SP" (scalable processor) approach and new cache system that Intel is in the process of unveiling (so far, just the high-end, data-center stuff = Gold and Platinum) for Xeon will be the way they go for the Mac Pro. It just seems designed for what Apple is trying to do in a Mac Pro. We'll know more soon, like a month from now. In my fantasy world, Apple would use the SP approach to offer two different configurations, one for 4K+ video, another for more general use, i.e., Creative Cloud.

    But Basin Falls seems perfect for an iMac Pro. I don't know if 140W (Skylake-X) is realistic, but certainly 112W (Kaby Lake-X) seems in the ballpark.

    I find it hard to believe that there is an "all-in-one" high end desktop market. It would be like the 2013 Mac Pro, a product that only a few would want. The people who could make use of 8 to 12 cores would tend to want more flexibility, both at the time of purchase and after the purchase, and permanently affixing a 27" LCD and these high end components into a constrained box sounds like something that they wouldn't want. It puts a drag or friction in people's minds when shopping for it.

    There's a 6-core Coffee Lake 45 W TDP SKU coming. Intel can make a 6-core 90 W TDP SKU today if they wanted to, one that would be compatible with the LGA 1151 socket being used in iMacs today. Surely they can have a Coffee Lake Core i7 series of chips with 6-cores that have base clocks at 4 GHz and turbos up to 4.5 GHz that can go into an iMac. Then, Apple just needs to find a good 135 W TDP GPU solution, and there's going to be a lot of these. That's basically it. Heck, I'd want Apple to make the iMac slimmer, and I would mind going down in CPU/GPU TDP, to whatever they are using for the MBP.

    Going to 8-core to 12-core, or more, is a rather significant step up in the type of software used or work being done. These types of folks will want to have multiple displays, everything in one flexible box, not a bunch smaller boxes and cables all of the place. A Mac Pro is a workstation style desktop computer, and that means 2 sockets, multiple PCIe slots and at least internal hard drive bays. They want to be able to put >10 TB in the box, or at least have 128 GB of RAM, or two GPUs, or 40+ CPU cores, or an Optane card, or a Xeon Phi card, or a 10-port USB card, etc.

    This "iMac Pro" just doesn't make sense. At least, the rumored vision of the components doesn't make sense. If it is a Core i7-7700k or a theoretical Core i7-8700k (whatever Coffee Lake will be called), a more performance GPU, and 64 GB RAM in the existing iMac form factor, I think that answers the mail. An 8-core or a 12-core? Argh, what a waste.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    tht said:

    These CPUs (Syklake-X 140W and Kaby Lake-X 112W) are all for the new HEDT ("high-end desk-top") LGA 2066 ["X299" "Basin Falls"] platform. The TDP are higher than the current iMacs (current 5K iMac maximum is the 91W i7-6700K), so if Apple does engineer an iMac Pro for these, it will require a redesign on the inside, at least.

    Since the Mac Pro is getting a full "architect" redesign, obviously anything is possible, but keep in mind that there is a core group of professional editors with Apple's ear. They use Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Logic Pro X. The 2013 Mac Pro was designed for these applications and 4K video, and the 2018 Mac Pro will be, too. In development, those are the applications that will be tested most directly. There are other important applications, like Adobe CC, but Apple has no control over them. The one thing Apple has complete control over is these Apple applications and how well they run on Apple's hardware. That is "job one" for a Mac Pro.

    So the real question in trying to untangle the emerging CPU/GPU landscape to guess what Apple will select for an iMac Pro or a Mac Pro is about this Apple software. The processing tasks required for FCP and Motion are first in line. I still tend to think this new "SP" (scalable processor) approach and new cache system that Intel is in the process of unveiling (so far, just the high-end, data-center stuff = Gold and Platinum) for Xeon will be the way they go for the Mac Pro. It just seems designed for what Apple is trying to do in a Mac Pro. We'll know more soon, like a month from now. In my fantasy world, Apple would use the SP approach to offer two different configurations, one for 4K+ video, another for more general use, i.e., Creative Cloud.

    But Basin Falls seems perfect for an iMac Pro. I don't know if 140W (Skylake-X) is realistic, but certainly 112W (Kaby Lake-X) seems in the ballpark.

    I find it hard to believe that there is an "all-in-one" high end desktop market. It would be like the 2013 Mac Pro, a product that only a few would want. The people who could make use of 8 to 12 cores would tend to want more flexibility, both at the time of purchase and after the purchase, and permanently affixing a 27" LCD and these high end components into a constrained box sounds like something that they wouldn't want. It puts a drag or friction in people's minds when shopping for it.

    There's a 6-core Coffee Lake 45 W TDP SKU coming. Intel can make a 6-core 90 W TDP SKU today if they wanted to, one that would be compatible with the LGA 1151 socket being used in iMacs today. Surely they can have a Coffee Lake Core i7 series of chips with 6-cores that have base clocks at 4 GHz and turbos up to 4.5 GHz that can go into an iMac. Then, Apple just needs to find a good 135 W TDP GPU solution, and there's going to be a lot of these. That's basically it. Heck, I'd want Apple to make the iMac slimmer, and I would mind going down in CPU/GPU TDP, to whatever they are using for the MBP.

    Going to 8-core to 12-core, or more, is a rather significant step up in the type of software used or work being done. These types of folks will want to have multiple displays, everything in one flexible box, not a bunch smaller boxes and cables all of the place. A Mac Pro is a workstation style desktop computer, and that means 2 sockets, multiple PCIe slots and at least internal hard drive bays. They want to be able to put >10 TB in the box, or at least have 128 GB of RAM, or two GPUs, or 40+ CPU cores, or an Optane card, or a Xeon Phi card, or a 10-port USB card, etc.

    This "iMac Pro" just doesn't make sense. At least, the rumored vision of the components doesn't make sense. If it is a Core i7-7700k or a theoretical Core i7-8700k (whatever Coffee Lake will be called), a more performance GPU, and 64 GB RAM in the existing iMac form factor, I think that answers the mail. An 8-core or a 12-core? Argh, what a waste.
    I can't really argue with this re: iMac. But it seems like a waste to not take advantage of Basin Falls. On the one hand, I don't think it is just for gamers and "enthusiasts," but on the other hand, I also don't think it is right for a true Mac Pro aimed first and foremost at those 4K+ video editors and Apple applications I mentioned above.

    It would, however, make for a killer "Mac" -- basically a Mac Pro without the "Pro" -- a high-powered, but still consumer-oriented, machine optimized for general use. An xMac without the "x" -- access to memory and storage only.
    edited May 2017
Sign In or Register to comment.