Intel squares up to AMD's Threadripper with 18-core i9 Extreme Edition processor

Hot on the trail of the release of our first AMD Ryzen Threadripper benchmark results, Intel is firing back with the full specifications of its 18-core Extreme Edition processor.

The Intel Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition CPU is the company’s top of the line CPU that will feature 18-cores and 36-threads, with a base frequency of 2.6GHz that clocks up to 4.2GHz through Turbo Boost 2.0. Using TurboBoost 3.0 to specifically overclock the two fastest cores on the processor will see the Core i9-7980XE reach speeds of 4.4GHz.

Intel is clearly putting forth its Extreme Edition processor to be a direct competitor to the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, which comes with 16-cores, 32-threads and base/boost clock speeds of 3.4GHz/4.0GHz.

While it might seem like Intel’s chip is slower, the Core i9-7980XE has two more cores over it while being 15-watts less power hungry. When paired with the upcoming  X299 chipset, Intel also sees an advantage of four more PCIe lanes compared to the 64 PCIe lanes on AMD’s X399 chipset.

Intel has released price and power information about its new CPUs

Intel has released price and power information about its new CPUs

Beyond its top of the line 18-core CPU, Intel also release the specifications of its 12-, 14- and 16-core processors that feature fewer cores, but support higher frequencies.

The 12-core Intel Core X-series processor will be available starting on August 28th. Meanwhile, the 14- to 18-core Intel Core X-series processors will begin shipping on September 25th.

Price is traditionally where AMD has the advantage on Intel, and it seems like that is still the case, with the 16-core i9-7960X going for $1,699 (around £1,300, AU$2150), while Threadripper's 16-core version will be $999 (around £770, AU$1,295) - quite a bit cheaper.

Meanwhile, the 18-core Intel i9-7980XE will sell for $1,999 (around £1,500, AU$2,500).

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.