Intel 10th Generation Core i9 X-series Processors
HEDT (High End Desktop) computer users have often been described as enthusiast or gamers, but the category is far broader as today’s PC users are not only performing basic or traditional compute tasks, but are also doing intensive multi-tasking that includes simultaneous video editing, video producing, and streaming. In addition, more users are doing compute intensive tasks such as working with large databases or complex math calculations, or doing 3D animation, all of which are requiring more processor power. Intel addresses this segment with their Core i9 X series of processors that combine higher core counts, higher GHz, more PCIe lanes, and other technologies such as Turbo Boost 3.0 and Intel’s mesh topology design to deliver unprecedented performance across the entire upper end of the desktop market.
The Intel 10th Generation Core i9 X Series of processors, code named Cascade Lake X, are a family of multi-core products that range from 10 to 18 cores, support Intel Hyper-threading across the entire stack, and feature higher clock speeds but these are not the only differentiators for these processors.
The Cascade Lake X is based on the Skylake X microarchitecture, which saw the introduction of Intel’s mesh topology for communication between the processor cores rather than the tradition ring design. The mesh topology was originally developed on the Xeon Phi Knights Landing and is used on the Xeon Scalable family, but with Skylake-X as well as Cascade Lake-X, the mesh design is now used on desktop processors. The importance with the mesh design is reduced latency in communication between processor cores. With the ring design the cores were connected by a ring that circles the cores. If a particular core needed information from another core, the communication followed along the ring until it reached the proper core. This method was very efficient with core configurations of eight or fewer, but as more cores were introduced the more delays occurred in communication. This was evident with one of the original high end enthusiast processor, the Broadwell-E, which used a ring topology to connect the 12 cores, but this proved to be very cumbersome. The mesh design allows communication between CPUs to be more efficient and done with less latency, which helps improve the performance of the CPU.
New Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0
Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 was introduced with the Core i7-7820X, and is different than Intel Turbo Boost. Intel Turbo Boost provides a predefined performance increase across all processor cores for any type of application as long as the processor itself is working within power, temperature, and specification limits. With the enhanced version of Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 on Intel Cascade Lake-X processors, the tool evaluates core performance to determine the best performing cores and then automatically boosts those cores to its maximum capability when running single threaded applications. The result is slightly higher frequencies in turbo boost because the best cores are being utilized.
PCIe 3.0 Lanes and Memory Support
From a platform level, Intel 10th Generation X Series Processors will support up to 256GB of DDR4-2933 memory. If you include the HSIO lanes which are reserved for the motherboard manufacturers to utilize in their designs, there will be up to 72 PCIe 3.0 lanes. The processor itself will support 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes which is an increase of 4 lanes from the previous generation.