For the ninth generation, the improvements essentially boil down to adding more cores while keeping the clock speeds and power consumption mostly the same as before. The Core i5 versions are six-core designs while the i7 and i9 jump to eight cores.
Under these two processors is the 6C/6T chip in the new Core i5-9600K, with 9MB of L3 cache and a higher base CPU clock of 3.7GHz. All three of these processors will apparently work on all Z300-series motherboards, so those who bought into Z370 past year will be able to drop a new CPU in after a BIOS update.
The company has said that the Core i9-9900K is "the best gaming processor in the world". The Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K are Intel's first mainstream 8-core processors.
The six-core Core i5-9600K and 8-core Core i7-9700K will also be launching the same day. This processor has base and boost speeds of 3.6GHz and 4.9GHz, with a 12MB cache. In dual-mode we have 4.8GHz, while 4-core mode hits 4.7GHz and 6/8-core mode it'll reach 4.6GHz.
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The Z390 platform will continue to feature the same "up to 40" PCI Express lanes that we've seen for several generations, with 16 lanes being directly connected to the CPU, and the rest coming from the chipset which is still connected via a DMI 3.0 link. The 1-core CPU boost is 4.6GHz, 2-core at 4.5GHz, 4-core at 4.4GHz and 6-core at 4.3GHz.
All of these new 9th Gen processors have hardware mitigation against Meltdown Variant 3, the security bug that we heard so much about back in January.
You can preorder the new chips now and Intel will start delivering them on October 19. Intel's 9th Gen Core-X series and K-series also finally switch from TIM to Solder, which should help with thermals quite a bit. There's also a new Xeon chip, the Xeon W-3175X, for use in workstation PCs to support highly specialized hardware and software such as ECC memory.
Unveiled on Monday, the new chips come in three flavors.
Even the 9th generation designation is a sign of Intel's excitement (or marketing savvy, you decide).