Intel accidentally spills the beans on new 9th Gen CPU series

Intel Coffee Lake Core i5-8600K

Intel might have accidentally revealed some details of their new 9th generation of processors last night, giving us our first glimpse at what lies beyond the company’s current crop of 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. Nothing’s been announced officially yet, but a couple of internal documents that were made public yesterday mentioned a string of 9000-series processors we’d never seen before. Here’s the lowdown.

The documents in question (a Microcode Revision Guidance PDF and another June 2018 8th Gen Core Family update PDF) have since been pulled down or updated to scrub all mention of these 9000-series CPUs from existence, but luckily the folks over at VideoCardz grabbed the details before they disappeared. Altogether there were six processors listed, including four six-core Core i5s and two quad-core Core i3s.

  • Intel Core i5-9600K (6 cores, 6 threads, 3.7GHz / 4.5GHz Turbo, 95W TDP)
  • Intel Core i5-9600 (6 cores, 6 threads, 3.1GHz / 4.3GHz Turbo, 65W TDP)
  • Intel Core i5-9500 (6 cores, 6 threads, 3.0GHz / 4.1GHz Turbo, 65W TDP)
  • Intel Core i5-9400 (6 cores, 6 threads, 2.9GHz / 4.1GHz Turbo, 65W TDP)
  • Intel Core i3-9100 (4 cores, 4 threads, 3.7GHz, 65W TDP)
  • Intel Core i3-9000 (4 cores, 4 threads, 3.7GHz, 65W TDP)

Interestingly, while the processors all have 9000-series model numbers, they were still labeled as being part of the 8th Gen Coffee Lake line-up (specifically called Coffee Lake S), not the widely anticipated proper 9th Gen family of processors currently going by the codename Cannon Lake. This suggests these new 9000-series processors will still be using Intel’s current 14nm manufacturing process instead of the new 10nm process that’s due to come with Cannon Lake proper.

What’s more, neither document mentioned anything about new Core i7 chips. These are widely expected to be 8 core / 16 thread chips when they eventually arrive – such as the rumoured Intel Core i9-9900K – but it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer before Intel make them official.

As for what these Core i5 and Core i3 chips represent compared to today’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs, you’re really only looking at a 100MHz or 200MHz bump in clock speed, so it’s likely we’ll only see a minor boost in performance whenever they end up receiving an official launch. Otherwise, they all come with the same number of cores and threads as their respective 8000-series counterparts, and have the same TDP (thermal design point).

They’ll also use the same LGA 1151 motherboard socket, but it’s not yet known whether they’ll be compatible with the same 300-series chipsets as current Coffee Lake processors, or whether Intel’s readying a whole new one for them in the same vein as AMD’s X470 chipset for their 2nd Gen Ryzen+ processors – see our motherboard / CPU combo guide for more info.

It’s also unclear whether these 9000-series chips will include the proposed hardware fixes Intel mentioned earlier in the year to sort out the ongoing Spectre and Meltdown security flaws, but given Intel said these hardware redesigns would be rolling out with new Coffee Lake chips launching at the end of this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did offer at least some inbuilt protection.

As soon as I know more, I’ll let you know.


  1. jellydonut says:

    So a new coat of paint on Coffee Lake to see if you can’t move a few more units that way.

    The kind of tactic usually reserved for graphics card makers when they’re struggling.

  2. Telkir says:

    Still using an i5-3570K 3.4 / 3.8 GHz here at stock speed and it keeps up with everything I throw at it, both apps and games. Definitely feels like the days when you could upgrade a CPU and see truly massive speed gains for everyday usage are long behind us. Although Spectre and Meltdown are serious, they don’t feel like essential reasons to upgrade to me when there’s a software patch. Perhaps when the 10th gen is out I’ll start to consider it more seriously.

    • TormDK says:

      Yeah, we’ve long reached the point where a given CPU is “Good enough” for whatever the average user uses it for.

      All gains are found elsewhere, mainly in the graphics card – and for storage to the few that for one reason or another stil use regular platter HDDs.

      • Jerion says:

        More or less, yep. Unless you’re doing heavy lifting for programming, VFX, or CG work, the need for staying at the high end of the CPU chart is long gone. In gaming that might change when the consoles leap forward again, but otherwise? Enjoy having a few years where chasing the latest and greatest doesn’t really matter that much. Your wallet will appreciate it!

    • neuroxia says:

      Fellow 3570k user here, except mine is overclocked to 4.7ghz; So far it’s still doing great so i feel no need to upgrade but i’ll probably get a Ryzen when gen 3 comes out and give this one to my brother; Well, presuming RAM prices don’t go even higher;

    • Fitzmogwai says:

      I’m still running the mighty D0 stepping Core i7 920, now almost ten years old and still coping admirably with everything I need it to do (which includes some fairly hefty audio production work.)

      I am planning to replace it fairly soon though, but that’s entirely down to my motherboard which I suspect is on its last legs.

      I’m just glad that AMD are finally competitive again: prior to the i7, everything in my machines had been AMD Athlon XPs of various flavours, and buying Intel has never felt quite right.

    • fish99 says:

      You say that but I saw some significant improvements when I replaced my 3570K with a 3770K.

  3. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Intel accidentally spills the beans on new […] CPU

    Perhaps it’s an experiment with a new kind of bean-based thermal paste?

  4. brucethemoose says:

    Wanna bet the leak was intentional?

    I’m not an AMD/Intel fanboy and am only a MILD conspiracy theorist… But slowly leaking info on your next launch is a classic marketing.

    • Ryuthrowsstuff says:

      I’d say its probably deliberate.

      Intel’s been doing some weird lately. Announcing chips that never ship or don’t ship for months and months. That whole 5ghz 28 core cpu they demoed/seemingly announced. Only to claim it was always intended as an overclocking demo when people pointed out it was connected to a god damned air-conditioner. They seem a bit desperate to stay at the head of the conversation.

    • MacTheGeek says:

      Anything to blunt the competition. (I would say “within the law”, but Intel’s history stands ready to retort.)

  5. ravenshrike says:

    Cannon Lake’s dead, Jim. They dove too deep with their 10 nm density and killed it.

  6. Wi1em says:

    Guys… all the motherboard/cpu articles? They talk about sockets, marketing numbers. It doesn’t really mean anything. You have to be a systems programmer and know Intel architecture and specific cpu model architecture and instructions to make any meaningful conclusions about performance. Lacking that, all that’s left to non-engineers is comparing benchmarks. But there aren’t any benchmarks, so .. what’s the point?

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>