Intel is yet has to announce its 9th Gen Core processors for laptops officially, but because the company needs to sort out all the things with authorities and regulators well in advance of actual product launches, CPU model numbers and general specifications have been published well ahead of the formal release. As it turns out, recently the company disclosed the first details about its 9th Gen mobile Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 H-series processors for higher-end laptops.

Before proceeding to the actual products, let us make it clear what Intel actually revealed. Among other things, Intel (and other companies) has a number of export compliance metrics for its CPUs, including GFLOPS, Adjusted Peak Performance (APP), and Composite Theoretical Performance (CTP). These metrics are used by various governments to determine capabilities of CPUs and other processors. The APP and GFLOPS metrics are used by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Meanwhile, other authorities and regulators use CTP calculations, which are stated in Millions of Theoretical Operations Per Second (MTOPS), to assess what companies import to their countries. The CTP numbers are the ones that Intel published for its yet-to-be released CPUs.

The mobile CPUs newly listed are the eight-core Core i9-9980HK processor with unlocked multiplier, the eight-core Core i9-9880H, the eight-core Core i7-9850H, the eight-core Core i7-9750H, the quad-core Core i5-9400H, and the quad-core Core i5-9300H. All of them are aimed at high-performance laptops for gamers and professionals and, according to Intel, will be launched in the second quarter. Since the new processors belong to Intel’s 9th Gen Core family are designed to feature hardware mitigations against specific Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, a quick look at the basic specs that Intel published as well as their CTP numbers can shed some light on general specifications of the upcoming 9th Gen Core H-series mobile processors.

Intel 9th Gen Core CPUs for Desktops and High-End Notebooks
Tier Model Application Cores Base
i9 i9-9900K Desktop 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 5.0 GHz 16 MB UHD 630 1200 95 W
i9-9900KF Desktop 8 / 16 3.6 GHz - - 95 W
i9-9980HK Notebook 8 / 16 ? UHD 630 (?) ? ?
i9-9880H Notebook 8 / 16 ? 4.8 GHz ? ?
i7 i7-9700K Desktop 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 1200 95 W
i7-9700KF Desktop 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz - - 95 W
i7-9850H Notebook 8 / 8 ? 4.6 GHz UHD 630 (?) ? ?
i7-9750H Notebook 8 / 8 ? 4.5 GHz ? ?
i5 i5-9600K Desktop 6 / 6 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz 9 MB UHD 630 1150 95 W
i5-9600KF Desktop 6 / 6 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz - - 95 W
i5-9400 Desktop 6 / 6 2.9 GHz 4.1 GHz UHD 630 1050 65 W
i5-9400F Desktop 6 / 6 2.9 GHz 4.1 GHz - - 65 W
i5-9400H Notebook 4 / 8 ? 4.3 GHz 8 MB UHD 630 (?) ? ?
i5-9300H Notebook ? 4.1 GHz ? ?
i3 i3-9350KF Desktop 4 / 4 4.0 GHz 4.6 GHz - - 91 W
i3-9100 Desktop ? ? 4.2 GHz 6 MB UHD 630 (?) ? ?

NOTE 1: Keep in mind that Intel has only published very basic specificationsof its upcoming 9th Gen Core CPUs for notebooks (i.e., Turbo frequency and cache size), which is why a number of details published here (e.g., core count, iGPU) are not confirmed officially at this point.

Obviously, the Core i9-9980HK and the Core i9-9980H will sit on top of the range offering eight cores with Hyper-Threading, 16 MB of L3 cache as well as Turbo frequencies close to their desktop counterparts. Meanwhile, the difference between CTP of desktop Core i9 and notebook Core i9 CPUs clearly indicates that their base clocks will be considerably lower, possibly to maintain a 45 W TDP.

Intel’s Core i7-9850H and the Core i7-9750H processors will sit below their Core i9-branded brethren. These chips will feature eight cores (without HT) capable of running at up to 4.6 GHz along with 12 MB of L3 cache. Just like in case of higher-end parts, these CPUs will be clocked considerably lower than their desktop colleagues.

