Intel is discontinuing its quad-core Kaby Lake-X enthusiast processors

After just 11 months on the market, Intel is retiring its quad-core  Kaby Lake-X high-end desktop (HEDT) processor family, the company revealed in a 'product change notification' (PDF) on its website. They'll remain on the market for a bit, but after some time, vendors will not longer be able to buy additional Kaby Lake-X parts from Intel.

That's not likely to pose a problem, for vendors or consumers, as Kaby Lake-X was always a somewhat confusing and uninteresting entry in Intel's HEDT category. It launched alongside Skylake-X for Intel's X299 platform, but was hard to justify buying unless you were looking for a cheaper upfront X299 solution with the intention of upgrading to Skylake-X down the line.

One of the reasons is because Kaby Lake-X only supports 16 PCIe-lanes, at least from the CPU; the chipset still provides an additional 28 PCIe lanes, though they share a DMI 3.0 connection to the CPU. In addition, Kaby Lake-X only supports dual-channel memory configurations, rendering half the memory slots on a X299 motherboard useless.

If all that weren't enough of a deterrent, the introduction of six-core Coffee Lake processors last October essentially shoved Kaby Lake-X aside, making an early retirement seem inevitable. And so here we are.

Retailers and OEMs can still order more Kaby Lake-X parts up through November 30, 2018. After that, Intel will not accept any additional orders. The last shipments are scheduled to go out May 31, 2019.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).