Today, Intel announced the 9th generation of computer processors: the $529.99 Core i9-9900K, the $399.99 Core i7-9700K, and the $279.99 Core i5-9600K. These processors are similar to the previous generation in that they will work with Coffee Lake and Z370 platforms, but they will also be compatible with Intel’s new Z390 motherboard chipset. The processors are available for pre-order now at several retailers and will be widely released on October 19. You can pre-order the Core i5 and Core i7 on Amazon, but you’ll need to go to B&H or Best Buy for the Core i9. (The i9 will be available on Amazon, but it released prematurely last week and the page has not been restored since.)
The Core i9-9900K is the flagship model from this lineup. It includes 8 cores and 16 threads, and it’s the only one of the three with hyperthreading. It has a base frequency of 3.6 GHz rated at 95W TDP, and it improves on previous generations with a turbo boost up to 5 GHz on two cores instead of one.
The i7-9700K will feature eight cores without hyperthreading, giving it 3.6 GHz at base and a turbo boost of 4.9 GHz on a single core. The 9700K will have two more cores than the i7-8700K with 1.5MB L3 cache per core. The i5-9600K has six cores with no hyperthreading, is a direct replacement to the i5-8600K, and will feature faster frequencies.
These processors are a direct competitor to AMD’s Ryzen 7 line released earlier this year. The Ryzen 7 2700X is the i9-9900K’s closest equivalent, but it’s also significantly less expensive. Early benchmarks reveal the 9900K is actually a lot faster, but whether that boost is worth another $200 is up to you.
One of the bigger changes with these processors, although it’s mostly irrelevant in regards to performance, is the packaging. This will be the first generation to feature new packaging in quite some time as Intel experiments with a dodecahedron of sorts for the 9th generation lineup.
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