Intel References 9000-Series Chips Under 8th Gen Branding on Microcode Guidance Page

Intel inadvertently listed its new 9000-series processors on its Microcode Update Guidance and 8th generation specifications documents. Confusingly, this indicates the 9000-series processors are part of the 8th gen family.

The microcode guidance document provides a list of processors that have received patches for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, but lately, it has also included unreleased models.

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Intel 6+2 ProcessorsCacheCoresCore Freq. (base/boost GHz) Graphics CoresGraphics Freq (base/boost GHz)DDR4 MT/sTDPSocket
Core i5-94009MB62.9 / 4.120.35 / 1.05 266665W1151
Core i5-95009MB63 / 4.320.35 / 1.1266665W1151
Core i5-96009MB63.1 / 4.520.35 / 1.15266665W1151
Core i5-9600K9MB63.7 / 4.520.35 / 1.15266665W1151
Core i5-9400T9MB61.8 / 3.420.35 / 1.05266635W1151
Core i5-84009MB62.8 / 4.020.35 / 1.05266665W1151
Core i5-85009MB63 / 4.120.35 / 1.1266665W1151
Core i5-86009MB63.1 / 4.320.35 / 1.15266665W1151
Core i5-8600K9MB63.6 / 4.320.35 / 1.15266665W1151

Like Intel's current products, the 9000-series Core i5 processors fall into the 6+2 lineup, which means they come with six CPU cores and GT2 graphics. Intel listed the 9000-series processors under the Coffee Lake S family, so they are destined for the mainstream desktop segment.

The processors drop into the LGA 1151 interface, but we aren't sure if they will be compatible with current-gen Z370 motherboards. Aside from minor adjustments to the base and boost frequencies, the Core i5 9000-series processors are strikingly similar to their 8000-series counterparts. It is possible that Intel has made other adjustments, such as adding Indium solder between the heat spreader and die. The documents list six physical CPU cores but do not indicate if Hyper-Threading is enabled.

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Intel 4+2  ProcessorsCacheCoresCore Freq. (base/boost GHz) Graphics CoresGraphics Freq (base/boost GHz)DDR4 MT/sTDPSocket
Core i3-91006MB43.7 / 3.720.35 / 1.1240065W1151
Core i3-90006MB43.7 / 3.720.35 / 1.1240065W1151
Core i3-81006MB43.6 / 3.620.35 / 1.1240065W1151

The new Core i3 models are 4+2, meaning they come equipped with four CPU cores and GT2 graphics. Curiously, Intel lists the same specifications for the Core i3-9100 and i3-9000 in its official specifications document, which might be a data entry error. Intel does not have a comparable previous-gen processor, so we'll have to wait for more information.

Intel listed the Core i5 and Core i3 9000-series processors on its microcode update document, which means they will not come with the in-silicon fixes for Spectre and Meltdown that the company announced will arrive this year. As such, these processors will suffer from many of the same performance reductions we've seen with Intel's current Coffee Lake processors.

Intel's Core i7, and the rumored eight-core Core i9, are conspicuously absent from the list. This might indicate that those processors will be the first models with in-silicon mitigations, or that Intel doesn't have microcode-based mitigations prepared for the Core i7 and i9 models yet. Intel's Core i9 processors are rumored to come with eight cores, which necessitates a new die design, so they are the likely inflection point for the new silicon-based mitigations.

Also, these processors will not come with a new microarchitecture. Instead, they will come with the Coffee Lake design. Intel's 8000-series processors currently include processors built on the 14nm+, 14nm++ and 10nm manufacturing processes. Intel has officially stated that its 10nm process is delayed until 2019, so it's safe to assume that the new Coffee Lake S models will use either the 14nm++ process or yet another refined iteration (14nm+++).

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Row 0 - Cell 0 CacheCoresCore Freq. (base/boost GHz)Graphics CoresGraphics Freq (base/boost GHz)DDR4 MT/sTDPSocket
Core i5-8650K9MB63.7 / 4.520.35 / 1.15266695W1151
Core i5-86509MB63.1 / 4.520.35 / 1.15266695W1151

Intel also listed the Core i5-8650K and Core i5-8650, which are 8000-series processors that have yet to come to market.

The document lists all of the new processors as in production, so the launch is imminent. Intel hasn't issued a formal announcement for the new processors, but we've reached out for comment.

