Intel kills off Kaby Lake-X processors and boosts Windows 10 April 2018 Update graphics for laptops

Intel has revealed it's discontinuing its quad-core Kaby Lake-X processors, a mere 11 months after they were first announced, with the company explaining its plans for the chips’ EOL (end of life) status.

The Intel Kaby Lake-X Core i7-7740X and Core i5-7640X were designed for the enthusiast market, with the chips capable of some incredibly impressive overclocking performance, but it appears that the response to them was muted, with poor sales being cited as the reason for the discontinuation.

Read more: Intel Core i9-9900K

It didn’t help that the Kaby Lake-X lineup was outshone by the Skylake-X processors, as they offered fewer PCIe lanes, ‘only’ four cores and support for just dual channel memory.

With Intel now moving to the X399 platform, it looks like it there won’t be support for quad-core processors using the HEDT platform.

In a product change notification document made by Intel, the company states that PC makers and component resellers will need to order the processors by November 30, 2018, with the final shipment of Kaby Lake-X chips pencilled in for May 31, 2019. So, if you want to get a Kaby Lake-X processor, you have around a year left to buy them.

Graphic ambitions

Meanwhile, Intel has also released a new GPU driver (24.20.100.6025) to coincide with the launch of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

This update comes with a number of improvements to image quality and power efficiency, but what’s perhaps most noteworthy is that this is Intel’s first zero-day launch-ready graphics driver release.

The update includes WDDM v2.4 support for the 1803/1804 RS4 Windows 10 April 2018 Update, improved HDR support, a new task manager that displays GPU frequency and power status, Vulkan 1.1 Support, various fixes for games and a lot more.

This is an important achievement for Intel, which is heavily rumoured to be building a graphics card team for discrete gaming GPUs to rival those made by AMD and Nvidia.

By releasing the graphics driver for its integrated graphics on the same day as the new version of Windows, rather than one or two months after the release, as Intel used to do, it shows that Intel is readying itself on the software side to be a serious player in the discrete graphics card market.

Up until now, Intel has only made integrated graphics, which are included on the same chip as its processor, unlike a discrete graphics card, which is a separate card that’s capable of more impressive performance.

We’re really excited about the prospect of Intel battling with AMD and Nvidia in the GPU space, so we’ll be watching these developments closely.