For the longest time, Intel has been the only name that matters when it comes to the processor inside your PC. AMD, the company that used to provide a genuine challenge, just couldn’t produce CPUs of the same quality for a comparable price.
But with its latest generation of Ryzen chips, AMD changed the game. They don’t blow Intel’s CPUs out of the water, but they provide real competition for the first time in a long time. The result from Intel has been swift, and awesome: a rumored new line of super-high-end CPUs, with technology improvements that should trickle down to everyone’s laptop.
Yesterday, details leaked about an upcoming Intel CPU aimed firmly at professionals and seriously hardcore home users. It will be a 12-core processor, codenamed the Core i9, with a 150W TDP. That puts it far above the current top of the line, which is Intel’s Core i7 range.
The Core i7 has been the highest-performing consumer chip for a long time. Although Intel does make more powerful Xeon processors for professional and server use, the designation of Core iX normally means it’s aimed at a more consumer-level build. Shaking up years of tradition with a Core i9 would indicate that Intel’s starting to see the need to reclaim its crown as the manufacturer of the most powerful CPUs.
But that won’t be easy. Hours after the Core i9 leak, details about a challenger processor came out. Codenamed Ryzen 9, it’s rumored to have 16 cores, 32 threads, and a clock speed of 3.5GHz in normal mode, boostable to 3.9GHz.
Just on paper, it sounds like AMD could challenge Intel, especially for non-gaming applications that rely more heavily on parallel processing. In the past, a raw number of cores hasn’t corresponded well to usable power, but AMD’s latest generation of Ryzen CPUs have offered great performance at a price much lower than what Intel can currently charge.
Prices and release dates aren’t out yet, but the Computex trade show is coming up at the end of the month. Assuming that Intel and AMD both release full details there, these CPUs could be in computers shipping this summer. It’s a good time to be a PC user.