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

    9700k is a 8core chip 9900k 12core
  • hannibal
    Most likely the patch to those i9 prosssors just is not ready yet. The architecture is same so the silicon repair should be in all of them or none of them.
    One year / architecture more Until we see fixed versions... maybe. Depending on how much They have to change the cpu...
  • dimar
    I wanted to upgrade my i7-7700K, but I guess I'll wait for AMD 3rd gen or Intel's 10nm new architecture depending on benchmarks/TDP.
  • stdragon
    It's irritating that practically a new chipset is required for every other CPU Intel releases. At least you can get some life out of an older AMD PC via a simple BIOS update and CPU swap.

    Sometimes you just don't need the fancy new IO options.
  • Brian_R170
    The i5-9400T is likely a 35W part, not 65W as shown in the table.
  • PaulAlcorn
    21110667 said:
    The i5-9400T is likely a 35W part, not 65W as shown in the table.

    Good eye, that is in error. Fixed!
  • cryoburner
    21109837 said:
    It is possible that Intel has made other adjustments, such as adding Indium solder between the heat spreader and die.
    Considering Intel wasn't willing to use solder on even their recently released, limited edition i7-8086K, it seems rather unlikely that they will be using it on a bunch of mid-range processors at half the price, that don't even really push the architecture's thermal limits. I even doubt that they will use it on their upcoming consumer i9, considering they haven't used it on processors with far more cores that they sell for around $2000.

    21110124 said:
    9700k is a 8core chip 9900k 12core
    Probably not. They're still going to be on a 14nm manufacturing process, and the 1151 socket is a lot smaller than the 2066 socket that their current higher-core count processors use. So, we probably won't see more than 8 cores.

    Plus, Intel's current 12-core CPU is still priced over $1000, and they aren't going to undercut themselves by selling its successor for less than half as much. More likely the i7 will continue to have six cores, and the i9 eight cores.
  • hotaru251
    If I am not in dire need of a CPU upgrade...should I just wait a few years until they make a chip w/o all the spectre type risks that can slow down performance when they fix?

    also I know old i3 had HT, but will the newer i3 have HT?
  • cryoburner
    21111267 said:
    If I am not in dire need of a CPU upgrade...should I just wait a few years until they make a chip w/o all the spectre type risks that can slow down performance when they fix?
    Supposedly, the 10nm CPUs launching next year will be natively fixed to not be affected by at least the original Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. I'm not sure whether they will be immune to the other similar vulnerabilities that have since surfaced though. As for whether you should upgrade, if you find the performance of your existing CPU to still be suitable enough, then there probably isn't much of a pressing need to.

    21111267 said:
    also I know old i3 had HT, but will the newer i3 have HT?
    The previous-generation i3s had two cores with hyperthreading. The current generation Coffee Lake (8000-series) i3s have four cores without hyperthreading, while the lower-cost Pentiums have now taken over the role of being hyperthreaded dual-cores. They've basically shifted their entire consumer lineup by one performance tier over the last year or so. For the 9000-series CPUs coming later this year, I doubt they'll make any major changes to this formula, aside from adding an 8-core i9 to the higher-end.

    As for next year, they will be moving to the new 10nm process node, so it's possible they could mix things up a bit. I'm not entirely convinced they would do that quite so soon though, as a quad-core i3 with hyperthreading would likely steal more sales from higher-priced i5s than they do already. Sure, they could add hyperthreading to the six core i5s as well to keep them ahead, and make the i7s 8 cores and give the i9s a higher core count still, but most people currently don't have any real need for so many processor threads, and would end up going with lower tier processors, which is clearly something Intel would want to avoid. For most people, there just isn't a pressing need for tons of cores and threads right now on the software side of things, so I don't see Intel increasing thread counts substantially for a while still, at least as long as they remain slightly ahead of AMD on per-core performance.
  • photonboy
    8 and 12-core Intel CPU's:
    Just FYI but the GPU portion does take up a big amount of the die space. I believe it was almost FOUR CORES worth, so it's theoretically possible to remove the GPU like AMD does for its CPU's (AMD CPU + GPU is an APU).

    So in theory they can add four cores for at least TEN cores at current process node.

    I've seen NO indication they'd do that, but on the other hand it's been a long time since AMD was this much competition (and this time they can't do illegal practices as easily as they did in the past which was the main reason AMD fell behind... such as pricing its CPU's lower if companies did NOT buy from AMD).