Surprisingly, as far as the cache size and CTP numbers are concerned, the 9th Gen Core i5 H-series processors will not feature six cores, but will pack four Hyper-Threaded cores with 8 MB of L3. While the Core i5-9300H chip will probably run faster than the Core i5-8300H, the Core i5-9400H will have exactly the same base frequency as the Core i5-8400H as they have the same CTP of 254,167 MTOPS.

In addition to mobile CPUs, Intel also disclosed some preliminary details about its entry-level quad-core Core i3-9100 CPU in its document. The chip will run at frequencies of up to 4.2 GHz and will feature 6 MB of L3 cache. Since this is a lower-end part, expect it to be priced accordingly.

As always, Intel does not comment on unreleased products, so take every unconfirmed spec mentioned here with a grain of salt. What we do know for sure at this point is that Intel has finalized specs of its 9th Gen Core H-series processors for laptops and, if everything goes as planned, is on track to launch them in Q2 2019.

NOTE 2: The screenshot of Intel’s document above has been altered in order to better represent the topic of the news story. The original document looks as follows:

Related Reading

Source: Intel (via momomo_us Twitter)

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  • 0ldman79 - Monday, February 18, 2019 - link

    Shabby, on my i5 6300HQ, 2.3 base, 3.2 turbo, normally runs 2.8GHz at 100% load.

    When pushing the IGP instead of the GTX 960M the CPU locks at base speed. It will still rarely ever come close to the 45W the package is rated at.
  • HStewart - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    The problem is not CPU, you put a modern discrete GPU in the system and it pretty much need double or even triple the power. I think it really quite impressive that have 4+ Ghz in Turbo mode and would not doubt i9-9980HK is 5Ghz which is stated in top chart. I more not doubt Intel is making significant improvement in power and soon CPU wise like no difference in mobile and desktop cpus
  • Samus - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - link

    Hell, the previous generation i5-8350U was a 15w TDP (25w TDP-up) CPU that runs 4 cores 8 threads. No reason they wouldn't be able to run 8 physical cores at double the TDP.

    The i5-8350U is a monster too. Unthinkably fast for a 15-watt CPU, it's as fast as the highest performance 130-watt CPU's from a decade ago and most recent 65-watt CPU's from the previous generation!
  • 0ldman79 - Monday, February 18, 2019 - link

    This is true.
    I've got an i5 6300HQ and an i7 2630QM.

    I was playing around and uploaded the results of CPUz bench and my numbers were nearly double some of the others. When I checked in on that the laptops that were running so poorly had small fans or were designed to run nearly silently.

    I've worked on computers for years, I know how important cooling is so that was a factor in my purchase. I didn't realize at the time that it was would double the performance between two otherwise identical laptops. The last laptops I had didn't have turbo or thermal throttling until it hit shutdown temps.
  • Ej24 - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    Honestly I'd expect base clock to be very low for all 8 cores loaded. Anything, anything at all above base clock will mean more than 45W. Intel's old philosophy of "hurry to sleep", when you have a crazy high boost on a single core or two for a few seconds then the cpu goes to a very low power state seems to be at odds with these much higher core count cpu's. It worked fine for the old 2c/4t mobile parts but it seems less appropriate for 8c/16t cpu's. You buy an 8 core cpu usually because you have a need for a lot of cores crunching away for a longer period of time which means the "rush to sleep" design philosophy doesn't really work here. I'm thinking there's going to be a lot of power limit throttling on these
  • D2ultima - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    It doesn't work that way. They won't clock up. 45W isn't enough for an 8750H, far less a 9980HK. Out the box without undervolting you can expect over 1GHz throttle on the CPUs, with 8750H units generally running at 3GHz under heavy stress (or less).

