Intel Core i7-9700K hands on: setting the bar for high-end CPUs

While the 8th generation Core flagship, the Core i7-8700K (and the anniversary Core i7-8086K), stuck to six-cores and twelve threads, Intel has now upped the core game, pushing its flagship Core i9-9900K to eight-cores with a total of sixteen threads.

Processor shipping will begin on 19 October, and unfortunately the review embargoes end on that same date. And all the chips in question have soldered TIMs, including the Core i5-9600K, which should give overclockers a slightly larger chance at hitting frequency targets. The Core i9-9900K is the star of the show here, delivering 8C/16T, a 3.6/5.0GHz base/boost speed and up to 40 PCIE lanes all tied up in a 95W package.

The Core i9-9900K will be a 5GHz CPU with a 3.6GHz base clock, 8 cores, 16 threads, two memory channels rated for DDR4-2666, 16MB of L3 (2MB per core) and a $488 list price. Now, our attention turns to the 9th Gen processors themselves, with Leo acting as our man on the ground at Intel's launch event in NY today. The i5-9600K, has six cores, six threads with a base 3.7 GHz speed which can be boosted up to 4.6 GHz.

The chips are again based on 14nm as Intel has pushed back the production of 10nm Cannon Lake Chips to 2019, now. The Core i7-9700K is now an eight-core CPU, clocked at 3.6GHz and up to 4.9GHz (boost frequency) with a 12MB cache and 95W TDP. Similarly, video editing with Adobe Premiere is up to 34 percent and 97 percent faster respectively, as per Intel's own testing.

However, that doesn't mean that the Core i7 is a downgrade. And new Xeon workstation parts-with up to 28 cores and 56 threads-will debut in December. The base and boost speeds are 3.7GHz and 4.6GHz respectively, and the cache comes in at 9MB.

Also new: These chips are the first to include hardware fixes for some variants of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws. We also know that Gigabyte and ASUS will be building motherboards to support this new chip.

Intel will also sell even more powerful Core X (for "extreme") CPUs-which are really Skylake-era designs-with many more cores starting in November. What do you guys think of Intel's 9th Gen series so far?