Intel X299, Kaby Lake-X & Skylake-X MegaThread! FAQ and Resources

Turb0Yoda

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Welcome to the Official Intel X299 MegaThread! This thread will be the main location for all X299 discussion and information!

This thread serves as the primary discussion thread for all X299 information and resources. While discussing, please remember to stay within the guidelines set by Tom's Hardware and above all, DO NOT start a flame war.


General Info:
X299 serves as the successor to the X99 chipset for the high end enthusiast platform, this involves a brand new chipset and socket, moving from the last 2011-3 socket to the new 2066 socket. Along with this change comes a host of new CPUs, known as Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X. For the first time on a HEDT platform, there is now a Core i5 CPU, the i5-7640X, featuring 4 cores and 4 threads. Also new is the Core i9 CPU, effectively replacing Core I7 Extreme Edition processors of previous generations which feature 10 to 18 cores depending on the model number. The Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X are Kaby Lake-X, while the rest are Skylake-X. There are major differences between the two lower tier CPUs and the rest of the lineup, which will be discussed in the Architecture section.

Performance:
Starting off with Artificial benchmarks, the Core i9 outshines every current desktop CPU on the market, in both single and multi-threaded applications. Past that, the Core i7’s battle head to head with AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X. In single threaded tests, such as Cinebench R15, Ryzen falls behind, but in the multi-threaded variant, beats all but the (lastCore i7-6950X and the Core i9-7900X. Gaming-wise, Ryzen tends to take last place, but only by several frames. (See sources for Benchmark Graphs)

Memory Support:
Here is where things get interesting. Intel has decided that the Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X only have support for Dual Channel Memory, instead of the classic quad-channel found on the last HEDT platform. This means that motherboards with 8 RAM slots not be used at full capacity due to this.

Intel has also increased the native memory frequency support for all Kaby Lake-X CPUs and Skylake-X CPUs to DDR4 2666MHz. The only exception being the Core i7-7800X which tops out at DDR4 2400MHz.

Architecture (talk about the i5s and i7s and the issues with memory/PCIe lanes):
For the first time ever, Intel has added their mainstream CPUs to the HEDT platform, in the form of Kaby-Lake X. The Core i5-7640X and the Core i7-7740X are speced identically to their Kaby Lake counterparts, those being the Core i5-7600K and Core i7-7700K, the only exception being high clock speeds and higher TDPs on the Kaby Lake-X variants.

Meanwhile Skylake-X CPUs are where Intel’s "true" extreme edition CPUs lie at, with base models featuring 6 cores and the most powerful variants featuring a massive 18 cores and 36 threads.

The Core i7 Skylake-X CPUs have up to 28 PCI-E lanes while the Core i9 CPUs all have the full 44 PCI-E lane configurations. Then the two Kaby Lake-X CPUs have just the 16 PCI-E lane configuration.

Another interesting note is that Intel has decided, for the first time on the HEDT platform, to instead use thermal paste, rather than solder/liquid metal, meaning that some people may want to delid their Kaby Lake-X or Skylake-X CPUs to add liquid metal to lower temperatures. A review by German overclocker, der8auer, talks about VRM heat issues with multiple x299 boards.

Lastly, an RFID chip has been found on the Skylake-X CPUs which is discussed in another of der8auer’s video’s. This is the first finding on this chip, a PiROM, on a HEDT CPU, as they were normally on higher end Xeons only. One of the use-cases is inventory, showing stuff such as serial numbers, model numbers.

