Intel Core i7 7820X Skylake X Review
The Intel CPUs that have topped their range have, for a long time, been something we all dream about and the lucky few get to own. With a price tag as huge as their performance there isn't a single one of us who haven't looked at our children and decided which ones we can live without, or wondered if we really need both kidneys.
The X99 chipset has been home to a raft of desirable silicon offerings, whether you go for the early Haswell-E i7-5960X, or the monstrously powerful Broadwell-E i7-6950X, there is no denying that little else offers so much raw performance for your video encoding needs. However, technology is rapidly evolving and the need to refresh the X99 chipset to take advantage of the winners from the latest round of feature battles is uppermost in Intel's mind. M.2 has rapidly become the format of choice for blisteringly fast storage, DDR4 has quickly reached stratospheric speeds, and USB 3.1 offers enough benefits over its predecessors that it is a must have, even if Type-C hasn't achieved the same ubiquity as the Type-A connector.
AMD recently joined the multi-core fray with their Ryzen 7 range of CPUs, with the 1700 and 1800X both managing to push the Intel chips close in every CPU heavy benchmark around. It was only a matter of time before Intel released a new range of processors to try and reclaim their place on the performance throne.
The new Intel range has a choice to suit all budgets, whether you want to go for the affordable i5-7640X - yes a i5 CPU on the X299 chipset - all the way up through the i7-7820X that we have on test today, through to some still private specifications of the new range topping i9 CPUs. 18 cores? Yes please. Although short of a lottery win it seems unlikely that we'll end up with a couple to have at the heart of our system.
But let's step back from the future CPUs to today's model. The i7-7820X is an eight core, sixteen thread CPU that hits 4 GHz on all cores utilising the new Intel Turbo Boost technology, and even 4.5 GHz if you're utilising fewer cores than all eight.