Battle of the Cores begin … AMD is winning so far, but not for long, as I’m sure Intel will come up with something soon.
The introduction of 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX at $1,799 has demolished the competitiveness of the similarly priced Core i9-7980XE, forcing Intel to “productize” its Skylake-X XCC (extreme core-count) silicon for the client-segment. We’ve already seen one or two motherboards for this platform at Computex, notably the ASUS ROG Dominus (pictured below). Intel’s demo platform is reportedly powered by a GIGABYTE-made motherboard. Both these boards may have been prototypes based on Intel C629 “Lewisburg” chipset, as Intel was still mulling on whether to even launch the product.
With the 2990WX out, the fate of the client-segment cousin of the Xeon Platinum 8180 is sealed, and so is that of the C629. In its client-segment avatar, the chipset will be branded “Intel X599 Express.” This chipset will support new SKUs derived from the “Skylake-X” XCC silicon (probably 24-core, 26-core, and 28-core), in the LGA3647 package. The platform features not just up to 28 cores, but also a 6-channel DDR4 memory interface, which will probably support up to 192 GB of memory on the client-platform. There’s also a rumor that Intel could launch new 20-core and 22-core LGA2066 processors. Those, coupled with the 8-core LGA1151 processor, will be Intel’s fig-leaf until late-2019.