We all know Core i3, i5 and i7 – kind of like 2-4-6-cylinder engines. The Core i9 is a true V8 with turbo and superchargers. And like a V8 it consumers a lot of juice!

The Core i9 is not for everyone unless you want Intel’s most powerful processor. It targets gaming, video/still rendering, CAD/vector, and content creators.

At the time of writing Intel had the 8th generation Core-i9-8xxxX desktop series with base frequencies of 2.6GHz to 3.3Ghz and turbo frequencies of up to 4.4GHz. These have from 10 to 18 physical cores, double that in threads and support 44 PCIe lanes. They consume up to 165W and prices range from about US$1000-2000.

There is also a mobile 2.9/4.8GHz version Core-i9-8950HK, 2.99GHz, 6 core and a 45W TDP although that is still a heavy load for a battery to take. This has a temperature limiter. If the CPU is below 50° it can boost to 4.8GHz.

Back to 9th generation Core i9

The new 9th generation Core i9-9xxxX  series (i7-9800X, i9-9820X, i9-9900X, i9-9920X, i9-9940X, i9-9960X and i9-9980XE) are coming in Q4, 2018 offering updated versions of the Core-i9-8xxxX series as they still use the same Skylake-X 14nm dies. Prices are much the same too.

What people are excited about is the new Core i9-9900K, (not an X series) 3.6/5GHz, 8-core, with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630, 95W TPD and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Price is around half at US$500.

These both support up to 64GB of LPDDR4-2666 RAM (2x32GB), [email protected] internal/external displays, HVEC and VP9 10-bit colour decode, HDR and Rec. 2020 Wide Colour Gamut, and Intel Optane memory.

Importantly the ‘K’ stands for unlocked, so overclockers rejoice  – at your risk! There will also be 9th Generation Core i5-9600K and i7-9700K with up to 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

Core i9

Intel claims the Core i9-9900K gives a 10% improvement of the 8th generation Core-19 in FPS games and up to 220fps on three of the most popular PC games titles.

Core X Xeon series coming too

The new Intel Core X-series processors offer scalable options ranging from 8 to 18 cores with premium performance and platform technologies that help creators turn their imaginations into realities. With up to 18 cores, 36 threads, 24.75 MB Intel Smart Cache, and up to 68 platform PCIe lanes, Intel Core X-series processor-based systems enable creators to quickly and simultaneously record, encode, edit, render and transcode.

Anand Srivatsa, vice president and general manager, Desktop, Systems and Channel, within the Client Computing Group at Intel said:

Our goal is to deliver leadership performance across all computing segments and product lines. Today’s announcements underscore our ability to do exactly that, including, hands-down, the world’s best processor for gaming. Whether a gamer, a creator or an expert using the most advanced workstation applications possible, Intel and our partners are focused on delivering balanced platforms with real-world leadership performance and robust capabilities that exceed their needs.