Details Of Intel's Skylake-X CPUs Begin To Arise

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅10.11.2016 02:59:39

Image from Benchlife.Info

Attention is currently focussed towards Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Zen CPUs in the desktop market, but new rumours from (via GURU3D) skip these juicy upcoming releases in favour of the motherload - an image of Intel's Skylake-X CPU in the wild. Believed to be in production since April, these designs will eventually supplant the current Broadwell-E lineup as Intel's flagship desktop CPU range.

Pictured above is the rumoured Skylake-X CPU, a monster model that would be substantially larger than current Skylake desktop CPUs. A new socket standard has been created for this CPU, LGA2066, which Skylake-X will apparently share with Xeon CPUs in the same generation. Alongside Skylake-X will be a new motherboard platform codenamed Basin Falls, retiring the ageing X99 that has served us through Haswell-E and Broadwell-E.

Skylake X is expected to feature significant architectural improvements compared with Broadwell-E, but will continue to be manufactured using the 14nm process. Like Broadwell-E 6, 8 and 10-core CPUs with Hyperthreading are on the cards, but the Skylake-X revision significantly reduces the maximum L3 Cache size to 13.5 MB. These CPUs will offer up to 44 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes, up from 40 on Broadwell-E, and 2666MHz DDR4 DRAM in quad-channel mode. Unsurprisingly the TDP envelope remains the same at 140W.

Demand for multiple (>2) GPUs outside of the workstation environment is likely to diminish in the coming years due to depreciated support from NVIDIA for 3- and 4-way SLI, but high speed storage may well take up some of the slack. It will be interesting to see how Intel restrict their CPUs in light of this changing market, and may result in the release of only one 6-core model (rather than Broadwell-E's two).

Alongside information on Skylake-X comes additional details of KabyLake-X. A slimmed down and optimised version of Skylake-X, it will arrive in only 112W TDP Quad-core configurations and support up to 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes and dual-channel DDR4 memory. It appears that this model is intended as a more affordable HEDT CPU for the Basin Falls platform, but may well tread on the toes of the top-range non-X Kaby Lake model (putatively the Core i7-7700K) which is also a 4-core/8-thread config.

Both Skylake-X and KabyLake-X's Basin Falls platform will be equipped with a new PCH that offers DMI 3.0, 10 USB 3.0 ports, 8 SATA Gen3 ports, Intel LAN and 24 PCI-E 3.0 Lanes. Both Skylake-X and KabyLake-X are apparently scheduled for Q3-Q4 2017.

As always take these rumours with a pinch of salt, for they are just that.