Intel’s Flagship 9th Generation Core i7-9700K To Pack 8 Cores, 16 Threads – Core i5 Upgrade To 6 Cores, 12 Threads and Core i3 Gets Quad Cores With 8 Threads

Nov 27, 2017

Based on the recent Intel leaks, Chinese sources are further reporting through information acquired from motherboard makers in Taiwan that Intel's next generation, 9th generation flagship will pack more cores than the current fastest mainstream processor.

Intel's Core i7-9700K 9th Generation Flagship To Feature 8 Cores, 16 Threads - Core i5 and Core i3 Get Upgrades Too

There was no doubt that Intel's 9th generation mainstream processors weren't going to receive a core bump in the coming year. There were leaked slides already hinting that and next year means Intel will be getting enough time to tweak their process and architecture design to accommodate more cores.

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Straight from HKEPC, who were able to get information out of Taiwan motherboard makers, it has been rumored that the 9th generation flagship which will be known as the Intel Core i7-9700K, will pack 8 cores and 16 threads. There's no mention of what process technology the new processors will be utilizing but I believe it's an updated version of the current 14nm++ process. There's also a interesting rumor regarding the Core i5 and Core i3 series of processors too.

According to the same source, Intel's next generation Core i5 chips will be packing a 6 core and 12 thread design. Currently, all Intel Core i5 series chips come with 6 cores and 6 threads while the i7 lineup features 6 cores and 12 threads. The Core i3 series on the other hand will be getting multi-threading support too which means we are looking at 4 cores and 8 threads compared to 4 cores and 4 threads that are available on Coffee Lake Core i3 chips right now.

Intel's 9th Generation Unlocked SKUs Specs:

Processor NameIntel Core i5-8600KIntel Core i5-9600KIntel Core i7-8700KIntel Core i7-9700K
Core FamilyCoffee Lake 8th GenCoffee Lake Refresh 9th Gen?Coffee Lake 8th GenCoffee Lake Refresh 9th Gen?
Cores / Threads6/66/126/128/16
Clock Speeds (Base)3.6 GHzTBA3.7 GHzTBA
Clock Speeds (Boost)4.3 GHzTBA4.7 GHzTBA
L3 Cache9 MB12 MB12 MB16 MB
Price$257 USTBA$359 USTBA

Intel's 9th Generation Core Family Goes Against AMD's Ryzen 2 aka Pinnacle Ridge Processors

It's easy to tell that Coffee Lake was an immediate and rushed response to AMD's Ryzen, but with 9th generation, Intel will have a good amount of time to release a strong competitor. The AMD Pinnacle Ridge family is expected to debut next year and will be using tweaked Zen cores for improved performance leverage and greater efficiency. There's no mention of core bump at the moment but AMD might take that path since the core wars between Intel and AMD are on the rise in both mainstream and HEDT segments.

The Intel 9th generation family will be supported on the Z390 or 300-series platform while AMD is expected to launch a refresh line of motherboards but they will keep compatibility for the new CPU family on existing motherboards too.

Expected Intel 300-Series Kaby Lake Refresh and Cannon Lake PCH Features:

Chipset NameCoffee Lake S (KBL-R) PCH / Z370 PlatformCoffee Lake S (CNL-H) PCH / 300 Series (Z390/H370, B360, Q370, H310)
Process Node22nm14nm
Processor8C, 6C, 4C (6 Consumer SKUs at Launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Consumer Only
8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full corporate/consumer SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Memory Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Corporate/vPro & Consumer
MemoryUp To DDR4-2666 (Native)Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)
Media, Display & AudioDP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Integrated Dual-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
I/O & ConnectivityIntegrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
Integrated USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Integrated Intel Wireless-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Integrated SDXC 3.0 Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
StorageNext Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Next Gen Intel Optane memory
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
SecurityIntel SGX 1.0Intel SGX 1.0
Power ManagementC8 SupportC10 & S0ix Support for Modern Standby

The Ryzen 7 lineup will be pitted against the Core i7, Ryzen 5 will go against the Core i5 in the more budget segment where the real battle will take place. The entry level and value segment will be consumed by Core i3 and Ryzen 3 chips which will be aiming the sub-$200 US market. It will be an interesting competition next year in the desktop and laptop segment where AMD is making a huge resurgence after years of silence.