How do you take a High-End Desktop (HEDT) platform laden with six-to-double-digit core count CPUs and make it more appealing to a wider mainstream audience? Add quad-core options, of course. Yes, that’s the utterly bizarre approach that Intel has taken with X299, putting consumers in a position where they can buy a quad-core processor on a platform designed for up to 18-core chips, quad-channel memory, and 28+ PCIe lanes. Adding salt to the wound, many X299 motherboards retail for more than the cost of the 4C8T Core i7-7740X (not to mention the Core i5-7640X!).
Anyway, can Intel’s $339 Core i7-7740X prove itself as a worthy option despite the cost increase of at least £100 over a comparable LGA 1151-based system, the forced obsolescence of numerous X299 platform features, and the removal of a sometimes-convenient integrated GPU for no reduction in purchase price to consumers? Maybe the Core i7-7740X will be aided by the 100MHz uptick in base frequency over the Core i7-7700K, or the increase in TDP, or the native support for DDR4-2666MHz memory.