Intel's 9th generation processors are here to outperform the competition

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An excited Intel held a livestream earlier this morning to formally introduce its initial 9th generation Core processors consisting of three SKUs: Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K, and Core i5-9600K. For one thing, the Intel Core i7-9700K might be the company's most controversial chip in years due to its lack of hyper-threading - otherwise known as Intel's buzzword for parallel computing for heavy multi-tasking. The Core i7-9700K is an eight-core / 8-thread CPU, with a 3.6GHz base clock and 4.9GHz Turbo, with just 12MB of L3 (1.5MB per core) for $374, while the Core i5-9600K is a six-core / six-thread chip with a 3.7GHz base clock, 4.6GHz Turbo, and the same 12MB of L3 (1.5MB per core) for $295. Comparatively, the Intel Core i7-8700K starts at a tick higher 3.7GHz base frequency but can't go almost as fast with its maximum 4.9GHz boost clock. A Core i9-9980XE helped one of Intel's test machines transcode a 4K video file (the same one PCMag uses for its own CPU benchmarks) in 27 minutes using the Handbrake app, compared with 40 minutes for a system running the previous-gen Core i9-7980XE. The i9-9900K runs at 3.6 GHz, but it can be speed-boosted to a full 5 GHz. And according to the results, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X is noticeably faster than what Intel is claiming. The Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K are Intel's first mainstream 8-core processors.

Meanwhile, Intel's 14nm has reportedly become the most profitable line of hardware the company has ever manufactured, though that's likely in part due to the necessity of using it as long as Intel has. There's also a 16MB cache and dual-channel DDR4 RAM support.

A 28-core Xeon was also announced. All these new processors come with hardware fixes for the Meltdown Variant 3 and L1 Terminal Fault issues.

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Even the 9th generation designation is a sign of Intel's excitement (or marketing savvy, you decide). Both the Z370 and the Z390 will support the new 9th generation CPUs (with a BIOS update for the Z370) and the updates are minor, as you get more native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and integrated 802.11ac WiFi.

That's because Intel's truly new chips have been significantly delayed.