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Intel CC150: The Strange Case of the CPU With 8C/16T and no Turbo

Intel CC150

Intel CC150 (Image credit: DDAA117/Zhihu)

The strange and mysterious Intel CC150 processor has seemingly been benchmarked. Not only does the chip do away with traditional Intel branding, it lacks a turbo clock speed despite offering greater specs than the lower-end CPUs, like Celerons and Pentiums, that typically forgo the feature. A user of the Chinese Zhihu forums reportedly put the CC160 through its paces.

The CC150 is shrouded in mystery. One rumor suggests it powers the servers behind the Nvidia GeForce Now game streaming service. And according to the Zhihu post's images, it doesn't follow Intel's product nomenclature. There is no mention of "Core," "Celeron" or "Pentium" on its heat spreader; it only reads "Intel Processor." 

According to the post's images, the CC150 is also inscribed with "SRFBT." The "S" tells us that this is a production chip and not a qualification one. The processor also sports the L909E392 batch code, meaning this particular sample originated from Intel's Malaysian factory on the 9th week of 2019.

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Intel CC150

(Image credit: DDAA117/Zhihu)
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Intel CC150

(Image credit: DDAA117/Zhihu)

The biggest clue to the CC150's origin lies in its design. It's identical to that of Intel's current 9th-Generation Coffee Lake parts. Even the contacts and capacitors on the back of the processor are the same. We suspect the chip would slot perfectly into existing LGA1151 motherboards, as long as they've been updated to a firmware supporting the processor.

The CC150 is said to rock eight cores, 16 threads and 16MB of L3 cache, putting the CC150 in the same playing field as Intel's Core i9 chips. 

The most interesting detail about the processor is that it appears to lack turbo. It's listed as running at 3.5 GHz at all times with an operating voltage that varies between 0.672V and 1.008V. According to the CPU-Z screenshot, the CC150 is rated for 95W.

Just like Intel's F-series processors, the CC150 doesn't seem to come with any integrated graphics either.

Intel CC150 Benchmark Results

The Zhihu user paired the CC150 with an ASRock Z390 Extreme4 motherboard and 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM. While far from an in-depth review, the CPU-Z benchmark and Cinebench R20 results provide an idea of how the CC150 stacks up against Intel's other processors.

Intel Core i9-9900KIntel Core i7-9700KIntel CC150Intel Core i7-8700KIntel Core i5-9600KIntel Core i5-9500Intel Core i5-9400FIntel Core i3-9100F
Cinebench R20 Single-Core212209151198193184173172
Cinebench R20 Multi-Core20421521151014131030986945642

It reportedly performed 15% faster than the Intel Core i7-8700K in the CPU-Z multi-thread test, thanks to having two more cores. However, the i7-8700K's single-thread performance was 4% better than that of the CC150.

The i9-9900KF delivered up to 22% and 2% higher multi-and single-thread performance, respectively, than the CC150.

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Intel CC150 vs. Core i7-8700K

Intel CC150 vs. Core i7-8700K (Image credit: DDAA117/Zhihu)
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Intel CC150 vs. Core i9-9900KF

Intel CC150 vs. Core i9-9900KF (Image credit: DDAA117/Zhihu)

Due to the lack of turbo, the CC150 showed an underwhelming single-core Cinebench R20 score. With these numbers, the processor would fall behind the i3-9100F, which has a 4.2 GHz boost clock. 

However, the CC150 held its own in the multi-core test. Although it doesn't have turbo, the eight-core chip does feature Hyper-Threading, which makes a big difference in multi-core workloads. For this same reason, the CC150 was just a hair shy of matching the i7-9700K in the Cinebench R20 multi-core test. 

In terms of power consumption, the CC150 drew just about the same amount of power as a six-core i5-9500 . Although the CC150 flexes eight cores and 16 threads, its static 3.5 GHz clock speed allows it to pull less power. 

Intel Core i3-9100FIntel Core i5-8500Intel Core i5-9500Intel CC150Intel Core i5-9600KIntel Core i7-8086KIntel Core i7-9700KIntel Core i9-9900K
AIDA64 Full LoadN/A62W - 64W61W - 63W61W - 63W71W - 80W95W - 110W115W - 130W150W - 170W
AIDA64 FPU52W - 54W73W - 75W75W - 77W77W - 78W80W - 110W122W - 160W190W - 220W220W - 295W

It's impossible to draw true conclusions based on these few test results, plus we're uncertain if the testing environment was the same for all the processors involved. But based on what we have seen, the CC150 seems like it performs similarly to an i7-9700K in multi-core workloads with a rather modest power consumption that's equivalent to an i5-9500. 

Taobao sellers are currently listing the Intel CC150 for 2,160 yuan, which is roughly $310. Single-core performance may be subpar, but based on these results, the CC150 offers the same multi-core performance as the i7-9700K for $85 less.