At Computex 2018 Intel sure pulled out some theatrics. They had something amazing to show everyone and in many ways it sure was memorable. You can watch the actual demo right here:
So let’s talk about what these guys are showing off here. We don’t know a model number or anything like that yet. So it might be a Xeon, but it’s more likely to be something with an “i” on the front. Especially since AMD is launching a 32-core ThreaRipper 2 12nm part pretty soon. Intel is already making i7s with six or more cores. So an i9 with 28 cores is not that far fetched. Either way, Intel intends to ship a 28-core part at the end of this year.
The demo ran this unnamed processor at 5Ghz, tearing through Cinebench in seconds. What wasn’t so obvious is that a massive exotic cooler was employed to make it all work. Unlike the 32-core ThreadRipper demo AMD ran with normal air cooling.
We’re talking about a dedicated 1HP liquid cooler as big as the computer itself. Connected to the CPU cooling block with insulated tubing, so that condensation can’t happen and drip on other components. That’s before we start worrying about what sort of power delivery system you’d need to run 28 cores at 5Ghz flat.
Intel did indicate after the demo that the chip was overclocked so it’s performance is not at all indicative of what the actual product will be like. So we can assume that the actual product you could buy will be running at a much more pedestrian rate. For comparison, the 32-core AMD CPU has much lower clocks than ThreadRippers with lower core counts. It has a base clock of 3Ghz. Xeon CPUs with similar core counts from Intel are also coming in at about 2.5 Ghz base clocks.
Keep in mind that AMD is using a 12nm process for their chip, while Intel is still stuck on 14nm. So even a 3Ghz base clock would be optimistic if you ask us. Nonetheless, we want Intel to show us what they’ve got. Which means Q4 of 2018 can’t come quickly enough.