Intel will shortly launch two new chipsets for its high-end desktop platform, HEDT (High-End Desktop), with the launch of the new Z399 LGA2066 chipset at the end of this quarter and the legendary X599 chipset delivered for the LGA3647 processors.
The move is likely to result from the introduction of AMD’s new 24 and 32-core Ryzen-thread ripper, which eliminate competition with the existing X299 Basin Falls platform.
The X599 could essentially be a C629 with the addition of some end-user segment features (and the subtraction of some enterprise segment features), while the Z399 is a completely different kind of machine.
With the introduction of X599 and LGA3647, Intel could restore competitiveness in this market segment, with Skylake X processors at a price of more than $1,500 in configurations of 24, 26 and 28 cores and with Z399 limited to the offer of Skylake X processors with maximum 20 and 22 cores.
The existing Skylake-X LCC and HCC chips may be compatible with the Z399, and the X299 motherboards may continue to be compatible with the new 20 and 22 core processors via BIOS upgrades.
Since the LGA2066 platform will no longer be the “extreme”, as this distinction is reserved for LGA3647, the “X” in the chipset name will be replaced by “Z”.
This could also help consumers distinguish the Intel platform from AMD X399, which runs two generations of Ryzen threadripper processors. Therefore, Intel could use Z399 and the new 22-core cubes to compete with the second generation processors of the X series threadripper, while the X599 processors with their 28-core processors could compete with the WX series threadripper.
However, the inclusion of the new Z399 chipset is likely to be quite confusing for the potential customer as the “Z” processor segment was previously intended for the desktop line of processors rather than the HEDT line. With the arrival of the LGA3647 socket, the LGA2066 platform no longer receives an “extreme” processor; this distinction is reserved for the new Intel X599 socket and chipset. Regarding the ‘Z’ of the Z399 chipset, there is a differentiation from AMD’s X399.