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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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