Test and review of the Intel Core i9-7900X processor

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Intel Core i9-7900X

Test results

The Intel Core i9-7900X is the new top-end processor from Intel. During the test tests, the Skylake X generation processor proved to be fantastic: in many benchmarks, it confidently lays on the shoulder blades of its predecessor, the Intel Core i7-6950X. In many, but not all. The new cache structure demands its tribute. However, the processor deserves an undeniable purchase recommendation for anyone looking to maximize their computer’s processing power.

Advantages

Top performance
Ten CPU cores
very promising
Good value for money
Large L2 cache

Flaws

Very expensive
High energy consumption

Test results Intel Core i9-7900X

  • Price-quality ratio
    Good
  • Place in the overall ranking
    7 out of 28
  • Value for money: 65
  • CPU performance (100%): 84.1

Intel Core i9-7900X: short-lived flagship

In a normal case, we would title this article something like this: «Intel’s new flagship.» In a sense, such a title is also suitable for this review. On the other hand, it is already known that during the year 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-core processors will release the 10-core processor from this title. Intel Core i9-7900X.

However, this processor can not be classified as a rapidly aging hardware. With a new microarchitecture, a new chipset, a new socket, and a new cache split, you can get a lot of new features.

Intel Core i9-7900X: comprehensive update

CPU Intel Core i9-7900X with its 2066 pins fits comfortably in the new Socket 2066 processor socket. The first motherboards suitable for installing such a processor are equipped with the X299 chipset. It offers the DMI3 system bus known from Skylake, which has a speed of 8 GT/s.

Intel Core i9-7900XThere is also a quad-channel mode with DDR4-2666 RAM, a large number of USB ports and support for Intel Optane drives. The maximum number of PCI Express 3.0 lanes coming from the controller built into the processor is now 44.

Intel Core i9-7900X: a new distribution of power

Three innovations make a new Intel Core i9-7900X especially interesting. First, it is the reconfiguration of caches. While the slow L3 cache is smaller (1.375 MB per core instead of 2.5 MB per core), the faster L2 cache has been increased to 1 MB per core from 256 KB per core on its predecessor. . In addition, Intel has implemented a new AVX instruction block in this CPU, which allows faster processing of large amounts of data.

Added support for Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. Until now, only one core has been fully turbo-overclocked, now the two most efficient cores of the 7900X are capable of spinning up from 3.3 GHz to a maximum of 4.5 GHz. At least if the motherboard and BIOS support this feature.

Since, apparently, not all devices have been fully optimized yet, within a few weeks after the release, we can expect updates from many manufacturers that will relate to performance improvements. Without Turbo Boost 3.0, a single core reaches clock speeds up to 4.3 GHz.

Comparison of some top-level CPUs:

Intel Core i9-7900X

PC Mark 8

3796 points

Excel 2010 SP1 Monte-Carlo-Simulation

2.3 seconds

Cinebench R15, n-Thread

2314 points

TrueCrypt 7.1 AES-Serpent-Twofish

780.0 MB/s

Handbrake 0.9.5

176.1 fps

PovRay 3.7 RC3

4751 pixels/s

Price

Intel Core i9-7900X: up to 16% faster

Although Intel Core i9-7900X offers the same number of cores and threads, and TDP at the same level as the Intel Core i7-6950X, and costs approximately 500$ less, the new processor is noticeably superior to its predecessor.

First of all, in encryption tests, the advantage of both the updated AVX instruction block and the larger L2 cache becomes noticeable: Intel Core i9-7900X drives huge amounts of data through the interface in the shortest possible time and provides a 16% increase in speed. The same applies to the results in the video encoding (Handbrake) and rendering (PovRay) benchmarks, where the new CPU secures a comfortable lead over its competitors.

But the gap melts in PCMark 8 Creative Suite. This multi-sided test with «everyday» tasks loves large L3 caches. Accordingly, here Intel Core i9-7900X doesn’t even compare to the significantly cheaper AMD Ryzen 7 1800X. Our rating revealed a fairly large number of weaker processors that can compete in this regard with the results of the new 10-core processor.

Intel Core i9-7900X

Extreme processors. All test results

Intel Core i9-7960X

1.Intel Core i9-7960X

Overall score: 100

Value for money: 65

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X

2. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X

Overall score: 99.1

Value for money: 82

Intel Core i9-7980XE

3. Intel Core i9-7980XE

Overall score: 98.9

Value for money: 55

Intel Core i9-7940X

4.Intel Core i9-7940X

Overall score: 98.9

Value for money: 67

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

5. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

Overall score: 98.2

Value for money: 100

Extreme processors. All test results

Alternative: top level for savings lovers

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (3.6 GHz) socket AM4

There’s a clear gap between AMD’s current top processor, which is called the Ryzen 7 1800X, and the Core i9-7900X. Although it is visible in many tests, in PCMark 8, Intel’s best student turns into a simple water peddler. In addition, one can observe a strong difference in prices: currently, the 1800X costs only about 330$.

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