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X-Series and X299, Intel's Latest F***-up!

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Computex, For those who don't know is basically the E3 of the PC Tech world reached and it's conclusion a few days ago.  Intel, AMD, Nvidea along with numours Motherboard, Case, Memory and other PC component manufactures come to show their latest and greatest.  There's conferences, product displays, case mod competitions and so on.




The two biggest and most talked about products at the event this year AMD's and Intel's new enthusiast platforms.  AMD with Threadripper up to 16 cores/32 threads with X399 and Intel's X-Series up to 18 cores/36 threads with X299.  Both the platforms on the face of it are very similar, massive core/thread count, Quad channel DDR4 Memory, multiple M.2 slots, tons of I.O features and a whole other bunch of good stuff......  But their not the same.  In fact one of them right of the back has some SERIOUS problems.


Here's a video form Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips from Taipei and let's just say he's not his usual chipper self......



Suffice to say I agree with him, but I would just like to expand on this a little bit and explain I don't think there is any reason for anybody, regardless of which corner of the market you are in to consider buying anything on this platform at all!




Let start from the bottom and look at two of the most pointless Intel products to ever exist, the Kabylake X I7-7740K and I5-7640K.  These two are a little worrying because these are the ones that your typical consumer is most likely to buy, BUT DON'T!  The truth is they are just re-brands of the current Kabylake 7700K and 7600K which themselves are just re-brands of the Skylake chips.  It's clear that all they did was pin them on to the new socket and called it a day, also note that they still have only 16 PCIe lanes Dual Channel memory despite it being a 44 PCIe lane and Quad Channel memory board  The PCIe lanes are a massive issue with this whole platform that I would rather address in one go so I'll come back to that later.  To sum it up for now their is no reason to wait another 2 or 3 months to plug a Kabylake X chip into a X299 motherboard which will be at least $100 - $200 more expensive when you can just buy a Kabylake or Skylake chip and pit into a compatible LGA1151 socket board right now, AVOID!


Going up the I7-7800X/7820X are really the only two that make sense to me from a price/performance standpoint.  These might be worth considering if weren't for that problem which I'll address later.  Then their is a MASSIVE $400 price hike from the 8 core I7 7820X to the 10 core I9 7900X, why?....  again that!


As you go further up you will notice that. the pricing starts getting really frigging insane (seriously $2000!) and that much of the information is missing.  The reason for that being is that (with the possible exception of the 12 core I9 7920X) these are all chips that they thought up at the last minute and as a result they are not developed yet and likely won't come out until 2018.  It seems clear the the 10 or 12 core version was originally going to be their flagship but they shit their pants when AMD announced their 16 core Behemoth.......  Which brings me neatly on to that!





Note that these stats are not officially confirmed


There is still allot of speculation about Threadripper at this point but there are two things are important and pretty clear.  These CPU will be significantly cheaper with the most expensive CPU expected to be about $1000, half the price of Intel's flagship and $700 less than Intel's 16 core chip.  Then of course there is this.......




Yeah.... 64 PCIe lanes!  That's 20 more than you get from the top end Intel on X299 but even more critically AMD have confirmed that you get access to all 64 PCIe lanes and Quad Channel memory on your motherboard EVEN IF YOU BUY THE CHEAPEST COMPATIBLE CPU!  In case your wondering why this matters it's because this platform doesn't limit how many Graphics Cards, M.2 SSD or other PCIe devices you can use when you don't buy their top end CPU which is something that Intel have been getting away with for years because hey had no competition at this level for more than a decade.  So all that on top of the horrendous price gouging, late release of the top tier models and the inclusion Kabylake X where it clearly has no business being there has made this new platform confusing, overpriced and way less consumer friendly.  It's going to get even worse when Coffee Lake comes out because it doesn't even seem to have a place in the market anymore, not to mention that is also going to be in a completely now and different socket.... wrap your head around that!   


It seems evident that Intel have been on top for so long that they have become complacent, whereas AMD have behind the scenes taken a huge leap forward catching Intel with pants down and now they are in a corner and not sure what to do.  That's why X299 is having such an identity crisis and Intel seem to have suddenly slipped behind.  I'm not saying that X299 and Intel is a total disaster nor am I saying that Threadripper is going to be perfect as there likely to be some teething problems just like with Ryzen.  At this point though it looks like mostly because of bad and rushed business decisions it's going to struggle.


Thanks for reading!

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