Intel Skylake-X Core i7-7800X Review – The True HEDT Entry-Point?

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅29-06-17

Product on Review: Core i7-7800X
Manufacturer: Intel
MSRP: $389 USD
UK Street Price:
- Retail: £379.99 @ Overclockers UK
- OEM: £349.99 @ Overclockers UK


Following half a decade or more of dominance at the top of the calm seas of CPU performance leagues, Intel is once again facing imminent competition in the High End Desktop Market. This week’s launch of the new Core-X CPUs and X299 platform is a pre-emptive salvo across the bows of AMD’s Threadripper dreadnought, seeking not only to win the battle before the new CPU can get out of dry-dock but also firmly supplant their own ageing Broadwell-E fleet. The question is, do they have what it takes to stave off the competition?

We already had opportunity to review the new Kaby Lake-X Core i7-7740X on the X299 platform, and in fairness failed to be blown away. As a product they are broadly similar to the mainstream i7-7700K in price, performance and features; as a result they’re difficult to justify on a more expensive platform. One slight ray of sunshine was improved overclocking versus the 7700K, but we shouldn’t generalise one engineering sample to be representative of the entire retail production run in this instance.

The entire launch range for Intel's Core X CPUs is something of a mixed bag, and that's without even considering the 12-18-core models anticipated later this summer. Two distinct CPU architectures, four different core counts, PCI-Express lanes supplied and of course price separate all the models, which will make choosing which CPU to opt for all the more difficult.

Today we’re looking at a retail version of the first Skylake-X CPU in Intel’s Core X range, the Core i7-7800X. An abridged feature list clearly indicates that it is a far different beast to the 7740K: six cores, twelve threads, quad-channel memory controller and a substantially revised CPU microarchitecture compared to the mainstream Skylake CPUs. Perhaps the most interesting aspect however is the price.

The Core i7-7800X is available right now at retailing at £379.99 for retail SKUs and £349.99 for OEM variants (the street price being especially relevant for new premium products). That places it only a hair more expensive than the Core i7-7740X, but with exactly the same motherboard selection and a far wider feature set. Direct comparisons between the two are therefore particularly relevant, even with AMD’s Threadripper CPUs not yet in the picture.

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