No X299 SKU makes any **** sense

A quick written account of why almost no X299 offering makes any damn sense.

Looking past the VRM issues, cooling issues, and general bios/software issues with the X299 platform, no single skew makes any fucking sense from a price to performance view. There are skews, that don’t even make sense due to intel themselves offering better options at the same price point. Prior generation parts, X99, in some cases make more sense than the new X299 offerings. This platform is a mess.

I5 7640-X.

If the I7 7740-X is a dumb part, then the only description that can be used for the 7640-X is so offensive and ridiculous that don’t think I can put it on this forum.

Lets look at the numbers.

The 7640-X is $20 more than its mainstream counterpart, the I5 7600K. Now a $20 increase really isn’t even that ridiculous considering you can probably get a couple hundred megahertz overclock, and it is clock slightly higher at stock (lets not forget AMD charged near $200 more for a 1800x over a 1700 for 600Mhz base, as opposed to $20 for 200Mhz). But where it gets really, really, ridiculous, is the motherboard cost. A quick comparison of X299 v Z270.


  • X299 Gaming K6 - $243
  • Z270 Gaming K6 - $160
  • Difference $84


  • X299 Prime-A - $293
  • Z270 Prime-A - $150
  • Difference $143


  • Z270 Gaming 7 - $182
  • X299 Gaming 7 - $397
  • Difference - 215

This is just a small selection of skews from a couple of brands, the comparisons go on forever. An X299 board running with a Kabylake-X chip trades the integrated GPU from the mainstream for more connectivity through the chipset. That’s not a terrible trade, but the chipset’s connection to the cpu is still limited to a X4 link, far short of the 24 lanes worth of lanes the chipset sends out. That is what we refer to as a “bottleneck”, or in different terms, “a shit deal.”

You get no more cpu-provided lanes than on Z270, you get no more memory capacity than Z270, and your performance will be no better if only marginally better. And, to top it off, you get to swallow that added motherboard and small added cpu cost. Lovely, right?

I7 7740-X

Really, just a rehashing of the I5 7640-X rationale. The difference between the I7 7700K and I7 7740-X in terms of performance is marginal. The X series part gets a slightly better base and boost clock, and promises to give a bit more in terms of overclocking, and that’s it. Have fun with that added motherboard cost.

What a stupid line, KabyLake-X.

I7 7800-X

The 7800-X is a pocket pick for the dumbest X299 part. The competition is, ridiculous, at this price category. X99 parts, make more sense, than The 7800-X. Look too the 6850K, currently available for LESS than the 7800-X. The 6850k has, more pcie lanes, games better, and is a CHEAPER platform. You can get X99 boards for really, really cheap now that X299 is the new “cool” replacement.

Think about it this way. If you wanted a pure gaming chip, the 7700K is cheaper and games better. If you wanted a workstation chip, there are multiple alternatives. A 6850k will be slightly slower, probably, but will provide the same memory capacity with the added bonus of 16 more cpu pcie lanes. A R7 1700 will be faster due to its added cores, and will be cheaper at $100 lower cpu cost PLUS the lower motherboard costs. There is legitimately no reason, outside of AVX512 (congrats to the 1 guy that needs this, and by the way its halfed performance compared to I9 parts), to buy a 7800-X.

I7 7820-X

The only part that isn’t completely ridiculous, only mostly. $600 for an 8 core cpu is a lot, when you consider that AMD offers some for sub $300 right now. But the 7820-X offers a higher tier of features over the Ryzen 7 competition, including higher frequencies, more memory, and more pcie (although not a ton more cpu lanes and a good bit from the chipset regardless of the maximum throughput bottleneck of DMI 3.0). But at half the price, you’d still have to favor the Ryzen series (assuming your not the 1% of the 1% that needs 64GB+ of memory). If you need AVX or a lot of memory, but want more performance than 7800-X, but don’t want to pay $1000+, then 7820-X is the cpu for you! As you can tell, the use case is a stretch…

With Threadripper 1900x coming soon, the 7820-X looks to become even more redundant. Higher clocked Zen cores with more than 2x the pcie, and the same memory capacity (with the added bonus of ECC support!). The 7820-X will have a per-core advantage, but that’s about it.

I9 7900-X

We’re entering the territory of cpu’s that intel is trying to sell to “gamers,” when they only make sense for workstation use. I’m sorry, but 10 cores and a $1000 price tag is prohibitive to any gamer with a gram of common sense in their body. There just isn’t a reason that a gamer would benefit from this cpu. “But, caveman! my stream!” Oh come on now, if your paying $1000 for just a cpu to stream, you’d be better off paying $300 for a 7700k and building a dedicated stream machine with the cash you’d save by moving to a cheaper, better suited, platform.

I just can’t find a reason to buy this chip for workstation use either (besides AVX512). If you’ve got a workstation task that will scale to 10 cores, I’m damn sure it will probably scale beyond that too. Threadripper looks like an overall better platform for any workstation user. At $1000 for 16 cores, the TR 1950x is just a better performing package for the money. Threadripper also offers ECC support and more cpu lanes, both key and attractive features for the informed workstation builder. The 7900-X is a cpu at a workstation price and core count, with desktop oriented features and limitations.

