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Intel Core i9-7900X X-Series Skylake-X CPU Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: 6 days, 13 hours ago
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Intel

Test Setup

 

Since many of you asked, I have upgraded my GPU from the GTX 980 to a GTX 1080 Ti. I have three motherboards on hand and one new memory kit. The motherboards were all used; one for overclocking, one for out of the box performance, and one for Intel optimized performance (correct specified with Turbo 3 and 2666MHz memory).

 

However, for this review, I used two memory kits (one Corsair and one G.Skill). The Dominator Platinum Kit I used isn't new to my reviews, just a 32GB 4x8GB dual rank kit rated to 3200MHz, the G.Skill is so I will picture it below.

 

 

 

New Motherboards and RAM

 

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We have added a beautiful Trident Z 4x8GB RGB LED memory kit to our review test bench for X299.

 

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I am ordering the motherboards in the order I received them. While I picked up a GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 at a workshop for Skylake-X, GIGABYTE also sent over their Gaming 7. They have a lot of RGB inside of them.

 

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The motherboards feature multiple M.2 slots, and they have actual heat sinks that will hold those pesky M.2 screws in place. The IO panel of the Gaming 9 (the one used in this review for overclocking) features an equal amount of USB 3.1 type-A to USB 3.0 type-C, but that has to come from controllers since the X299 PCH doesn't offer integrated USB 3.1.

 

I also wanted to highlight one more thing; notice those oddly shaped rectangles below the first M.2 shield? Those are a new type of PCI-E switch, and they had to be used to facilitate Kaby-X and Skylake-X PCI-E switching. The PCI-E layouts on X299 motherboards can be extremely confusing, as it's very hard to support 16, 28, and 44 lane CPUs all on the same motherboard, so new switches that could switch in more than two directions or take more than one input had to be used.

 

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The RGB memory and the motherboard's built-in RGB LEDs look really cool, and I am serious. It's a little in your face, but if you are going to go all in with an RGB motherboard, this is definitely the one that screams RGB.

 

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MSI sent us an X299 Gaming Pro Carbon/AC, which offers the ability to change the heat sink panels to ones with different colors or designs. They even sent us customized "TweakTown" designed panels.

 

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MSI is also offering a high amount of USB 3.1 and USB 3.0 on their motherboard, as well as Intel wireless-AC. The motherboard features two M.2 shields, these shields act as heat sinks and are a bit improved compared to the MSI Z270 counterparts. Here we can also see a lot more quick switches than we did on X99 motherboards, and that is because of the support for Kaby-X.

 

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MSI doesn't fail us, they also have RGB LEDs, and here we can see "TweakTown" written on the VRM heat sink panel. The RGBs are a little less pronounced, so they produce a laid back ambiance.

 

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ASUS sent over their PRIME X299 Deluxe, which offers a nice white and black aesthetic design.

 

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ASUS also offers M.2 heat sinks, but more interestingly Wireless AD along with a plethora of USB 3.1, 3.0, and 2.0 ports. The motherboard is loaded with features.

 

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ASUS went a different and more classic route with RGB LEDs, offering a few lit panels, and an LCD screen at the center of the motherboard that shows some cool stats, I liked it when the system was booting because I could see what was going on if the system was hanging. It actually spells out what the POST Code errors are.

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