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

Update: These models have been going in and out of stock at Amazon all week, but as of right now, they're all available to pre-order. Don't miss your opportunity!

Today, Intel announced the 9th generation of computer processors: the $529.99 Core i9-9900K (opens in new tab), the $399.99 Core i7-9700K (opens in new tab), and the $279.99 Core i5-9600K (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab), Core i7 (opens in new tab), and Core i9 (opens in new tab) on Amazon, but you can also find them all at other retailers like B&H (opens in new tab) or Best Buy (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) with 1.5MB L3 cache per core. The i5-9600K has six cores with no hyperthreading, is a direct replacement to the i5-8600K (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Pre-order at Amazon (opens in new tab)

John Levite
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J.D. Levite has been in the deals game since 2012. He has posted daily deals at Gizmodo, The Wirecutter, The Sweethome, and now covers deals for Android Central, iMore, and Windows Central. He was there for the first Prime Day and has braved the full force of Black Friday. If you cut him, he bleeds savings. But don't try it for real. That's a metaphor.

  • With no hyperthreading unless you get the i9. Probably still riddled with Spectre vulnerabilities. Intel can keep that trash.
  • Found the Ryzen fanboy
  • I seriously don't understand why they would take out hyperthreading. Anyone have any explanations?
  • Intel strategy meeting: CEO: "How can we increase profit margins and overall revenue with the Core line?" Ex-Product Manager: "Add more cores. Increase specs of top-end CPUs!" New Product Manager: "Take away features of existing CPUs and keep them at the same price. Push people toward the more expensive ones!"
  • No one knows for sure, but I've seen a few theories put forward: Security reasons. There are still a lot of security vulnerabilities with hyperthreading, like Spectre that the other commentor mentioned. Bad PR. Intel is taking the majority of the hits on things like the security vulnerabilities and probably just want to assuage fears. Keeping product lines linear going forward. Don't want older lesser core processors with hyperthreading stepping on toes of newer generations, resulting in lesser sales. In that same vein - keeping hyperthreading in the higher-end CPUs makes them more appealing to enthusiasts.
  • They didnt. They just renamed stuff.
    Before the top end (i7) had hyperthreading, mid (i5) didn't. Now top (i9) has it, high-mid (i7) doesn't.
    I mean there's probably more to it, but I'm just saying it's not that much of a change.
  • Another 14+++++++++?
  • Maybe they think that the performance is solid as it is
  • I hear you, you feel like your losing something over the last gen but your really not. People forget a HT core is not a real core and only gives a 25% boost per actual core. So really my 4/8 i7 is the equivalent of having 5 full cores. Looking at it that way getting an i7 with 8 full CPU cores is a real boost. I still want that i9 though just so I can see all them cores in taskmgr.
  • 😂
  • 8 true cores is better than 4 physical and 4 virtual. Overall better per-core performance probably. We'll have to wait for benchmarks for real-world numbers
  • ... Right after I buy the 8th Gen i7.
  • Take it back
  • I bet even the 9900K won't have 64 PCIe lanes, which means possibly only one GPU at x16, and maybe one M.2 SSD from the CPU, the rest will have to go through the chipset. Not everything is about clock speed. Will it support quad channel memory is another question
  • The X series has up to 68 lanes, and the K series has "up to 40" -- Not sure why you think you need 64, as 40 should be more than enough for dual GPUs, one m.2 SSD using 4 lanes and 4 more lanes for everything else (which is plenty)
  • And more: Again, the X series supports 4 channels of DDR4, K series 2 channels. It sounds like you want the X series processors and not the K, which are meant for "mainstream" builds.
  • The only benefit is to push the prices of 6 cores 12 threads CPUs slightly cheaper. For my work, the older CPUs with 12 threads are better than the latest 8 cores 8 threads CPUs.
  • Guaranteed to be in the $4999 Surface Studio once it’s become “last generation”. Surface Studio 6?