Intel held a snooze-inducing event today which, behind the chorus of snores, heralded the rather exciting arrival of its 9th-generation desktop processors, complete with the Core i9-9900K 8-core sitting at the top of the heap. And, er, if you’re security conscious, these are the first Intel CPUs to have hardware-level mitigation against both Meltdown and Spectre attacks. Back in January that was an absolute (pardon my French) shit-show for Intel, but nine months later it’s actually being used as a marketing point for its next-gen processors.
As for Intel’s live showcase, it was pretty exactly along the lines of what we were expecting. The Intel Core 9th-Gen CPUs are built on a refinement of the 14nm process, albeit offering the potential for higher clock speeds (and therefore better overclocking), as well as the Meltdown and Spectre mitigations baked in.
For the most part, though, these are refreshed Coffee Lake CPUs which sport fairly similar specs to their 8th-Gen counterparts. The big trio for gamers are undoubtedly the Intel Core i9-9900K, the Intel Core i7-9700K, and the Intel Core i5-9600K.
The Core i9-9900K is the most powerful of the bunch, naturally, and will now be the fastest mainstream Intel CPU on the market. It’s also the first mainstream Intel CPU to feature 8-cores and 16 threads, offering a 3.6 GHz base clock and 5.0 GHz boost clock speed out of the box. It’s supplemented by a 16MB cache and will set you back around $530. That’s slightly more than we were expecting, although it’s not terrible on the surface of things. It's even less of an issue when we consider Intel believes this is its fastest gaming processor in the world.
Next down the pecking order is the Core i7-9700K. From the i7 downwards we see Intel has, as expected, abandoned Simultaneous MultiThreading support. The i7-9700K also has eight cores but is restricted to just eight threads. It, too, has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz, as well as a boost clock of 4.9 GHz, albeit across a single core. The i7-9700K has 12MB cache and will cost around $400.
Last but not least in the core gaming lineup is the Intel Core i5-9600K. It’s 6C/6T with a base clock of 3.7 GHz and boost clock of 4.6 GHz. There’s a 9MB cache and the Core i5-9600K will retail for around $280.
All of the announced 9th-Gen Intel Core CPUs have a 95W TDP and utilised a revised version of the LGA 1151 socket, compatible with 300-series motherboards.
Processor Name Process Cores / Threads Base Clock Boost Clock Cache TDP Price Core i9-9900K 14nm++ 8/16 3.6 GHz
5.0 GHz (1/2 Core)
4.8 GHz (4 Core)
4.7GHz (6/8 Core)
16MB 95W $529.99 Core i7-9700K 14nm++ 8/8 3.6 GHz
4.9 GHz (1 Core)
4.8 GHz (2 Core)
4.7 GHz (4 Core)
4.6 GHz (6/8 Core)
12MB 95W $399.99 Core i5-9600K 14nm++ 6/6 3.7 GHz
4.6 GHz (1 Core)
4.5 GHz (2 Core)
4.4 GHz (4 Core)
4.3 GHz (6 Core)
9MB 95W $279.99
All three of these next-gen Intel chips are due to launch on October 19th, with pre-orders opening today.
Anybody planning to give the new Intel Core 9000 Series a shot? Or are you waiting for the eventual process shrink? Let us know why below!