Intel Kicks Off Computex 2017 with Big News

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Computex 2017 is starting off with a bang, with Intel unveiling its top-of-the-line Core i9 processor, part of its Core X line of high-performance desktop chips. Computex is running from May 30 to June 3 in Taipei.

The top-end model will be the first commercially available chip to reach teraflop speeds, and contain 18 processing cores, according to the company. The new line is aimed squarely at users who want to run the most computationally intensive applications on their desktops, such as 3D modeling, VR editing, video game live-streaming, and special effects design.

Ultra High End

The prices for most of the new models in the Core X series are likely high enough to limit the market to enterprises and all but the most dedicated gamers and design enthusiasts. At the top of the list is the i9-7980XE Extreme Edition, which will come with 18 cores and 36 threads, and cost $1,999. The Core i9 (pictured above) will also come in versions containing 16, 14, 12, and 10 cores, and will sell for $1,699, $1,399, $1,199, and $999, respectively.

There are also new models in the i7 series, which until now had been Intel’s highest-end offering. These new chips will come in 8-, 6-, and 4-core varieties, and cost $599, $389, and $339, respectively.

Meanwhile, the new 4-core, 4-thread i5 model will be available for $242. The 4-core models are based on Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture, while the other models are based on the company’s Skylake design. All of the chips will work with the new X299 chipset.

Lots for Content Creators To Love

Gregory Bryant, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s client computing group, kicked things off at Computex with the keynote address. Bryant said that while the new chips will obviously appeal to gamers looking to eke out every iota of performance possible from their machines, the high-end i9 chips would also appeal to a growing number of content creators who face increasing performance needs.

“Although every enthusiast is different depending on their interests, a common denominator is their hunger for the best performance,” Bryant said in a statement. He described the new series of chips as the company’s most scalable and powerful desktop platforms ever.

The new chips will provide content creators with fast image rendering, video encoding, audio production and real-time preview — all able to run seamlessly in parallel, according to Bryant.

Gamers, meanwhile, will be able to play their favorite games while streaming, recording, and encoding gameplay on a 12K display powered by up to four discrete graphics cards.

The company said that its OEM partners have already developed motherboards and complete desktop systems based on the new chips and the X299 chipset, so consumers can expect to get their hands on the new machines in the next several weeks.

Image credit: Product shot by Intel Corporation.

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