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Intel’s upcoming 10-core i9 chips will hit 4.5GHz without even overclocking

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New details have emerged for Intel’s upcoming 10-core Skylake X CPU, the i9 7900X, and it looks like the chip could end up being more powerful than anyone expected. Along with its 10 cores, it sports a base clock speed of 4.0GHz, which boosts up to 4.5GHz. That shows a real architectural difference between it and AMD’s upcoming Threadripper Ryzen chips.

The latest details for Intel’s i9 series CPUs appeared in a published Sisoft Sandra benchmark results post. Although it labels the chip as an i7 part, that’s erroneous because of the lack of official support for such a chip yet. The specifications, however, should be perfectly accurate, telling us that despite running 10 cores and 20 threads, this chip is still capable of hitting 4.5GHz without any overclocking.

This is far higher than we would expect from a chip with 10 cores as there is a real possibility of a CPU running rather hot at that sort of speed. Considering it was initially expected to be clocked far lower, some have speculated that this could be a revision on Intel’s behalf to counter the potential for AMD’s Ryzen CPUs to unseat its performance crown before the end of the year.

Other details about the chip confirmed by this listing include the fact that it has 10MB of level two cache with 1MB for each core and 13.75MB of level 3 cache, with a TDP of 175W (thanks Overclockers, via TPU).

Although this release is mostly exciting because of the Intel CPU detail reveal, we can also draw a little information on the motherboard from it. The Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 7 is an unannounced motherboard and shows that Gigabyte will be one of the first partners supporting Intel’s upcoming CPU design.

While chips like this aren’t really designed for everyday consumers, the added performance of that high clock speed should further ramp up the competition between AMD and Intel, which has been raging this year since the launch of Ryzen. It’s a good year to be a hardware enthusiast.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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