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William George (Product Development)

Intel Announces New 9th Gen Core CPU Series

Written on October 8, 2018 by William George

9th Gen Intel Core Processors Announced

On October 8th, 2018 Intel officially announced the launch of new mainstream desktop processors, including the first Core i9 branded chip for this market segment. We are testing these processors now, and are excited about what we have found so far, but cannot publish performance data until October 19th.

What Are the New 9th Gen Intel Core Processor Models?

Intel is launching three desktop processors to start this generation off: Core i9 9900K, Core i7 9700K, and Core i5 9600K. They are all based on the same Coffee Lake architecture as the previous 8th Gen models and use the same 14nm manufacturing process, but feature increased core counts and clock speeds.

9th Gen Intel Core i9, i7, and i5 Processors

Core i9 9900K vs Core i7 9700K Specs

The Core i9 9900K and i7 9700K are the first mainstream CPUs from Intel with 8 cores. The main difference between them is that the 9900K has Hyperthreading while the 9700K does not. Both feature very high clock speeds as well, with single-core turbo boost reaching 5.0GHz on the 9900K and 4.9GHz on the 9700K.

9th Gen Intel Core Processor Specs Chart

When Will the Core i9 9900K and i7 9700K Be Available?

Intel is officially allowing pre-orders starting on October 8th, 2018, but reviews cannot be published until October 19th. Systems with these CPUs are not allowed to ship until that date. We are currently testing and qualifying these processors and will launch them alongside full performance articles on October 19th. Please contact us if you wish to place a pre-order.

Intel Core i9 9900K Processor Retail Packaging

Where Are Puget Systems Performance Articles?

We cannot publish any of the benchmark results we have gathered until October 19th, per Intel's release schedule. When that time comes, we will update this post with links to all of the applicable articles. We plan to publish articles covering performance in Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, PhotoScan, Pix4D, Cinema 4D, and V-Ray.

Tags: Intel, Core, i7, i9, 9700K, 9900K, Coffee, Lake, refresh, Z390
HÃ¥kon Broder Lund

Interesting times in the hardware world at the moment. About time things got shaken up a bit, and all thanks to AMD again being a serious threat to Intel. Same with the rumours of AMD releasing their Polaris 30 GPUs mid October.

Apart from high end products, what I do notice though is how mid range hardware is gradually getting more expensive than they used to be. Both in the GPU and CPU markeds. Hope the continued competition will change this.

Looking forward you your reviews. By far the best for content creators out there. Everyone focus on gaming which I couldn't care less about. And when they do rendering work they don't really push the program enough unlike you guys that show the difference between codecs and varies of effects on the codecs. Love you guys!

Posted on 2018-10-08 17:13:07

Would love to see a Premiere/Lightroom comparison with the 9900K and 9900X! I know there is a price difference, but even for the lower X series, I'm wondering if, for these applications, if higher single core clock speed on less cores is better than a higher core count at lower clock speeds.

Posted on 2018-10-08 17:16:38

Our i9 9900K articles are scheduled to be up on October 19th, so check back then to see! The i9 9900X and the rest of the X-series will be a bit later than that but I don't think Intel has publicly announced when benchmarks can be published.

Posted on 2018-10-08 17:21:53

I'm also curious if Puget will soon test and offer the X series chips. They look solid and prices not too crazy.

10, 12 cores @3.5 GHz base
14 cores @ 3.3Ghz base
16 cores @ 3.1Ghz base
18 cores @ 3.0GHz base (this one is too damn expensive at almost 2 grand but still #impressive )

Posted on 2018-10-08 23:48:59

We definitely will. I don't believe Intel has publicly released the actual launch date for those CPUs, but hopefully we will have testing results either at launch or soon after. It is going to be a busy end of year for us!

Posted on 2018-10-08 23:50:33
Alan Gordon

A month later and still no release date on the X series refresh, hopefully we know soon!

Posted on 2018-11-07 01:10:28

Hang in there a little longer :) I can't say when, but we will definitely have some performance data in the near future...

Posted on 2018-11-07 19:30:31
Ryan DeYoung

Man after this announcement im not sure where to go... I mostly use 3D applications like Maya, Arnold, ZBrush, Nuke etc (with occasional gaming like BF1) and was set on the 7940x - but now that this came out the 9900K looks amazing with those overclock numbers. 9920X looks awesome too and I like the price better than the 9940X. Plus the new, non X chips come on the 390 chipset with hardware fixes for Meltdown/Spectre where as the X299 chipset gets no update... Not sure where to go now. What do you guys think? I know its early, but its hard to tell without benchmarks.

