Skip to main content

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.

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.

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+++).

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.