Intel announced a new series of desktop processors, under the Core X name. That’s an enthusiast platform for desktop PC owners who want to push for more performance through overclocking, play games at 4K and beyond and process video files at high speed.
The flagship will be the new Core i9 processors, which are the first CPUs to have the Core i9 branding — previous CPUs have been tagged either Core i3, i5 or i7. These will directly take on AMD’s new high-performance Ryzen chips, keeping the CPU power arms race going strong.
Here’s why you’re going to want one of these new Core i9 processors:
- The Core i9 will include an unprecedented 18-core model, in addition to 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-core versions. That refers to the number of individual processing units and means the CPU can handle more distinct tasks at once.
- These new chips include Intel’s updated Turbo Boost 3.0, which allows the CPUs to temporarily increase their power for short bursts without overheating.
- Desktops and DIY kits with Intel’s new X299 motherboard chipset will be available right away, so there’s no delay on building your own Core i9 rig.
- Intel designed a new liquid cooling system, called TS13X to keep these 140-watt TDP chips under control (but you’ll have to buy it separately).
- Intel says these will be up to 15-percent faster than the former enthusiast CPU family, Broadwell-E.
But, despite all that, here’s why you’re probably not going to get one of these new Core i9 CPUs.
- They’re insanely expensive.
- These chips are desktop-only, at least for now. That means laptop, tablet and hybrid fans are out in the cold.
- Newer, faster Intel chips are on the horizon, as Intel is already teasing the not-yet-official eighth-gen “Coffee Lake” Core i-series CPUs, which it hints will be 30 percent faster than the current seventh-gen chips.
The first Intel Core i9 CPUs will go on sale in June, while the top-end models are expected in August.