Intel Reportedly Puts Up 5GHz Core i9-9990XE CPU For Auction

AnandTech has seen a secret document that reveals Intel's obscure plans to auction the unannounced Core i9-9990XE 14-core processor between a very selected number of OEMs.

(Image credit: Intel)

The Intel Core i9-9990XE purportedly comes with 14 cores and 28 threads. The chip is still based around Intel's Skylake microarchitecture and produced under the chipmaker's 14nm node. According to AnandTech's information, the Core i9-9990XE has a 4GHz base clock, 5GHz boost clock, and a 255W TDP (thermal design power) rating. In other words, the Core i9-9990XE is nothing more than a highly-binned and overclocked Core i9-9940X.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Cores /ThreadsBase / Boost (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)PCIe 3.0DRAMTDPMSRP/RCPPrice Per Core
Core i9-9990XE14 / 284.0 / 5.0?44Quad DDR4-2666255W??
Core i9-9980XE18 / 363.0 / 4.524.7544Quad DDR4-2666165W$1979$110
Core i9-9960X16 / 323.1 / 4.52244Quad DDR4-2666165W$1684$105
Core i9-9940X14 / 283.3 / 4.519.2544Quad DDR4-2666165W$1387$99
Core i9-9920X12 / 243.5 / 4.519.2544Quad DDR4-2666165W$1189$99
Core i9-9900X10 / 203.5 / 4.519.2544Quad DDR4-2666165W$989$98.9
Core i9-9820X10 / 203.3 / 4.216.544Quad DDR4-2666165W$889$88.9
Core i9-9800X8 / 163.8 / 4.516.544Quad DDR4-2666165W$589$73.65

Although the Core i9-9990XE's specifications don't seem far-fetched, there are a couple of inconsistencies about the processor. For a start, the model name defies the normal naming convention. Intel is accustomed to using a higher product number to denote a higher-end chip, which usually comes with more cores, higher clock speeds or both. The Core i9-9980XE 18-core processor, which was recently released, is the current flagship part for the Skylake-X family. It doesn’t make sense to market the Core i9-9990XE as such if the processor comes with fewer cores. But then again, Intel has done a lot of unconventional things in the past.

AnandTech also reported that the Core i9-9990XE would not have a fixed price. Instead, the processor's price will vary hugely depending on how much the system integrator is willing to fork over. Intel will reportedly hold the online auctions once every quarter, and apparently, the first auction will take place on the third week of 2019 at an undisclosed website address.

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.

  • TechyInAZ
    I'm dumbfounded. Intel is now beyond unpredicable.
  • hotaru251
    if only these companies would band together and lowball the sale price just to give Intel the shaft...

    What most companies in tech industry need to do.

    Stop letting this type of crap happen :|
  • spentshells
    What's your best guess? 3500 I'd say
  • InvalidError
    21682696 said:
    I'm dumbfounded. Intel is now beyond unpredicable.
    The ultimate form of pricing parts up to whatever the market will bear when Intel's own pricing and shortages show that Intel's own pricing is too low to maintain stocks of its more popular SKUs: let the market decide the final price via auction. May the best wallets win!
  • rabbit4me1
    this is your chance AMD. to stay out of the stupid race!!!
  • Jim90
    Desperate measures indeed, Intel.
    I'm guessing this pretty closely validates AMD's upcoming CPU tech e.g. Ryzen 9 3850x 'mainstream' processor at 5.1 boost TDP 135W - if this is not far off then we shouldn't be surprised with Intel's response.
    Now imagine what Threadripper will be like.
    Good times ahead!
  • rantoc
    If indeed true (it's intel after-all so wouldn't surprise me, the greed seems to have no bounds with them) the price will be a kidney and perhaps a liver or 5...
  • justin.m.beauvais
    So, Intel is taking their absolute best cores and auctioning them off as these monstrosities. Forget about overclocking them, the vast majority of that headroom will be taken up by Intel pushing their silicon to the very edge. Heck, these specialty systems are probably going to need the absolute best water cooling that money can buy... that or their own chillers. AMD's demo must have really gotten under Intel's skin. This will be an astoundingly fast CPU... at an astoundingly high price... with astoundingly high temps and power draw.

    It isn't the worst idea Intel has ever had... performance for the sake of performance isn't a bad thing... but this feels like AMD and their high end 9000 series FX CPUs. Push the clocks higher, just do it, wring everything you can out of the chip... except instead of trying to compete with CPUs simply beyond their means, this is Intel throwing everything they have at remaining top dog.

    I hope AMD really kicks them in the teeth with Zen 2. AMD might just have what it takes to break Intel's hold on the speed crown. That was what it took last time to get Intel to REALLY innovate and what brought us the Core architecture. We can only hope that things go so well for the consumer this time around.
  • atomicWAR
    So this is what it feels like to laugh and cry at the same time. Thanks for that Intel!!!
  • Supahos
    This I actually don't have a problem with anyone looking for this cpu for basically any purpose basically has a gouge me sign. I'm actually surprised they didn't make it an open auction to run prices up.

    My guess is that even top of.the line aios won't come close to cooling it so they sell it to system designers to put the job of cooling it on them