Posted on 2018-10-09 03:34:05
Luca Pupulin

The new Skylake-X refresh CPUs don't impressed me much...I really expected a bump in maximum single core frequencies,at least 200 MHz,mainly due to the adoption of solder...and a lower price...

The i7 9800X doesn't make much sense to me...since the 9900K should be faster in multi-threaded applications (and of course in single-threaded one),
from leaked benchmarks it should be closer to the i9 7900X;

Unless you really need the AVX-512 instruction-set..,more pcie lanes and support for 128 GB of RAM,the 9900K takes the crown of the best CPU,price/performance wise,especially for a 3D freelancer (like me.... )
But of course the choice of a CPU over another,largely depends on the scale of your projects....

Posted on 2018-10-18 16:59:35

In your chart it says the i9 9900k has 24 PCI-E lanes - does this mean that this CPU would support 3 GPUs at x8 speed? (wondering for an Octane Render machine) Maybe this is a mistake though as on the intel ark site it says this CPU has 16 PCI-E lanes. Maybe its just me getting confused though!

Big fan of your articles, thank you, I've learnt a lot from them.

Posted on 2018-10-09 09:35:55

Also, I have seen this announced Asus WS Z390 Pro motherboard...

This says it can do 4 GPUs at x8 as it has a PLX chip. This sounds great for a 4 GPU octane render setup - do you agree?

Posted on 2018-10-09 10:53:16

Potentially - PCI-E 3.0 x8 is usually plenty of bandwidth for GPU rendering. However, with just a single GPU, we found that Intel's mainstream CPUs (like the 8700K) are generally a little slower in Octane than the Core X processors... which in turn are sometimes a little slower than AMD's Threadripper chips. I don't know for sure if that extends out to full quad GPU configurations, and we don't have motherboards for the mainstream Intel chips with that many slots to test on, but even if it is a couple percent slower than other platforms it may still be a great value :)

Posted on 2018-10-09 16:33:18

Thanks for your reply William. I can't work out if PLX chip motherboards are good for octane or not. But you use the Asus WS C422 in your 4GPU system and this has PLX chips in it, so maybe it is an ok solution to more PCI-E lanes. i9 9900K has 16 lanes, where as W-2125 has 48 lanes. Do you think the i9 9900K with a PLX Z390 motherboard with 4GPUs is a silly idea, and instead a normal Z390 motherboard would be better and just have 2GPUs? Thanks!

Posted on 2018-10-10 14:27:41

It isn't so much that PLX chips are good or bad, as whether there is enough overall bandwidth available to the cards to keep from limiting their performance in a given application. My understanding is that PLX chips don't actually create more bandwidth, they just allow sharing or very fast switching of PCI-E lanes back and forth from one device to another. So if you have 16 lanes split between four cards, with two pairs each sharing 8 lanes, then any individual card could have 8 lanes to communicate with the computer - if the other card wasn't using anything at the time. If they are all trying to communicate at the same time, though, they would effectively have 4 lanes of bandwidth per card. Now is that enough for Octane? I am not 100% sure - but because this came up in your comment yesterday, we are testing it now :)

Posted on 2018-10-10 16:20:16

Amazing! Obviously very interested to hear results from your testing when they are ready.
Thanks for the further explanation about PLX, yeah that makes sense. It is my understanding that with Octane and Redshift the PCIe lane speed (x16/x8/x4) affects the speed of the scene being loaded onto the card, but when it is actually rendering it doesn't use much bandwidth, so maybe a bit of a hit of performance at the start, but then fine when rendering through lots of frames.

Posted on 2018-10-10 16:30:21

That is my understanding as well, and actually makes our testing (using OctaneBench) of somewhat limited value. The scenes in OctaneBench are not all that huge, so if the impact of PCI-E lanes is mostly on how fast the scene data is loaded into the card then we may not see as large of an impact as someone doing more intensive work would. Of course, more complex scenes would also take longer to actually render... so maybe the percent of total time spent loading the scene data would be roughly the same either way? Hard to know for sure :/

Posted on 2018-10-10 16:36:48

We got the 24 lanes directly from an Intel pre-publication document... but I was surprised by it, since that is a 50% increase from the 8000-series Coffee Lake chips (which should be the same core architecture). It is entirely possible that the Intel document was wrong, and if their Ark website is now updated (it was not yet available when this was written, in the days leading up to the launch announcement) I will update the chart to match the Ark.

