Intel reveals '9th gen' Core i5, i7 and i9 performance processors

Nichole VegaOct 09, 2018

The company demonstrated a single PC with a Core i9-9900K running two games in separate virtual machines simultaneously, but gaming while encoding and streaming is a more likely usage scenario. Instead, this new high-end Coffee Lake processor runs for a noticeably higher $374 (about £290, AU$530) price. Comparatively, the Intel Core i7-8700K starts at a tick higher 3.7GHz base frequency but can't go almost as fast with its maximum 4.9GHz boost clock. The Core i5 versions are six-core designs while the i7 and i9 jump to eight cores. The Core i9-9900K has eight cores and 16 threads, clocked at 3.6GHZ and up to 5GHz with a 16MB cache and 95W TDP. The Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K are Intel's first mainstream 8-core processors. Intel cranked the hype dial to 11, stating that it's "breaking the laws of physics to bring you these parts" and trumpeting the Core i9-9900K as "the best gaming processor in the world, period". When it comes to video production, these new CPUs are up to 41% faster in Adobe Premiere compared to the previous generation.

Take a look at our take on Intel vs AMD processors. In dual-mode we have 4.8GHz, while 4-core mode hits 4.7GHz and 6/8-core mode it'll reach 4.6GHz. The new CPUs are backward-compatible with the Z370 chipset as well, so you won't need to worry about being locked out of this upgrade if you have an older motherboard.

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. There's also a new Xeon chip, the Xeon W-3175X, for use in workstation PCs to support highly specialized hardware and software such as ECC memory.

Intel will also sell even more powerful Core X (for "extreme") CPUs-which are really Skylake-era designs-with many more cores starting in November.

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. That latter point is welcome news for enthusiasts who have criticized Intel for using lower quality grease for the past few generations. Are any of you thinking about upgrading?

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