Intel’s 10-Core i9-7900X Review: Tons of OC Headroom, but Not the Best Bang for Buck

Intel Skylake-X Benchmarks - Core i9-7900X review

An Intel Core i9-7900X review has appeared on the web. The review showcases an impressive multi-tasking performance and lots of headroom offered by this new Core X-series processor. We’ll get to that in a bit but let’s discuss the i9-7900 specs first.

Intel Core i9-7900X Specifications

The Intel Core-X family comprises of a wide variety of processors with a core count of up to 18 cores. However, the most powerful 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE Skylake-X isn’t going to ship until Q4. For the time being, the Core i9-7900X will be the fastest Skylake-X offering which features 10 cores and 20 threads.

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Core i9-7900X Skylake-X OC specs

Based on the 14nm FinFET process, the i9-7900X runs at clock speeds of 3.3GHz base, 4.3GHz boost and 4.5GHz Turbo 3.0 Boost. The chip features 13.75 MB of L3 cache and 10 MB of L2 cache, with a TDP rating of 140W. It also offers support for quad channel DDR4-2666 DIMMs and 44 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes.

The Core i9-7900X will cost US$999 and will be available for pre-order on 19th June followed by an official launch on 26th June. The deca-core Skylake-X CPU will succeed the $1500 Core i7-6950X with the same number of cores, but at much higher clock speeds.

Core i9-7900X Review Published – Performance Benchmarks, Overclocking & Bang4Buck

As per the Core i9-7900X review at Hexus.net, the CPU tops the chart when it comes to Cinebench results. It outperforms the Core i7-6950X as well as AMD’s flagship Ryzen 7 1800X in multi-threaded loads.

Core i9-7900X review - Cinebench

In 3DMark Synthetic tests, all HEDT chips perform similar to each other since they are bound by the GPU. The i9-7900X performance suffers in VRMark though, and that is said to be due to the lack of a mature motherboard BIOS right now. The results should improve with a retail BIOS at launch.

Moving to gaming benchmarks, we have three titles tested in QHD. The more GPU bound Deus Ex Mankind Divided plays equally well across all chips while Hitman being particularly optimized for multi-core CPUs performs the best on the Core i9-7900X.

The third title, Total War Warhammer, appears to suffer from stuttering, and once again, the BIOS is the main culprit.

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As for overclocking, the Core i9-7900X has got tons of headroom. It reaches 4.7GHz OC across all cores with just 1.25V and under optimal loads. The overclocking results in much higher multi-tasking performance as seen in the benchmarks below:

When it comes to stock power consumption, the chip is rated at 140W, and as such, it draws more power for idle and video encoding than the rest of the pack (Image Credits: Bit-tech.net):

Intel Core i9-7900X review - Power Consumption

Finally, we have the bang for buck ratio where Hexus criticized the chip for its high price tag. Similarly, the performance per watt appeared to not have improved much if at all.

To sum it up, Intel Core i9-7900X review is mostly positive. It praised the chip’s excellent IPC performance and exceptional multi-core prowess along with plenty of overclocking headroom. In Hexus’ own words:

Said ingredients make it an automatic choice for power users seeking the ultimate PC experience, and the chip’s benchmarking potential makes for a fitting debut of the Core i9 brand.

The price tag though “remains a stumbling block.” It also remains to be seen if Intel could iron out the existing BIOS bugs before the Core i9-7900X goes on sale next week.