AFTER ALL THE LEAKS, Intel's 9th-gen processors have finally arrived with the chipmaker brandishing Core i9, i7 and i5 variants.
Straight out of the blocks is the high-end Intel Core i9-9900K, a CPU the chip maker is touting as "the world's best processor for gaming". Before AMD fans hurl abuse at us in the comments, Intel has some decent specs to back that claim up.
The Core i9-9900K sports eight cores and 16 threads, and with the Coffee Lake refresh, runs at a base clock of 3.6GHz that can ramp up to 5GHz when boosted. And all that fits into the same 95W thermal design power package its eighth-gen predecessor had.
Given Intel's Core chips are pretty decent performers when it comes to gaming thanks to their high single core speeds, Intel claims for the Core i9-9900K looks to have some weight, though with a price tag of $488 (some £370) PC gamers will need to pay the price for such performance.
Or they could opt for the Core i7-9700K, an eight-core, eight-thread CPU with a top clock speed of 4.9GHz, for $374.
Too rich for your blood, then the Core i5-9600K offers six cores and an equal number of threads and runs up to a healthy 4.6GHz, for a price of $262.
It's worth noting that Overclockers has the trio of chip up for pre-order now and unfortunately the prices there don't convert favourably from dollars to pounds. The Core i9-9900K has a price tag of £599, the Core i7-9700K hit £499, and the Core i5-9600K will cost £389. Those aren't cheap, but we imagine prices will drop a little once the CPUs hit the market.
Some might say these CPUs are minor upgrades on the previous generation of Intel CPUs... and they'd be right. The new Core series is very much a small step up from the eighth-gen chips, as is the fashion with Intel's architecture refreshes.
In this new generation, the Core i9 now sits at the top-end of the consumer CPU line up, whereas before it was arguably more focussed on professional machines. This is likely a move to throw down the gauntlet at AMD, which has its Ryzen 2 CPUs helping it claw back its once prominent position in the processor world.
On the professional side of things, Intel also revealed seven pro-grade processors with the 'X' suffix: i7-9800X, i9-9820X, i9-9900X, i9-9920X, i9-9940X, i9-9960X and i9-9980XE.
Without slamming you with needless information, these chips start at eight core variants and go all the way up to 18 cores with a top clock speed of 4.5GHz. These come with hefty price tags - the Core i9-9980XE has a $1,979 price tag - but look to tackle AMD higher-end Ryzen Pro and Threadripper 2 CPUs which offer impressive multi-threaded performance for jobs like video rendering.
As such, the more mainstream CPUs look more targeted towards gaming and content creators as opposed to trying to pull professional duties at the same time. And for the time being, they look to b pretty competitive with equivalent AMD chips. But as is the case in CPU land, we suspect AMD will have something up its sleeve to retort with comes 2019. µ
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