Posted on 2018-10-09 16:30:56

Nice, 9900K will probably become the new king in After Effects! But for those of us doing both 3d modeling and After Effects, the limit of 8 cores are still a drawback, and so is the maximum of 64GB of ram. Really looking forward to the benchmarks from Puget, especially when the x-serie comes out. To see how the new 9th gen x-serie will hold up to 9900K in the Adobe Suite. And also how the x-serie perform vs. threadripper. Personally I decided not to upgrade from 1950x to 2950x based on Pugets tests, as it seems AMD and Adobe still doesn't play well together - and instead wait for these chips. Intel claims their new x-serie will perform up to 108% faster than threadripper in Premiere - it will be interesting to see if that's all true.

Posted on 2018-10-10 05:37:00

If I may, I humbly request benchmarks for Solidworks as well.

Posted on 2018-10-10 19:21:09

We won't have Solidworks (or Revit, Inventor, etc) performance data at the 9900K's launch - but I would like to get that info as well. It will take some added time, though, because newer versions of those applications will require updates to our benchmark tools. There are also upcoming Quadro RTX cards from NVIDIA, and it may make sense to tackle both the new CPUs and GPUs at the same time for these applications.

Posted on 2018-10-10 19:27:25

Thanks for the usual, insanely quick replies.

Will be looking forward to all the benchmarks.

Posted on 2018-10-10 19:31:00
Luca Pupulin

Hi William,
Did you plan to test out the new CPUs as well as the upcoming Quadro RTX cards with Maya and/or Houdini?
Your current benchmarks for Maya are quite outdated...


Posted on 2018-10-18 16:52:10

We would like to put together a better benchmark for Maya, and we've talked about adding Houdini, but one of the tricks we run into with these applications is that we are not artists and don't have access to really complex, real-world models and scenes with which to test. Right now we also have our hands pretty full with new hardware launches and software updates as well, so it may be some time, but those things are on our wish list :)

Posted on 2018-10-18 19:18:42
Luca Pupulin

I definitely know that...
benchmarking a 3D software is a complex task;
The only available comprehensive benchmark for Maya,SPECapc for Maya 2017, is not free for system builders... :-(

Posted on 2018-10-19 20:09:56

Yeah, and we've looked at that - but SPECapc isn't kept up to date very well. For example, the current Maya test is for 2017... but 2018 is now available. And for 3ds Max, they are still on version 2015! (3 major revisions old!) If they kept up to date better, we might be willing to pay for the benchmarks - but as it stands now, I think we'll have to roll our own when we have a chance.

Posted on 2018-10-19 20:16:29

Hello, I'm new to this forum, and am wondering is this a forum where we can ask questions ? ( I don't see a new thread or subject option ) I would really appreciate help with some info about my current system and upgrading to a newer Nvidia card and CPU. Lots of new stuff out now, and my system used to be fast but is now slow. I'm have 64 Gb of DDR3 ram installed, an Nvidia GTX 680 video card with 2 Gb ram on it ( it used to be a beast but I guess no longer ) also the CPU I'm using is an i7-3930K, system bootup drive is an SSD, and I use Ironwolf drives for my data drives. I wish to upgrade the CPU and the graphics card, but see that the 2080 series is just not the way to go ( so what would be the best upgrade at this point that would give my workflow a boost ? ) Thank you for your time, if I posted this in a place that is not allowed, I'm sorry about this.

Posted on 2018-10-10 23:00:23

This isn't really a forum, I'm afraid - it is a comments section that we have on each of the articles we post. You are welcome to ask questions, but we would prefer if they are related to the topic of the article (so as to make sense when folks scroll down and read the comments section).

