Intel today announced its first 9th-generation Core processors, and as you might expect, they are high-end parts aimed squarely at gamers.
“The Intel Core i9-9900K is the best gaming processor in the world,” the firm stated at its press event. “Period.”
Intel launched its first 8th-generation Core processors last year with U-series mobile chips that were really just 7th-generation parts with the double the normal number of cores. But it followed that up with desktop chips in October that bumped the core count to 6.
This time around, Intel is starting with overclockable, high-end K-series parts aimed at the desktop PC market, especially gaming PCs. As before, there will be Core i5, i7, and i9 variants of the 9th-generation K-series CPUs. The Core i5 versions are six-core designs while the i7 and i9 jump to eight cores. The i9-9900K runs at 3.6 GHz, but it can be speed-boosted to a full 5 GHz.
Also new: These chips are the first to include hardware fixes for some variants of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.
You can preorder the new chips now and Intel will start delivering them on October 19. The Core i5-9600K will cost $262, the Core i7-9700K is $373, and the Core i9-9900K is $488.
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. For example, the Core i9-9980XE will offer 18 cores (and 36 threads) with a maximum turbo-boost speed of 4.5 GHz for about $1980. And new Xeon workstation parts—with up to 28 cores and 56 threads—will debut in December.
That said, expect shortages: Intel recently warned that supplies of PC chips, especially for the lucrative gaming market, could be “tight” through the end of the year.
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