Motherboards:
Motherboards have already been launched from major companies, such as ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock, etc. This list has only some of the boards available:

ASUS:
ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe
ASUS TUF X299 MARK I
ASUS TUF X299 MARK 2
ASRock:
ASRock X299 Taichi
ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac
Gigabyte (AORUS Branding):
GIGABYTE AORUS X299 AORUS Gaming 7
GIGABYTE AORUS X299 AORUS Gaming 3
MSI:
MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC
MSI X299 GAMING M7 ACK
EVGA:
EVGA X299 Micro 131-SX-E295-KR

Links (Benchmarks & Reviews):

Intel's Core X-series CPUs and X299 platform revealed
The Intel Skylake-X Review: Core i9 7900X, i7 7820X and i7 7800X Tested
Intel ‘Core-X Series’ Skylake-X CPUs, Kaby Lake-X CPUs and X299 Motherboards Available For Pre-Orders
Intel i9 7900X Skylake-X Review
The X299 VRM Disaster (en) by der8auer
The ongoing testing of Intel's X299 and i9-7900X
The RFID chip on Intels Skylake-X (PIROM) by der8auer


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First megathread please be nice.
 

Yuka

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Placeholder for notifications in the thread.

But, for what it's worth, I think the CPU overhaul they did is interesting and shows promise. Problem is for the overall platform: the decisions Intel made for X299 and Skylake X are detrimental and nonsensical to a degree for consumers, to say the least.

Cheers!

EDIT: OMG, my grammar...
 

rgd1101

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FYI, all you need is the " Track this thread" on the first post to get notification
 

Yuka

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BLACK MAGIC!
 

Wizard61

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This is pure speculation on my part but I think with the massive pull ahead they did with the LGA2066 and x299, someone "thought" they needed something for the lower end of the x299 spectrum. You are correct though, it doesn't make any sense, especially with Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake (replacement for LGA1151?) coming supposedly in Q1 of 2018.

I make no bones about it, I am an Intel fan but they surely screwed this launch and it has hurt them. Is this the so called "end of Intel" as many AMD fanboys have proclaimed? Nope not even close. Hopefully it is going to wake the giant.

As a side note. Asus has removed the X299 Rampage VI Extreme and Apex from their website. Not a good sign.
 

juanrga

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Kabylake has same IPC than Skylake.

Skylake-X is a different microarchitecture than Skylake. Skylake-X is optimized for server and workstation workloads.



Asus mobos are defective.
 

juanrga

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It is not true that 8-core RyZen beats all except the 10-core Broadwell and the 10-core Skylake-X. The RyZen 1800X is loosing to 8-core Skylake-X in multithreaded benches as well. A pair of examples with 8-core i7-7820X beating RyZen 1800X




There are also a pair of special cases where the 6-core i7 7800X beats the 8-core RyZen 1800X in multithreading



Game benches would be taken with a grain of salt now. Many reviews tested Skylake-X with beta/buggy BIOS with broken turbo 3.0 and other aspects that affected performance in latency sensitive workloads. Several reviews got that the X-series performed worse than Broadwell-E on games, whereas other reviews found just the opposite.

Sites like TT tested the i9 with both an older BIOS and with an updated BIOS and found significant performance improvements




The issue is that the normal 7900K results were done on older BIOS versions, while the new ones are done on the latest BIOS versions that support Turbo 3 without any software requirements. You will see results in line with the better performing 7900X results, but I do know some other media who were getting the same low gaming scores I was, and that was because Turbo 3 wasn't working. Memory increase from 2133Mhz to 2666Mhz with the same timings also makes a difference in the gaming results. Ashes of Singularity is one of our outliers, but that is most likely because they have to optimize the code for the CPU, just like had to be done for Ryzen.
However, current BIOS are not still working correctly and some sites delayed their game reviews

http://www.pcgamer.com/the-ongoing-testing-of-intels-x299-and-i9-7900x/
http://www.anandtech.com/show/11550/the-intel-skylakex-review-core-i9-7900x-i7-7820x-and-i7-7800x-tested/7



On non-GPU-bottleneck situations RyZen 1800X continues being a good 20% behind



 

Wizard61

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That is a pretty broad brush that you are using there. I have been using ASUS motherboards for years and I have not had a defective one as of yet. Are they 100% perfect? Nope, but they do make a quality product.

 

juanrga

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Check the context. I mean the X299 ones that are giving problems. Eliminating the VRM 'heatshink' (which is really acting as an insulator and increasing temperatures up to extreme values) and cooling that zone solves the problem. It is a design fault. Asus engineers will solve it soon.
 

