It’s been a long time since Intel came out with a new line of CPUs. Although the company updates its processor lineup every year like clockwork, the product categories remain the same: Core i3 for budget PCs, Core i5 for most people, and Core i7 for those mystical “power users.” But starting this year, the dial goes up to 9.
A previous rumor had suggested that Intel will be debuting a Core i9 lineup this month. Now a new leaked specs sheet has details: there will be multiple Core i9 models, topping out with a disturbingly powerful 18-core version.
Videocardz got their hands on a bunch of information about the upcoming Core i9 lineup, including all the models and the roadmap for the release date. The Core i9 appears to be the spearhead for a new wave of powerful Intel processors, named the Core X series. The X series will come in Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 versions, going from 8 to 18 cores.
The headline is the Core i9-7980XE, an 18-core monster that should comfortably be the fastest consumer chip on the market when it launches. It has a TPU of 165 Watts, which is a lot compared to Intel’s other CPUs. But the high power draw should mean plenty of speed with overclocking, which is fully supported on the chip. Further down the card, we have versions of the Core i9 with 16, 14, 12 and 10 cores. Those are likely to be much cheaper, and more attractive for the gaming and video production crowd.
The new lineup isn’t so much a big leap forward technically as it is a big middle finger to AMD, Intel’s only competition in the PC market. AMD recently released a lineup of well-received Ryzen chips that challenged Intel seriously for the first time in years, and the roadmap has a new line of “Threadripper” processors, designed for serious parallel processing, coming soon.