Intel’s Core X-Series really has a chip for everyone, pricing starts at $242 and goes all the way up to $1999. This new high-end desktop (HEDT) lineup from Intel is sure different from what we’ve seen in the past, it is a big result of what AMD did with Ryzen. In the past we would see Intel launch three or four HEDT processors, the Core X-Series has nine! The Core i7-7820X sits right around the middle of the lineup at number 4 from the bottom.
With that you are getting an 8-core, 16-thread processor with a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.3 GHz, and with two cores reaching up to 4.5 GHz with the new Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. That gives you some very impressive performance, especially when it comes to highly-threaded workloads. In our testing it beat the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 and from what we’ve seen it will beat the Ryzen 7 1800X in most tests as well.
When it comes to gaming however things are a little bit different. The Core i7-7700K is still the better option in our opinion if you are running a single graphics card. It has better performance (in most cases) and costs quite a lot less, not only the chip itself, but the platform too. If you are a gamer building a new system Z270 is still the way to go, and the money you’ll save on the chip and motherboard you can put towards a better graphics card, memory, or SSD.
One of the things I was surprised with when it came to this chip is that Intel dropped the PCI-Express lanes from 44 to 28. This means it is going to be harder to run graphics cards at their full speeds as well as run multiple M.2 drives and other devices. Being the highest-spec’d Core i7 in the Core-X series I really thought we would have got the full 44 PCI-Express lanes. On AMD’s side you have the recently announced ThreadRipper 1900X which has the same 8-cores and 16-thread, but gives you a full 64 PCI-Express lanes. And that chip comes in at a lower price-point.
Overclocking was quite good on this chip, although we were held back by thermal restrictions not what the chip could do. This was also disappointing, and I know many enthusiasts would have liked to have seen solder between the die and heatspreader. I think this would have enabled us to hit 3.9 or even 4.0 GHz on all 8 cores.
I do have to say the Core i7-7820X is a great entry point into Intel’s Core X-Series and the X299 platform. It is great for someone who will make use of those 8 cores, say someone that is gaming and streaming on the same system. And it is $400 cheaper than the Core i9-7900X, at the $599 MSRP it does not break the bank as much. As it stands the Core i7-7820X is the sweet spot in Intel’s Core X-Series and a chip we can definitely recommend.
– Great multi-threaded performance
– Sits in the sweet spot in the Core X-Series
– Good overclocking performance
– Current LGA2011v3 coolers will work on the new LGA2066 socket
– Only 28 PCI-Express lanes
– ThreadRipper 1920X offers much of the same plus full 64 PCIe lanes