The next-generation Intel chipset for High-End Desktop Platform (HEDT) has been confirmed as the X299. The forthcoming chipset will power all Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPU lineup, thus replacing the aging X99 chipset.
The X299 will introduce a new socket in order to make the chipset compatible with both Kaby Lake-X, as well as Skylake-X CPUs. Judging by its name (LGA 2066), we can assume that the socket will feature 2066 pins – an increase of 55 pins from the previous socket. The change in the socket was inevitable as Skylake is architecturally different from both Haswell and Broadwell.
Worth noting, the new socket has been designed for compatibility across three different generations of processors including Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Cannonlake.
The Intel Skylake-X family is basically a new moniker for Skylake-E which is designed for high-end desktop PCs. The lineup will be primarily meant for enthusiasts and is expected to hit the store shelves sometime in the second half of 2017. Upon arrival, the Skylake-X chips will serve as the replacement for the Broadwell-E family launched earlier in this year.
Word around the water cooler is that Skylake-X products will come with the same core configuration as the Broadwell-E with 6, 8, and 10 core variants and TDPs adjusted around 140W. The IPC, however, will be significantly improved because of the new architecture. The pricing will be more or less the same too, if not higher, for all the variants.
Meanwhile, Intel will also be rolling out the Kaby Lake-X processors on the HEDT platform. The launch time is expected to be roughly the same as that of the Skylake-X, the only difference being that the Kaby Lake-X will only be available in Quad Core package.
Surprisingly though, we can expect much higher clock speeds compared to the existing quad-core models considering that the new Kaby Lake-X SKUs will come with 112W TDP on a 14nm node.