    Don't let any of this fool you, the performance will be EXACTLY the same as it was on 6 cores, because the CPU will only be doing 45W of work, and there's no efficiency changes between 7th, 8th and 9th generation chips (in terms of perf/watt). It's the same thing with 8th gen -U chips; they're 4c/8t boosting to 3.7GHz on the 8550U certainly, but 15W is not getting you more than roughly 1.7GHz under load without undervolting (which won't even get you to 2GHz before you run into stability issues anyway).

    The reason base clocks are so low is because OEMs lie and say it isn't throttling if it isn't turboing, so when you're dropping from 4.3GHz on 6 cores to 2.9GHz on your $800 i7-8950HK (yes I typed i7 because that's really what it is.. a worse-binned i7-8700K) because you can only draw 45W under load your OEM can say "well that's normal". They got your money long ago.

    Please note though: intel CPUs use MSR registers to denote throttling to the OS, and if you're not boosting to maximum turbo, the intel CPU will tell the OS that it's throttling. Power? Thermal? Current? VRM? doesn't matter really... the CPU reports itself that it's throttling. So "not throttling below base clock isn't throttling" is just a convenient lie that OEMs tell to avoid actually making good/well-performing/etc laptops.
  • AdrianBc - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    > "the performance will be EXACTLY the same as it was on 6 cores"

    No, this is not true.
    More cores at a lower frequency are more efficient than less cores at a higher frequency.

    Because of that, 8 cores @ 45 W will run at a frequency larger than 75% of the frequency reached by 6 cores @ 45 W, which is around 3.2 GHz for non-AVX tasks, e.g. for compiling programs. Therefore the Coffee Lake Refresh processors should have a frequency of at least 2.5 GHz for 8 cores @ 45 W non-AVX, more likely of 2.7 or 2.8 GHz, so they will compile a software project faster than the current 6-core processors. The same is true for any other task which can use all the available threads.
  • D2ultima - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    Well, due to dropped voltage, it'll be a bit better, you're right about that, but in practice it won't show too much (also know that the increased cache size will draw just a bit more power).

    However, from checking the 7600U versus the 8250U, the 8250U was no benefit when both were completely at the power limit of 15W. So I was extrapolating that, but it might be a clearer difference with only a 33% bump in core count vs simply doubling processing power. Either way, it'll game worse and it'll still never come even CLOSE to clocking up under any load.

    That or intel can make them 120W power limit like they should be?
  • AdrianBc - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    I agree that the extra performance will be much less than the 33% that would come from 8/6 cores.
    In the best case, the extra performance will be about half of that, i.e. around 16% for a program which scales perfectly with the clock frequency.

    For most multi-threaded programs, the increase in speed might be only around 10%.

    I also agree that multi-threaded programs that run without pauses will never reach clock frequencies close to those allowed by the turbo limits, because the power limits will determine much lower frequencies.

    The same is true for the current Coffee Lake processors. I have a Coffee Lake i7-8559U, which has 4 cores and the power limits configured by the BIOS are 50 W for the first minute, then 30 W forever.

    The behavior of this processor with 4 cores @ 30 W is very similar with that of a processor with 6 cores @ 45 W.

    For multi-threaded programs that use 100% the cores, it can do only around 3.6 GHz @ 50 W and around 3.2 GHz @ 30 W.

    Nevertheless, when the cores are used much less than 100% of the time, the frequencies may raise until the 4.1 GHz all-core turbo limit, and when a single thread is active, the 4.5 GHz single-core turbo is really reached.

    I expect that these 8-core processors will behave similarly, so when lightly loaded they may reach up to the 5 GHz turbo, but reaching so high clock frequencies will be quite seldom events in normal operation.
  • WinterCharm - Sunday, February 17, 2019 - link

    That's at base clock. Intel's TDP numbers are basically meaningless at this point. At 5Ghz it's going to run stupid hot and will throttle in every laptop ever -- just like the current Core i9 Throttles in every laptop ever...

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