Wizard61

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The problem is is that all x299 boards are showing the same issues. That tells me that this isn't just an ASUS issue but something deeper that all the board makers did not take into consideration, and yes this is an issue directly related to Intel pulling the release ahead by at least 5 months. I firmly believe that the x299 was also supposed to bring PCIe 4.0 along withe the LGA2066 socket to the market, but again with the release pull ahead, not everything was fully tested or implemented. Hence why the x299 boards work fine with stock CPUs but fail with overclocked.

There will probably be a v1.5 board with a fix for the VRM heat issue and then a v2.0 board that will have PCIe 4.0 that will land before christmas. Vega is purported to support PCIe 4.0 so this makes sense.
 

turkey3_scratch

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Is the Skylake-X microarchitecture the same as Kabylake-X then? Do they both have the same IPC?
 

juanrga

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This is all a confusing mesh.

Kabylake-X is the same microarchitecture than Kabylake and Skylake, the IPC is the same for the three.

Skylake-X is a different microarchitecture than Skylake or Kabylake, the IPC of Skylake-X is different.
 

Phaaze88

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Doesn't the vrm and heatsink defect in the current crop of x299 motherboards kinda degrade/invalidate the reviews of the only 2 boards done on this site so far?
 

Yuka

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In rare fashion, I'll give Intel the benefit of the doubt there. If their process is not working as expected for this initial batch, they might be trying to save face and present the current best as the future average when their process is better.

Cheers!
 

Phaaze88

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Hey, hey! That's then, this is NOW. If it is as you say, then that could take a long time binning for the 12+ core models(the more cores you add, the harder the binning process). Once they're all out, the 7900x will probably still have the best price/performance ratio OF INTEL CHIPS(but if you're spending on Intel, you're not too concerned about $$$ anyway). I'm avoiding it because I won't be able to sustain a 4.5+ oc on air(nh-d15s dual fan mode). Besides, why bring up something that technically doesn't exist? :p
 

Yuka

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It does exist. It was benchmarked. What you call "current cheery/golden" I call "future average". I'm not saying it is the right thing to do, nor that it should be done, but Intel is Intel. They'll save face whenever they can and market out of any guilt and bad press. On the other hand, they've never done it before, have they? I can't remember if they have. They're not the ones that usually send "golden" samples to reviewers, right?

Cheers!
 

goldstone77

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Core i7-7800X vs. 7700K, 6 or 4-Cores for Gaming?
Hardware Unboxed
Published on Jul 12, 2017
"if you are a gamer get the 7700k or alternatively look to AMD's Ryzen Line-up"
In the CPU chart I messed up the core counts, they are the wrong way around. To make up for it here have a stupid big video index....

VIDEO INDEX
0:06 - Welcome
1:10 - CPU Specs
2:13 - World of Tanks
2:39 - Grand Theft Auto V
3:06 - PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
3:27 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
3:40 - Rise of the Tomb Raider
4:04 - Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
4:22 - Far Cry Primal
4:59 - Tom Clancy's The Division
5:12 - Hitman
5:39 - Quantum Break
5:51 - Overwatch
6:04 - DOOM
6:28 - Total War: Warhammer
6:46 - Mirror's Edge Catalyst
6:59 - F1 2016
7:13 - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
7:27 - Battlefield 1
7:41 - Mafia III
7:58 - Gears of War 4
8:10 - Titanfall 2
8:22 - Civilization VI
8:44 - Dishonored 2
8:55 - WATCH_DOGS2
9:06 - Resident Evil 7
9:19 - For Honor
9:33 - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
9:42 - Mass Effect: Andromeda
9:55 - Dawn of War III
10:12 - Prey
10:30 - DiRT 4
10:44 - Power
11:34 - Average
11:52 - 30 Game side-by-side Comparison
13:06 - Conclusion
14:59 - Outro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKX9Bcxnd7U
 

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