If you work with specific applications that we write about, you might try and post questions about hardware upgrades on a matching article. We cover a lot of popular programs, and you are more likely to find other folks who know or use your software if you post in a matching article's comments. If you are looking to purchase a whole new computer, though, you could also call or email our consulting team. They would be happy to work with you, discuss your applications and goals, and help you get exactly the right set of hardware for your needs and budget :)

Posted on 2018-10-10 23:23:14

Good morning William, ok thank you for the info. Please feel free to delete my question and I'll try and find a correct thread to get my question in there. Thank you. Great "forum" haha, so much info here.

Posted on 2018-10-11 14:05:04

Can you let me know what RAM speed you have been using for your i9 9900K benchmarking?
(I'm finding out there are lots of options, and would love to know what RAM speed is good for workstation use, rather than gaming)

Posted on 2018-10-12 09:51:43

As listed in the chart above, the official supported speed from Intel for these CPUs is DDR4 2666MHz. That is what we are using, and in general we stick to the speed of memory that the CPU manufacturer officially supports. This can be tricky on some other CPUs, especially from AMD, where the supported memory speeds are different depending on how many memory modules you use and whether they are single or double rank... but since we want customers to be able to max-out the amount of RAM (either up front or later on) we usually test and build systems with the speed that is supported when all memory slots are used with the largest compatible memory module capacity. For the 9900K, then, we are testing with 4 x 16GB modules at 2666MHz.

Posted on 2018-10-12 17:57:28

Many thanks for your reply William. DDR4 2666MHz ram it is. Was getting confused by gamers on internet forums saying about faster ram. And that's great advise to get largest compatible memory module capacity so can upgrade to more later if needed. I'm in UK, so unfortunately can't buy a Puget Systems PC, so working out how to build my own.

Posted on 2018-10-15 09:00:01

I'm really looking forward to that Lightroom article.

I could see myself replacing my 8700K with a 9900K.

Posted on 2018-10-13 05:04:55

Could you let me know what CPU cooler you used for your i9 9900K benchmarks? I'm trying to work out if a Corsair H60 or a Noctua NH-U12DX i4 would be better for my computer which will have two GPUs. I wouldn't be overclocking, and I'd like it to be quiet when not working hard. Was going to get Corsair H60 as that is what you use in your GPU builds, but then read the Noctua was nice and quiet. Thank you for your previous replies.

Posted on 2018-10-17 14:23:56

We are using a Noctua NH-U12S. It is the same cooler we used on the i7 8700K and other processors from that generation, since these share the same socket and cooler mounting system. The NH-U12DX i4 is a similar design, but built to mount on the larger Core X processors (socket 2066 instead of 1151).

If you are not overclocking, and will have decent airflow through your chassis, I personally prefer the Noctua coolers for quieter operation. You might want to consider what GPUs you have planned, though, and whether they will be pumping heat back into your system (which would in turn warm the air before it gets to your CPU cooler) or if they are models that will exhaust heat out of the computer.

Posted on 2018-10-17 16:42:58

Humm yeah its tricky to know what's best... I will be using two x GTX 980 ti (not blower style unfortunately) to start with and these kick out loads of heat, so as you say it is this warmed air that will be cooling the CPU. I'm wondering if this means I need to get a 280mm radiator CPU cooler, so it is bringing in cooler air from outside the case. Or maybe since I won't be overclocking it something like a Noctua NH-D15S would be fine. If you were building a system with two dual fan GPUs would you use corsair AIO radiators or air Noctua cooled heat sync? Thanks!

Posted on 2018-10-18 17:04:46

Hmm, that is a tough one. If your chassis can be set up so that an AIO radiator would have the fan on it pulling in fresh, cool air from outside the chassis that might be the best choice - but that can also bring in dust and clog the radiator over time, if there isn't a filter over that intake fan. Otherwise, I would maybe try and tough it out with a big heatsink and fan - especially since that will end up being quieter if / when you switch away from the dual fan video cards. Either way, make sure you have a balanced airflow setup with both good intake and exhaust to move that GPU heat out quickly :)

Posted on 2018-10-18 19:28:52

Just wanted to say thanks so much for all these amazing replies. Hard building a PC when there are infinite options! Hope these replies help someone else as well.

Posted on 2018-10-19 16:51:18
Salih Basoglu

Hi William,

When do you post the 9900K benchmark of Premiere Pro CC. You had promised today??

Posted on 2018-10-19 10:51:38

Some of our articles are live now, including Premiere Pro, and another batch will be posted around 9am Pacific time :)

Posted on 2018-10-19 15:49:40