For the remaining core I9 skews, I’m going to just list alternatives that perform better at workstation tasks, at each respective price point. Don’t buy any of these skews for gaming, they’re no better than a 7700k at gaming and no better than the listed alternatives as workstation platforms. I’m not going to list motherboard costs as that is yet to be seen, but judging by Threadripper motherboard pricing I do not expect the delta to be massive between single socket Epyc boards and Lga 2066 boards. All Epyc cpu alternatives are cheaper than the I9 competition so there is extra room to accommodate added motherboard costs.

I9 7920-X ($1200)

  • AMD Epyc 7401P, 24 cores 48 threads at 2.8Ghz all core. Double cores, 2x memory channels & near 3x pcie. $1075

I9 7940-X ($1400)

  • AMD Epyc 7401P 24 cores 48 threads at 2.8Ghz all core, 10 more cores, 2x memory channels & near 3x pcie. $1075
  • AMD Epyc 7351 16 cores 32 threads at 2.9Ghz all core, 4 more cores, 2x memory channels & near 3x pcie. Sub $1100

I9 7960-X (1700)

  • AMD Epyc 7401P 24 cores 48 threads at 2.8Ghz all core, 8 more cores, 2x memory channels & near 3x pcie. $1075
  • 2x AMD Epyc 7301 combined 32 cores 64 threads 2.7Ghz all core, 16 more cores, 4x memory channels & near 3X pcie. $1600 totaled

I9 7980-XE ($2000)

  • 2x AMD Epyc 7301 combined 32 cores 64 threads 2.7Ghz all core, 14 more cores, 4x memory channels & near 3X pcie. $1600 totaled
  • AMD Epyc 7551P 32 cores 64 threads 2.6Ghz all core, 14 more cores, 4x memory channels & near 3X pcie. $2100*

*Only option in list of Epyc alternatives that is more than Core I9 competition

So in conclusion, X299 is a mess of a platform in terms of price to performance. No X299 skew can be said to be more attractive for workstation users, or gamers, than an AMD or other Intel offering.

TLDR; its a mess dog




I don’t have anything to add other than how much I love a good rant!

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Never thought I see you tear Intel a new one.

Epyc’s motherboards will probably be even more expensive than X299 motherboards, although for that many CPU cores and PCI lanes, it might be worth it to those that need the cores and/or lanes.

Aside from that, I do agree, these CPUs even if we don’t factor Ryzen/ThreadRipper/Epyc is challenged by their own older CPUs.

One thing I like the i7 5820K for and I turned to one myself was it was the closest we got to a 6 Core CPU reaching the mainstream platform from Intel (and even AMD only had an FX 6300 and Phenom X6 which doesn’t touch the i7 5820K).

The only problem was price, X99 Motherboards were unholy expensive when they came out just like X299 is now. I assume they are quite a bit lower now than they use to be.

For the higher end CPUs the Xeons appear to be more compelling options, why would I get an i7 6950X when it came out when there was a 14 Core Xeon for a similar price at the time and even though the Xeon is clocked lower, it still had slightly higher multithreading performance.

The i5 7640X and i7 7740X was plain stupid on Intel’s part, they had an i5 7600K and i7 7700K, unless that’s suppose to be entry level for X299 or something.

This ain’t even counting AMD straight up murdering Intel at multithreading and parallel computing. Feels like the reverse of where AMD was with CPUs. Intel is rushing Coffee Lake now for this very reason.

I will just reiterate, aside from the last Epyc 7551 which I included as a second alternative to the 7980-XE, there is literally no Epyc alternative that is not cheaper and faster than the intel part. So for literally every Epyc competitor except the 7551P, there is built-in buffer to account for added motherboard cost.

It is also worth noting that Intel and AMD cpu prices trend in opposite directions. Intel CPU’s tend to sell for more than MSRP, and it is a rarity to see deals, especially on the higher-end offerings. AMD has had the opposite of this trend, regularly offering processors for sub-MSRP. The 1800x went on sale at newegg, for an extended period of time, for as much as $80 off. Right now you can “only” find it for $60 off MSRP. Its anyone’s guess as to if this trend will continue with AMD’s re-entrance to the server market, but the precedent they set with this rebirth of strong consumer oriented offerings has me very hopeful.

Ryzen and threadripper are great, but Epyc looks to live up to the name.

(fingers crossed the company I’m interning at decides to go Epyc and not Skylake-SP, I want to play with those 32 core skews!)

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You wanted intel to make sense?

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Well, I mean, in a year ago’s market, they were the price to performance winner at every price point. A year ago, Intel’s lineup made sense. But this whole new “competition” thing has really thrown a spanner into the works for them.


lool yup

I’ll changed the title and if I get bored I’ll go through and change the post tmo.

Spot on. I think I´ll just link people to this when they ask me about X299.

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Amazon is still selling them at $419 actually.

This was a great read, thanks. Mirrors how I feel about the entire release.

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