Intel kills Kaby Lake-X, the bizarre enthusiast CPUs that nobody wanted

The real question is why they existed to begin with.

kaby lake x

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Intel’s Kaby Lake-X chips were a headscratcher from the start.

Launched alongside the massively multi-core Skylake-X processors last summer, the quad-core chips didn’t offer any noticeable advantages over standard Kaby Lake chips beyond a very slight speed bump. Yet they required pricey X299 motherboards that cost significantly more than mainstream hardware—then failed to take advantage of the key platform advantages of the swankier chipset. Intel pitched the CPUs as an overclocker’s dream, but really, they were just plain weird, and effectively made obsolete mere months after release with the introduction of the 6-core, 12-thread Core i7-8700K in October.

Now Kaby Lake-X is officially obsolete. As first noticed by Tech Report, Intel quietly discontinued the Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X in a new document outlining end-of-line dates for the chips (PDF). The paperwork hints that Kaby Lake-X was indeed supplanted by 8th-gen Coffee Lake CPUs, stating that “Market demand for the products listed in the ‘Products Affected/Intel Ordering Codes’ tables below have shifted to other Intel products.”

The Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X remain available at Amazon, but you still shouldn’t buy them. Intel’s Skylake-X and 8th-gen Core processors carved out niches for themselves, as has AMD’s Ryzen and Threadripper chips. Kaby Lake-X never made sense—an X-series Core i5 chip, really?—and now it’s gone.

Pour one out for the bizarre, overpriced chips that nobody wanted—but don’t shed a tear for them. Just buy a Core i7-8700K ($350 on Amazon) and a luxurious Z370 motherboard instead.

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