Intel Rumors - Kaby Lake-X - Skylake-X and Cascade Lake

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Monday , April 09, 2018

In this episode of How the Rumor Mill Churns, we address some old Intel CPUs, some new Intel CPUs, and hopefully Intel CPUs that we will never see again. End of Life for good products is often disheartening, but when EOL pertains to something that should have never existed, it goes over a lot better.
This is firmly rooted in the "Guys Talk, You Hear Things," category. Still interesting information to mull over however.

Intel's Kaby Lake-X will go End of Life (EOL) late in 2018 with no refresh in site. Kaby Lake-X fell well short of sales expectations. Quite frankly, that is not too soon in our opinion as we have never been exactly sure of who Kaby Lake-X was produced for. KBL-X seemed to be more of a knee jerk reaction to RYZEN.

We will see refreshes to the Skylake-X CPUs in late Q318 or early Q418. These will stretch from 6 to 18 cores. The Skylake-X will not feature any architecture changes. It will however be moving from PTIM (Polymer Thermal Interface Material) to STIM (Solder Thermal Interface Material) for its Integrated Heat Spreader connection. This seems to be a reaction to Intel needing to keep pace with its tiny jumps in performance. Currently the STIM parts are reaching for a +150MHz to +200MHz on base and turbo frequencies as a result of the PTIM to STIM change. (Now if Intel would do this for its "enthusiast" K-SKU parts!) Intel is looking to target bins pushing ~5GHz on 12 and 14 core parts (WOW!) with an estimated TDP range of 275w to 300w on Socket R. This TDP bump will assuredly will require new VRM layouts on motherboards, so we will see some new boards out to address these CPUs specifically and it looks that SuperMicro is at the front of the pack on that. SuperMicro tipped its hand to this at CES showing off 300W TDP support.

For professional gamers, Supermicro's next-generation SuperO C9X299-PG300 motherboard supports up to 300W TDP running the latest Intel Core X-series processors to deliver the ultimate in extreme gaming performance. This platform is designed for PC enthusiasts who enjoy tweaking the hardware to its limits with best-in-class features, performance and reliability for the most demanding gamers.

While the world has been expecting Cascade Lake (CLX) 14nm architecture CPU possibly this year, it was suggested to us to not expect Cascade Lake (the successor to Skylake-X) to make its debut till mid to late Q219. We would suggest this is more of a wait and see approach to how the market reacts to AMD's EPYC server CPUs. Cascade Lake will likely also feature a SIM (soldered) IHS connection.

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