Over the last few years, there has been a ton of newfound competition in the CPU space – reigniting the endless war of AMD vs Intel. Enter Skylake-X, Intel’s answer to AMD’s massively successful Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs.

In 2017, AMD launched its Ryzen line or processors, and Intel was caught completely by surprise. For a while, we didn’t know how Intel would respond. We had heard rumors that Intel would launch Cannon Lake at Computex 2017, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Intel announced Skylake-X, a new line of Core i9 HEDT processors

Intel successfully competed with AMD, thanks to Skylake-X. The Intel Core i9-7980XE was launched at Computex 2017, and while we all saw it coming, we were impressed by the performance – even if it was so expensive that most users couldn’t afford it. But, it doesn’t end there. 

About a year later, in 2018, Intel announced the new HEDT Basin Falls Refresh processors, like the beastly Intel Core i9-9980XE, based on the an improved 14nm architecture, along with a 28-core Xeon W chip to extend the Skylake X family.   

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Intel’s 8th Generation high-end desktop processors
  • When is it out? June 2017
  • What will it cost? From $389 (£329, AU$519) to $1,979 (£1,649, AU$2,729)

Intel Skylake-X

Image Credit: TechRadar

Release date

Intel released the lower-end Skylake-X processors immediately following their reveal at Computex 2017 with the Core i7-7800X, Core i7-7820X and Core i9-7900X. All of which released on June 19, 2017. 

And then, Intel released three more enterprise-level processors in the following months, with the Intel Core i9-7920X, Core i9-7940X and Core i9-7960X all releasing by September 2017. Then, finally, Intel launched the beast itself, the Core i9-7980XE in late September, absolutely destroying everything in its path.

And, now that Kaby Lake-X chips are a thing – or, were a thing when they died unceremoniously – you might be thinking to yourself that all the fun ended with the 7980XE. However, Skylake-X isn’t dead yet. 

Intel also announced a Skylake SP 28-core server chip, which would later be christened the Intel Xeon W-3175X, back at Computex 2018. Intel’s newest addition to this family was officially announced on October 8, 2018 and release in February 2019 to dethrone Threadripper 2nd Generation.   

Intel Skylake-X

Image Credit: TechRadar

Price

The biggest thing holding Intel Skylake-X chips from an easy recommendation is their price – they’re some of the most expensive consumer CPUs you can buy today. If you want to pick up a Core i9 processor for your latest build, you might actually need to sell your car first, as they start out around $999 (about £750, AU$1,340).

Now, the Core i7 Skylake X processors are a bit more reasonable, but you’re still paying to adopt a high-end platform, so don’t expect to base a budget build off of Skylake-X. Below you can find the pricing for all of the Skylake-X processors currently available.

  • Intel Core i7-7800X: $383 ( £329, AU$519)
  • Intel Core i7-7820X: $589 (£509, AU$799)
  • Intel Core i9-7900X: $989 (£819, AU$1,309)
  • Intel Core i9-7920X: $1,189 (£990, AU$1,589)
  • Intel Core i9-7940X: $1,387 (£1,099, AU$1,899)
  • Intel Core i9-7960X: $1,684 (£1,399, AU$2,279)
  • Intel Core i9-7980XE: $1,979 (£1,649, AU$2,729)

We also finally know that the 28-core A-series chip is going to be extremely expensive – if you want to get your hands on the Intel Xeon W-3175X, you’re looking at $2,999 (about £2,330, AU$4,250). Get ready to drop at least $10,000 if you’re planning on building an equally powerful rig around this chip.   

Intel Skylake-X

Image Credit: TechRadar

Specs

Intel newest Cascade Lake chip, the Intel Xeon W-3175X, seems to be beyond the realm of these other Skylake-X HEDT chips. With a name like Xeon, this CPU is designed for more enterprise usage than enthusiast overclocking.

Although the chip first debuted at Computex 2018 with a 5.0GHz boost clock, it was later revealed that Intel was actually overclocking while immersing the processor in liquid-nitrogen. Without an extreme setup, you're more likely to see this chip running at a maximum of 4.3GHz.

However, the next actual HEDT processors lie within the Basin Falls Refresh lineup. Chips like the Intel Core i9-9980XE are positioned to take on the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and Threadripper 2970WX. And, while it is faster, it’s still hard to justify the high price. 

Intel Skylake-X

Image Credit: TechRadar

Intel newest Skylake chip, the Intel Xeon W-3175X, is beyond the realm of these other HEDT chips. With the Xeon name, this CPU is designed for more enterprise usage – think 3D animation – than enthusiast overclocking.

Although the chip first debuted at Computex 2018 with a 5.0GHz boost clock, it was later revealed that Intel was actually overclocking while immersing the chip in liquid-nitrogen. We finally have the final specs, and it looks like the Intel Xeon W-3175X will have a core clock of 3.1 GHz, with a boost of 3.8GHz across all 28 cores and a 4.3GHz single-core turbo clock.

And, with the new Intel C621 chipset, this CPU comes with a greatly expanded support platform. This chip supports 68 PCIe lanes, 6-channel memory for up to 512GB of RAM running at 2,666MHz. 

Intel Xeon W-3175X

Image Credit: Intel

Intel newest Skylake-X chip, the Intel Xeon W-3175X, seems to be beyond the realm of these other HEDT chips. With a name like Xeon, this CPU is designed for more enterprise usage than enthusiast overclocking.

Although the chip first debuted at Computex 2018 with a 5.0GHz boost clock, it was later revealed that Intel was actually overclocking while immersing the chip in liquid-nitrogen. Without an extreme setup, you're more likely to see this chip running at a maximum 4.3GHz.

Although Intel has yet to reveal a new chipset for the Xeon W-3175X, this CPU comes with a greatly expanded support platform. Team Blue has said the chip will support 68 PCIe lanes, 6-channel memory for up to 512GB of RAM running at 2,666MHz. All told, this maybe the processor to finally outpace the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and Threadripper 2970WX.