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Everything to Know About Those Supposedly Leaked Intel Roadmaps

(Image credit: 3D_creation / Shutterstock.com)

The enthusiast world is salivating at the impending release of Intel's ninth-gen CPUs, and while the company has tipped its hat that the processors are coming to market soon, the timing of the release is up in the air. 

If waiting for Intel had you down, there was plenty of excitement to be had watching the flurry of leaked roadmaps that were released over an action-packed 18-hour period this week. As always, we take all leaked information with a grain of salt unless it comes from Intel or we can confirm it with another source. Sometimes the information comes from a slip-up posted to the web pages of Intel's partners, but that's rare. The last few days certainly served as a great reminder of why it pays to be cautious.

Coffee Lake Refresh "Launch"Basin Falls Refresh "Launch"
xfastest first roadmapQ1 2019Q4 2018
xfastest second roadmapQ3 2018Q4 2018
HKEPCOctober 2018October 2018 (Q4 - only 18 cores)
WCCFtechLate Q3 2018Q4 2018
pcbuildersclub.comAugust 1, 2018-

xfastest led the charge with a roadmap purportedly sourced from a combination of Intel's own internal documents and insider information provided by an unnamed motherboard vendor. The roadmap pegged Intel's Coffee Lake Refresh models, which includes the much-anticipated eight-core Core i9-9900K, as arriving in Q1 2019. The timeline seemed spurious because it was well behind the generally expected arrival date, raising suspicion among discerning readers. The roadmap also didn't adhere to any of Intel's normal color or formatting schemes, but it is possible the leaked roadmap was provided by a motherboard vendor with its own internal maps.

Naturally, accusations flew. Upon deeper reflection, the editors at xfastest "discovered" they had accidentally posted an outdated leaked Intel roadmap. Within hours, the website posted an update with a 'newer' revision of the roadmap that pegged the Coffee Lake Refresh launch in Q3 of 2018, which is a more generally believable timeline. Of course, the 'old' roadmap shines an unfavorable light on the accuracy of the 'new' roadmap, and rightly so, but the fun doesn't stop there. 

Not to be left out of the clicks, rival publication HKEPC.com posted its competing roadmap shortly after that with the entertaining "Don't guess" prefix added to its "Is it Q3 to be Q1 next year?" title (per Google Translate).

In a nutshell, HKEPC's roadmap, which at least conforms to Intel's semi-standard schema, claims that three Coffee Lake Refresh models will land in October. Supposedly Intel's new Core-X series of high end desktop processors, also known by the Basin Falls Refresh moniker, will accompany the mainstream models. HKEPC's roadmap claims the Core-X series will land with 18 cores.

WCCFTech reported on the newest HKEPC roadmap, but confusingly, the site released its own "exclusive" roadmap within the same hour. It tells yet another version of future events. WCCFTech's crystal ball tells us that the Coffee Lake Refresh lands in late Q3 2018, followed by the Basin Falls Refresh in Q4. We even see a Glacier Lake teaser off in the Q3 2019 distance, which adds yet another interesting tidbit.

What's true, what's not? Well, that's anyone's guess. According to an older report from pcbuildersclub.com, the Coffee Lake Refresh processors should have landed yesterday. Apparently, everyone else is running late. 

The reinvigorated processor market has led to a flurry of rushed launches from both Intel and AMD, so it is reasonable to assume that roadmaps change frequently. That could explain away the differences between the rapidly-released roadmaps, but it's possible there is some fabrication involved. We've certainly seen it before.

Are any of the sites right? Who knows. For now, we'll wait for more definitive leads. Meanwhile, we'll continue wandering through the land of leaked roadmap confusion trying to suss out what's real and what's fake, albeit while chewing on a big mouthful of salt.

  • TJ Hooker
    HKEPC's roadmap claims the Core-X series will land with 18 cores, but that doesn't agree with Intel's own announcement that the 28-core model should come in Q4 of this year.
    I don't understand, what does one have to do with the other? In the author's own words from another article (referenced in this article):

    "This 28-core design is likely a variant of Intel's $10,000 28-core Xeon Platinum Scalable 8180 Intel told us the 14nm chip would target the professional workstation market, so it certainly won't be an X-Series part."
    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-28-core-cpu-5ghz,37244.html
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21197199 said:
    We also know that Intel's new 28-core behemoths are coming this year,
    Paul, your credibility is fading almost as fast as Intel's.

    They launched back in Q3 of 2017:

    https://ark.intel.com/products/120496/Intel-Xeon-Platinum-8180-Processor-38_5M-Cache-2_50-GHz

    Even if they did release a lower-cost version of these, you're still looking at several $k and a $500+ motherboard. And with clocks in the ballpark of 2.8/3.5 GHz base/turbo, it's not even clear what kind of non-server application would run better on them than a lower core-count, higher-clocked Xeon W or LGA-2066 HEDT.

    The point is that what Intel was probably talking about was a refresh of their Scalable Xeon line, which is irrelevant to most of your readership. Mentioning it here just spreads confusion and FUD from their ill-conceived stunt.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    21197396 said:
    HKEPC's roadmap claims the Core-X series will land with 18 cores, but that doesn't agree with Intel's own announcement that the 28-core model should come in Q4 of this year.
    I don't understand, what does one have to do with the other? In the author's own words from another article (referenced in this article):

    "This 28-core design is likely a variant of Intel's $10,000 28-core Xeon Platinum Scalable 8180 Intel told us the 14nm chip would target the professional workstation market, so it certainly won't be an X-Series part."
    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-28-core-cpu-5ghz,37244.html

    That was an oversight, thanks for the reminder. Fixed.

    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    21199081 said:
    21197199 said:
    We also know that Intel's new 28-core behemoths are coming this year,
    Paul, your credibility is fading almost as fast as Intel's.

    They launched back in Q3 of 2017:

    https://ark.intel.com/products/120496/Intel-Xeon-Platinum-8180-Processor-38_5M-Cache-2_50-GHz

    Even if they did release a lower-cost version of these, you're still looking at several $k and a $500+ motherboard. And with clocks in the ballpark of 2.8/3.5 GHz base/turbo, it's not even clear what kind of non-server application would run better on them than a lower core-count, higher-clocked Xeon W or LGA-2066 HEDT.

    The point is that what Intel was probably talking about was a refresh of their Scalable Xeon line, which is irrelevant to most of your readership. Mentioning it here just spreads confusion and FUD from their ill-conceived stunt.

    You shouldn't ascribe malicious intent to an oversight. Given my previous coverage of the incident, it's hard to make a claim that I'm shilling for Intel. The 28-core model that Intel announced has in fact not been released. As to what will differentiate that product from the already-released model, you'll have to ask Intel.
    Reply