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

035-intel-performance-unleashed-2018-cnet

"It's the best gaming processor in the world, period", said Anand Srivatsa, Intel's vice president and general manager in the Client Computing Group.

So, these new 9th generation parts bring more cores (at the upper end), better cooling (in theory), and faster clockspeeds compared to Intel's 8th generation lineup. 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. This eight-core CPU has Hyper-Threading activated for a total of 16-threads of computational power.

Intel hopes the new X-Series processors change that behavior, at least for creative types, by offering between eight and 18 cores, up to 68 PCIe lanes and caches up to 24.75 MB. This processor ships in a new dodecahedron-shaped box which Intel thinks buyers will want to show off. Similarly, video editing with Adobe Premiere is up to 34 percent and 97 percent faster respectively, as per Intel's own testing. This processor has base and boost speeds of 3.6GHz and 4.9GHz, with a 12MB cache. The 1-core CPU boost is 4.6GHz, 2-core at 4.5GHz, 4-core at 4.4GHz and 6-core at 4.3GHz. Like their 8th generation predecessors, these CPUs will offer up to 40 PCI-E lanes. 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.

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Also new: These chips are the first to include hardware fixes for some variants of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.

Despite the launch of a new chipset in the form of Z390, these new 9th generation chipsets will maintain compatibility with all previous 300-series Intel chipsets, such as Z370 through updates that will be made available by motherboard manufacturers. 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. That latter point is welcome news for enthusiasts who have criticized Intel for using lower quality grease for the past few generations.

Update: Sharp-eyed readers confirmed something I'd missed - Intel's slides do note that 9th Generation CPUs are protected at the same level as Intel's Whiskey Lake.

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