Intel held a hardware event to reveal its new 9th generation desktop CPUs today. The chips range from the surprisingly reasonable to the absurdly expensive. Thankfully, the cheaper options are just as exciting as the more stroke inducing ones.
The most exciting of the mainstream 9th generation CPUs is the new i9-9900K. The 9900K is an 8-core chip with 16 threads and a base frequency of 3.6 GHz. It can Turbo Boost up to a whopping 5 GHz. Intel is pitching it as “the best gaming processor in the world”. Just to add to the garishness of the product, its “box” is in the shape of a dodecahedron. It looks nice, but it’ll be a hassle for anyone to shove into a closet.
Intel also announced the 9th generation i5 and i7 CPUs, or the 9600K and 9700K respectively. Interestingly, these CPUs don’t feature Hyper-Threading. This is understandable as the new i5 has 6 real cores while the new i7 has 8, meaning you still get as many effective cores as the their predecessors. This change might contribute to the surprisingly affordable price range for these CPUs. As for their speed, the 9600K has a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz, boostable up to 4.6. The 9700K has a base speed of 3.6 GHz, boostable up to 4.9.
In addition to their mainstream CPUs, Intel gave their Core X-Series chips some love as well. They announced one new i7 X-Series, five new i9 X-Series’, and one new i9 Extreme X-Series chip. These chips range from the 8 core/16 thread i7 to the 18 core/36 thread i9 Extreme. These chips aren’t meant to be big sellers, but to cater to those who a deep desire to show off and even deeper pockets.
Finally, Intel announced a new Xeon for professionals. Unlike past Xeon chips, this one is unlocked so you can overclock it to cut down render times a bit. The Xeon W-3175X has a base clock speed of 3.1 GHz and Turbo Boosts up to 4.3. It has 28 cores and 56 threads.
Intel says these are the first chips to feature the hardware security fixes for the Meltdown vulnerabilities, giving you a bit of peace of mind. All of these chips are still built on the 14nm architecture. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for the anticipated advancements on that front.
The 9600K, 9700K, and 9900K mainstream chips will retail for $262, 373, and $488 respectively. The X-Series chips will set you back significantly more, ranging from $589 for the lowest end i7 to an eye watering $1,979 for the i9 Extreme. The new Xeon does not have a price point set yet, but you can assume it’ll be out of your price range.