Everything We Know About Intel 9000-Series CPUs So Far

The Intel 9000-series, aka Coffee Lake Refresh, is the last wave of processors to come out of the oven with the chipmaker's aging 14nm process node. The chips are still based on the Coffee Lake architecture but produced under the third iteration (14nm+++) of the 14nm process. As a result, they feature higher operating clocks and more cores.

Planning on upgrading to the 9000-series processors or build a new system around them? To help you get prepared, here's all the information we have about the new components thus far. 

Will I Need a New Motherboard?

It depends. If you own a motherboard based on one of the Intel 300-series chipsets (Z370, H370, B360, H310 or Q370), a BIOS update is all it takes to get a 9000-series processor up and running. Many major motherboard manufacturers have started rolling out new BIOS revisions for their motherboards since July in anticipation of the new processors. If your plan is to keep your existing motherboard, you should drop by your motherboard's support page to download the latest BIOS. 

Intel will also be releasing the high-end Z390 chipset to replace the previous flagship Z370 chipset. The Z390 chipset brings two major improvements to the table. It will come with native support for up to six USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports and integrated Wireless-AC 2x2 160MHz and Bluetooth 5 connectivity. If you're going down the new build route, expect to encounter a whole new army of Z390 motherboards on the market very soon. 

How Many Different Intel 9000-Series Processors Will There Be?

The Intel 9000-series family purportedly consists of 13 processors, ranging from the entry-level Core i3 SKU to the high-end Core i9. The Core i7-9700K and the i9-9900K are topping the headlines, with the former being the only Core i7 part to not have Hyper-Threading and the latter
being Intel's first ever mainstream eight core processor. The remaining 9000-series chips mainly offer faster clock speeds than their 8000-series counterparts.

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ModelCores / ThreadsBase FrequencyBoost FrequencyCacheTDP
Core i9-9900K8 / 163.6GHz5GHz (1 / 2 Core)4.8GHz (4 Core)4.7GHz (6 / 8 Core)16MB95W
Core i7-9700K8 / 83.6GHz4.9GHz (1 Core)4.8GHz (2 Core)4.7GHz (4 Core)4.6GHz (6 / 8 Core)12MB95W
Core i5-9600K6 / 63.7GHz4.6GHz (1 Core)4.5GHz (2 Core)4.4GHz (4 Core)4.3GHz (6 Core)9MB95W
Core i5-96006 / 63.1GHz4.5GHz9MB65W
Core i5-95006 / 63GHz4.3GHz9MB65W
Core i5-94006 / 62.9GHz4.1GHz9MB65W
Core i5-9400T6 / 61.8GHz3.4GHz9MB35W
Core i3-9300TBA (4/4)TBATBA6MB65W
Core i3-9300TTBA (4/4)TBATBA6MB35W
Core i3-91004 / 43.7GHz3.7GHz6MB65W
Core i3-9100TTBA (4/4)TBATBA6MB35W
Core i3-90004 / 43.7GHz3.7GHz6MB65W
Core i3-9000TTBA (4/4)TBATBA6MB35W

Do the Intel 9000-Series Processors Come With Solder?

According to our sources, overclocking enthusiasts can rejoice as the unlocked Core i9-9900K comes equipped with a soldered IHS (integrated heat spreader) like the glorious Sandy Bridge days. Several leaks have indicated that all 9000-series K CPUs will come with solder, but we haven't been able to confirm with an additional reputable source.

How Much Will the Intel 9000-Series Processors Cost?

Intel has not released official pricing information for the 9000-series processors. However, leading Canadian computer systems and IT hardware provider DirectDial.com has posted prices for the top three models. The Core i9-9900K goes for $520, while the Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K cost $400 and $275, respectively. The prices fall in line with those listed at various European retailers:

Note: Prices in the table below are without VAT (value-added tax).

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Core i9-9900K11658.33 Kč (~ $526.30)€ 432.59 (~ $503.17)€ 459.02 (~ $533.95)
Core i7-9700K9158.33 Kč (~ $413.44)€ 336.04 (~ $390.86)€ 357.38 (~ $415.72)
Core i5-9600K6241.66 Kč (~ $281.77)€ 229.29 (~ $266.70)€ 220.49 (~ $256.49)

When Will Intel Release the 9000-Series Processors?

Leaked roadmaps indicate that Intel is readying its 9000-series processors for the third quarter. The chipmaker itself vaguely stated during Computex that the processors will be out before the end of the year. The latest rumors seem to point to an October launch, but there are no guarantees.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Quaddro
    we have to glad, because due to competition, all of us get a better computing horse power these day..
    Not stuck for quad core consumer class processor anymore for high end gaming machine.
  • JamesSneed
    21295111 said:
    we have to glad, because due to competition, all of us get a better computing horse power these day..
    Not stuck for quad core consumer class processor anymore for high end gaming machine.

    To some degree for the 6 cores but for the 8 core it's going to have a huge premium which if you think about it isn't much of a change at all as we already had that for many years with the HEDT platform. We won't see any proper competition until Ryzen Zen2 on 7nm is for sale.
  • pyro411
    Now the major question is will the i9-9900k require the newer chipset or would it work without suffering too much of a performance or feature hit and would it be a worthwhile upgrade from the i7-8700k.
  • salgado18
    Suddenly HT is a premium feature: only the i9 has it.

    Why disable HT on every CPU, now that they have 4/6/8 core parts? Shouldn't all of them have it?

    Does it make sense that it is disabled to allow for faster clocks?
  • hendrickhere
    I'm pleasantly surprised that I'll be able to upgrade from the 8th gen to the 9th gen with just a BIOS update! I though Intel stopped ding that a while back. This is great news for the longevity of the system I build this past winter! I guess I should be thanking AMD for upping their game so much.
  • jeremyj_83
    The biggest question is will the i7 9 series be any faster than the 8 series....While it does gain 2 full cores, it loses 4 threads. This might be a time when the old is actually faster than the new.
  • Matt_550
    How many PCI lanes can they support? 16-20 isn't enough with today's storage game.
  • 1_rick
    The removal of HT is probably to mitigate Meltdown/L1TF/TLBleed/Foreshadow/etc.
  • 1_rick
    The i3-9100 and i3-9000 both show a top speed of 3.7GHz, same L3 cache & TDP. IIRC I've seen that before. Surely they're not both the same?
  • jdlawrence