Intel Core i9-7960X 16-Core Processor Review

Earlier this week we took a look at Intel’s flagship Core-X Series processor, the Core i9-7980XE. Sitting right below it in the Core-X product stack is the Core i9-7960X. It is $300 cheaper and offers two fewer cores at 16 and with HyperThreading that is 32 total threads. The chips runs with a base clock of 2.8 GHz and boosts up to 4.2 GHz with two cores reaching 4.4 GHz with Intel’s new Turbo Boost 3.0 technology. On top of that you have 22 MB of L3 cache, the full 44 PCI-Express lanes, and support for quad channel DDR4-2666 memory. While the Core i9-7980XE beat AMD’s ThreadRipper parts, this chip is the real comparison as it has the same number of cores. In this review we will explore this 16-core monster chip and see how it compares to many other chips in Intel’s Core-X series.

Special thanks to Intel for providing us with the Core i9-7960X 16-Core Processor to review.

This chip sits as #2 in Intel’s Core-X series. Below is a chart showing the entire series.

intel core x series processor skus

We’ve gone over much of the architectural details on the Core X series and the X299 chipset in an article we published back when everything was announced. Please be sure to check that out if you need any fine details on anything about these processors or the chipset.

Our processor came directly from Intel, so we do not have a retail box or anything like that. Intel introduced new box designs with their Core X-Series, so here is the Core i9 box, which all retail Core i9 parts will come in with exception to the i9-7980XE, which comes in its own special box.

core i9

The Core i7-7960X looks just like all of the other Core i9 chips in the Core-X series, so you have the larger heatspreader.

Intel Core i9-7960X

Flipping the processor over here is a quick shot of the back.

Intel Core i9-7960X

If you are looking to run one of these new Core X-Series processors you will need a new X299 motherboard. Previous LGA2011v3 coolers are compatible with LGA2066 so you shouldn’t have an issue if you are upgrading from an X99 system. We had no issues getting the NZXT Kraken X52 installed on our chip.

Intel Core i9-7960X

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