Intel's beastly Core i9-7920X processor is now available to preorder

On the off chance that you have been waiting for this very moment, several online retailers are now accepting preorders for Intel's Core i9-7920X.

Interestingly, Newegg does not list the Skylake-X part as a preorder, so perhaps it has inventory ready to go. Others such as B&H Photo have their listings clearly labeled as preorders, with Amazon posting its boilerplate "2 to 4 weeks" shipping quote. Make of all that what you will.

Shipping times aside, this is Intel's least expensive Skylake-X processor offering up 44 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes, the Core i9-7900X being the other. However, it is not cheap by any means—the asking price is $1,199.

For that you get a 12-core/24-thread processor with a 2.9GHz base clockspeed and 4.3GHz Turbo clock. If only needing to engage a single core, the Turbo clock can ramp up a little higher at 4.4GHz. While the base clockspeed seems low for such an expensive processor, bear in mind that base clocks hardly matter on these CPUs—those are basically guaranteed clocks that users can expect on all cores. On every motherboard we have tested so far, the Core i9-7900X has been able to hit 4GHz with no fuss, and some will clock it has high as 4.5GHz on stock 'Auto' settings. The same should be true of the Core i9-7920X.

Other notable specs include 16.5MB of L3 cache, quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory support, and a 140W TDP.

This is one of several current generation high-end desktop (HEDT) chips from Intel, which are split between Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X architectures. None of the Skylake-X parts are for the faint of wallet, with prices starting at $999 for the Core i9-7900X and going all the way up to $1,999 for the Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition.

All of the Skylake-X processors are overkill for gaming, though a case can be made for splurging on one to build a machine for high-end gaming and streaming from the same PC. That is one of the arguments AMD makes with its competitively priced Threadripper family. In both cases, there will be power to spare. These top-tier chips with high core counts are best suited for users who do a lot of heavy lifting with their systems, such as video editing and professional tasks that tax the CPU.