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Here’s everything you need to know about Intel’s 9th-gen chips

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By Arif Bacchus


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After many rumors, leaks, and anticipation, Intel finally took the wraps off the first group of its 9th-gen processors this week.

The Intel Core i9-9900K processor is the star of the show for gamers, alongside some powerful, workstation-class options as well. Even so, Intel’s most recent generation of processors has only just begun. Here’s everything we know so far.

Price and release date

Intel wasn’t specific on how much these 9th generation processors will cost you at the store and instead recommended pricing for retailers who are planning on selling the chips. This means that you can find the processors for more or less than at certain locations, depending on where you are buying. Currently, you can buy the Intel Core i9-9900K at BestBuy for $530. The Core i7-9700K, on the other hand, comes in at $410, and the Core i5-9600K at $290.

As for the workstation-class Xeon Processors, Intel noted that it would start shipping in December. The Core X-Series, on the other hand, did pick up some suggested pricing starting at $590 and also goes all the way up to $1,980. The difference in pricing boils down to base clock speed, the amount of core and threads, and the Smart Cache amount.

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More on the desktop chips

Intel’s first 9th-gen Core desktop chips are built for gamers and desktop enthusiasts and the firm is dubbing it as “the best gaming processor in the world.” The Core i9-9900K is Intel’s first processor with a 5GHz Turbo Boost maximum, 8 cores, and 16 threads. It also features STIM technology, which helps dissipate heat and allow for more thermal headroom when gaming.

The cheaper Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K still present good options, coming with 8 cores and 8 threads, and 6 cores and 6 threads, respectively. Those come with a slightly lower base clock speeds of 3.6 GHz, and 3.7 GHz, turbo boost of 4.9 and 4.6 GHz, and Cache of 12 MB and 9 MB.

everything you need to know about intel 9th gen i9 9900k gaming

The specifications of the Core i9-9900K add up to results, with Intel claiming that gamers can expect up to 10-11 percent more performance and frames per second in popular PC games compared to the last generation. They also claimed that video editing in Adobe Premiere can go up 34 percent faster than the previous generation, though there was some recent controversy in testing up against the latest from AMD.

The processor is compatible with the new Intel X390 chipset, and all Intel Series 300 chipsets. The new Intel X390 chipset includes high-speed integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 and integrated Intel Wireless-AC with support for Gigabit Wi-Fi speed. Also, keep in mind that Spectre protection is built-in for the K-Series chips, but not the X-Series.

Mobile 9th-gen isn’t here (and won’t be for awhile)

Intel hasn’t announced the mobile and laptop versions for convertibles or 2-in-1’s. The company recently launched a new line of 8th-gen mobile chips at IFA 2018 in August. There were two generations of mobile processors, the first came in August of 2017, and the most recent U series and Y series in August of 2018. That is an inherently confusing and vague timeline, so it’s hard to point out an exact release date for the mobile 9th-generation chips. Desktop makers are only now introducing these 9th gen desktop chips, so more leaks and rumors might surface around IFA 2019 in February, and maybe even Computex 2019 in July.


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