Intel Announces First 9th-Generation Core Processors

Pauline Obrien
October 9, 2018

The mainstream models that will show up in off-the-shelf gaming towers in time for holiday shopping include the six-core Core i5-9600K, as well as the eight-core Core i7-9700K and Core i9-9900K. The highlight of the new 9 Gen lineup is the Core i9-9900K with eight cores and a top speed of 5GHz, which the company is calling "the world's best gaming processor". All three of these processors will apparently work on all Z300-series motherboards, so those who bought into Z370 previous year will be able to drop a new CPU in after a BIOS update. Coming with Intel's first consumer i9 processor also comes the first i7 desktop processor not to feature Hyper-threading.

This gives the Core i9-9900K an all-core boost of 4.7GHz, which should give that chip a nice nudge over all previous CPUs in the family. B&H Photo, for example, has the Core i9-9900K listed at $529.99, the Core i7-9700K at $399, and the Core i5-9600K at $279.99.

The Intel Core i7-9700K is also rated with a base clock of 3.6GHz and can boost one its processor cores all the way to 4.9GHz.

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While the Core i9-9900K got a significant boost, the Core i7-9700K is a bit of letdown, as Intel has made a decision to keep the Hyper-Threading limited its flagship Core i9 series, so the Core i7-9700K will eight-cores and eight threads, have the same 95W TDP, 3.6GHz base and 4.9GHz Turbo clock, and 12MB of L3 cache. However, if production is more your thing, then you'll want to take a look at the Core-X series instead.

Core i9-9980XE: 18C/36T, 3.0/4.4GHz base/boost, 165W TDP, $1,979 MSRP. We also have up to 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes on tap, with Intel Optane memory and Optane SSD support a given, as well as Thunderbolt 3. And new Xeon workstation parts-with up to 28 cores and 56 threads-will debut in December.

All of these new 9th Gen processors have hardware mitigation against Meltdown Variant 3, the security bug that we heard so much about back in January.

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That's because Intel's truly new chips have been significantly delayed.

Update: Sharp-eyed readers confirmed something I'd missed - Intel's slides do note that 9th Generation CPUs are protected at the same level as Intel's Whiskey Lake. Here's everything you need to know.

Whether or not Intel's 9th-gen speedup matters to you depends on how recently you've upgraded your current PC.

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