Intel’s chip-naming convention has gotten kind of weird recently. So I’m not entirely sure what to make of the fact that the company included a bunch of previously unannounced processors in an official document recently.
Logically, the new Core i3 and Core i5 9000 Series chips will be branded as part of the company’s 9th-gen Intel Core processor family. But they’re also listed as “Coffee Lake S” chips, suggesting they’ll use the same architecture as some of Intel’s 8th-gen processors (or at least something similar to it.
Update: Another Intel document gives us our first look at the specs for the chips.
- Core i3-9000 – 4 cores, 3.7 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.1 GHz GPU, 65W
- Core i3-9000T – 4 cores, 3.2 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.1 GHz GPU, 35W
- Core i3-9100 – 4 cores, 3.7 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.1 GHz GPU, 65W
- Core i5-9400 – 6 cores, 2.9 GHz – 4.1 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.05 GHz GPU, 65W
- Core i5-9400T – 6 cores, 1.8 GHz – 3.4 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.05 GHz GPU, 35W
- Core i5-9500 – 6 cores, 3 GHz – 4.3 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.1 GHz GPU, 65W
- Core i5-9600 – 6 cores, 3.1 GHz – 4.5 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.15 GHz GPU, 65W
- Core i5-9600K – 6 cores, 3.7 GHz – 4.5 GHz CPU, 350 MHz – 1.15 GHz GPU, 95W
The Core i3-9000 and 9000T chips have single-core graphics, while all the other processors have dual-core GPUs. And the Core i3 chips support DDR4-2400 memory, while the Core i5 processors can handle DDR-2666 memory.
There aren’t many details available about these new chips, but the Core i3 versions all seem to be quad-core chips, while the Core i5 processors are hexa-core models. It’s unclear if or when we can expect 9000 Series Core i7 chips.
But if these are really Coffee Lake-S chips, I’m not sure what, if any, advantages the 9th-gen versions will have over their 8th-gen counterparts.
Intel’s 8th-gen processor lineup is already kind of a mess when it comes to naming. Here are some of the mobile chip families that are all branded as 8th-gen Core processors:
- 15 watt Kaby Lake Refresh processors
- 28 watt Coffee Lake-U processors with Iris Plus graphics
- 45-watt Coffee Lake-H processors
- 10nm Cannon Lake-U series processors
And that’s not even counting the company’s 8th-gen desktop chips. All of which is to say, that simply knowing the chip generation doesn’t tell you much about an Intel processor’s architecture or performance anymore. So while it’s kind of interesting to see that 9th-gen chips are on the way, I honestly have no idea what that even means at this point.