Intel has finally taken the wraps off its much-awaited 9th generation Core series of desktop processors. A refresh of its Coffee Lake architecture and still built on its 14nm++ process used on the 8th generation CPUs, these newer processors are very much refinements of Intel’s previous and existing technologies.
New to the line up is the Core i9-9900k, an eight-core, sixteen-thread part which Intel dubs as “the best gaming processor in the world. Period.” With a boost clock that can reach up to 5.0 GHz (on two cores), there is genuine substance to that claim.
This marks the first time that the Core i9 moniker has been introduced into the mainstream LGA 115x platform as the top offering in the segment. That would usually go to the Core i7, which has now been stripped of Hyper-threading and knocked down a peg.
Still, that’s not to say that the 9th generation Core i7 and Core i5 aren’t impressive in their own right. The eight-core, eight-thread Core i7-9700k has a base clock of 3.6 GHz and can turbo up to 4.9 GHz on one core, while the Core i5-9600k has a 3.7 GHz base clock and can turbo up to 4.6 GHz on one core.
The high boost clocks of these new CPUs seem to confirm previous rumors that Intel has moved (back) to a soldered IHS for better thermal performance. And indeed, Intel has confirmed it themselves.
We wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that these CPUs are capable of being overclocked well past 5.0 GHz on air cooling, as some rumors also suggests.
The new Z390-equipped motherboards will also be coming and will pack some new features such as native support for USB 3.1 Gen 2, integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and integrated SDXC (SDA 3.0) support. Older Z370 boards will support these newer CPUs, but will require a newer BIOS.
Intel has priced the Core i9-9900k at $488 (approx. Php 26,408), while the Core i7-9700k and Core i5-9600k are priced at $373 (approx. Php 20,184) and $262 (approx. Php 14, 178) respectively. These chips should hit the shelves on October 19th and reviews should be out on the same day.
Intel has also announced new Core-X series CPUs for the HEDT segment. Still built on Intel’s 14nm++ process and based on the Skylake X design, the top Core i9 Extreme edition (Core i9-9980XE) still offers 18 cores and 36 threads and is priced at $1,979 (approx. Php 107,093).
There are five other Core i9 X-series CPUs. Slotting below the Core i9-9980XE is the $1,684 (approx. Php 91,129) Core i9-9960X which has 16 cores and 32 threads. This goes on until the base ten-core, twenty-thread Core i9-9820X which costs $889 (approx. Php 48,108). Below that, and just before you step back into LGA 1151 territory, is the base Core i7-9800X with eight cores and sixteen threads costing $589 (approx. Php 31,873).
Last but not least, Intel has also unveiled its 28-core, 56-thread Xeon W-3175X unlocked workstation CPU. It has a base clock of 3.1 GHz and a turbo boost of 4.3 GHz. No pricing announced yet for this one, but let’s just say it’s going to be a whole lot more than even the Core-X series.
With it being unlocked, could this be the same controversial CPU we saw back at Computex? We’re definitely excited to see what avid overclockers can achieve with this unlocked 28-core monster.