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PSA: There are Two Steppings of Non-K 10th Gen Core i5 in Circulation, Only One Comes with STIM

There are apparently two steppings of the 10th generation Intel Core i5 desktop processor in circulation, and the two have major physical differences, even if their specifications are identical per SKU. These are Q0 and G1. The Q0 stepping of the 10th gen Core i5 is based on the 10-core variant of "Comet Lake-S" silicon, the 200-odd mm² die, which comes with Intel's die-thinning innovation, and more importantly, soldered thermal interface material (STIM). For these chips, four cores on the 10-core die are disabled by Intel to carve out the 6-core/12-thread Core i5 SKU. The G1 stepping, on the other hand, is based on the 6-core variant of "Comet Lake-S," which is similar in design to the 6-core "Coffee Lake" die. The G1-stepping chips lack STIM, and use a thermal paste.

What's more, Q0 and G1 steppings have different SPEC codes. For the Core i5-10400F, the Q0 stepping variant's SPEC code is "SRH79" and the G1 stepping variant's code is "SRH3D." The underside of the processor's package looks different between the two steppings (pictured below). You won't be able to tell the underside of the package through the little window in your processor's retail package, but the SPEC code is printed on the IHS. There's no geographic marker as to which stepping is found in what particular market. Both steppings appear to be distributed uniformly, wherever available. Since Intel is using this stepping-level differentiation only among non-K SKUs, we don't expect the two to have any different performance, but possibly different thermals.

Intel Apparently Reserving 28 W Ice Lake Mobile Chips for Apple, Removes Entries from ARK

The idea of an ARK is to preserve that which enters it; however, the legend on the basis of arks and their concept must've slipped Intel's internal memos. The company has de-listed a previously detailed Ice Lake mobile CPU from its database - the Core i7-1068G7 - which was a 28 W part available for system integrators to build machines around. That part was special, because it was - then - the only 28 W part listed for mobile Ice Lake, with the rest of the CPU lineup having configurable TDPs between 12 W and 25 W - thus having a lesser maximum theoretical performance due to reduced TDP.

In its stead, Intel has entered a new, Core i7-1068NG7 (yes, the same naming with an extra N), which places this as an Apple-exclusive CPU, according to the folks over at Notebookcheck. Besides this entry, Intel has also listed the i5-1038NG7, which also features a 28 W TDP that's higher than the other available CPUs for other system integrators. If this is true, then Intel is reserving its cream-of-the-crop CPUs for Apple. Since the California-based company wouldn't be using parts with worse thermal and power consumption figures than what's available for others, the only answer to how these products came to being is that they are binned CPUs with better than average characteristics. Intel could be doing this to keep Apple happy even as the California-based company is well on its way to eschew its dependence on x86 with a fully internally-developed ARM CPU.

Intel Comet Lake Review Kit Unboxed, Core i9-10900K and Core i5-10600K Pictured

It seems that today Intel lifted an embargo on the preview of its reviewer kit, and thanks to a few websites we have pictures of what the packaging looks like. And it is one fancy packaging for sure with lots of plastic this time around. Intel has decided to switch up its packaging game and now it is very different. Now Intel seems to target aesthetics very similar to AMD Threadripper packaging, with a plastic window that reveals the CPU box that has big words distinguishing whatever the model in question is a Core i5 or Core i9.

The reviewers have gotten two CPU models - Core i9-10900K and Core i5-10600K which are pictured below. Just as a reminder, reviews of these CPUs should go live on May 20th. If you want to get a Z490 motherboard for one of these CPUs, you can pre-order motherboard from your favorite vendor starting from today.

More pictures follow.

Leaked Benchmark Shows Intel Core i5-10400 Matching i7-9700F in Gaming Performance

Benchmarks for one of the recently announced 10th generation Intel Core chips have been leaked early by Chinese review channel Bilibili as reported by @Momomo_US. The mid-range Intel Core i5-10400 is a new 6 core/12 thread CPU with a base clock of 2.9 GHz and a max all core boost of 4.0 GHz with a recommended customer price of $182. The Core i5-10400 was put up against the current-gen Core i5-9400F and Core i7-9700F in a variety of games by Bilibili with the i5-10400 matching or beating the i7-9700F in most tests.

The Intel Core i7-9700F is an 8 core/8 thread CPU that was released in 2019 with a recommended customer price of $310 which it still retails for today. To see the i5-10400 match the i7-9700F is significant news for gamers as Intel is forced to lower prices and increase performance as the threat of Ryzen 3000 looms. The CPU was tested in Grand Theft Auto V and Assassins Creed Odyssey at 1080p where the i5-10400 came ahead in Assassins Creed Odyssey and just behind the i7-9700F in Grand Theft Auto V. The full results can be viewed below.

Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake Desktop Processors and 400-Series Chipsets Announced, Here's what's New

Intel today launched its 10th generation Core desktop processor family and its companion Intel 400-series chipsets. Based on the 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process and built in the new LGA1200 package, the processors are based on the "Comet Lake" microarchitecture. The core design of "Comet Lake" and its IPC are identical to those of "Skylake," however Intel brought significant enhancements to the processor's clock-speed boosting algorithm, increased core- or thread counts across the board, and introduced new features that could interest enthusiasts and overclockers. The uncore component remains largely unchanged from the previous-generation, with support for DDR4 memory and PCI-Express gen 3.0. Use of these processors requires a new socket LGA1200 motherboard, they won't work on older LGA1151 motherboards. You can install any LGA115x-compatible cooler on LGA1200, provided it meets the thermal requirements of the processor you're using.

At the heart of the 10th generation Core processor family is a new 10-core monolithic processor die, which retains the same basic structure as the previous-generation 8-core "Coffee Lake Refresh" die, and 4-core "Skylake." The cores are arranged in two rows, sandwiched by the processor's uncore and iGPU blocks. A ring-bus interconnect binds the various components. The cache hierarchy is unchanged from previous generations as well, with 32 KB each of L1I and L1D caches; 256 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 20 MB of shared L3 cache. The iGPU is the same Gen 9.5 based UHD 630 graphics. As we mentioned earlier, much of Intel's innovation for the 10th generation is with the processor's microcode (boosting algorithms).
Intel Core i9-10900K 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup

Microsoft Flight Simulator Requirements Listed, Ideal Specification Requires 150 GB of Drive Space and RTX 2080 GPU

Microsoft's flight simulator, an upcoming game designed to bring real-life scenarios of flying an airplane, just got a list of system requirements needed to run a game. To play with Flight Simulator, you would at least need to have a quad-core CPU like AMD Ryzen 3 1200 or Intel Core i5-4460 equipped system, along with 8 GB of RAM. For graphics, you would need a GPU with at least 2 GB of VRAM, where the requirement is either AMD Radeon RX 570 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 GPU. Another interesting observation is the requirement of 150 GB of drive space, meaning that this game will be pretty big. Internet connection needs to be 5 Mbps at minimum, and as you up the resolution and graphics, you would need a faster connection. You can check out the entire table below.

The need for incrementally faster connection comes out of one reason - adaptive streaming. The game looks stunning, and if you wish to play at the highest quality, parts of the game will be rendered in the cloud. Microsoft is using its Azure infrastructure to help and render parts of the game and stream it down to your PC. This ensures that your PC is capable of playing the game and Microsoft is showing how they can tap the power of cloud for uses like this.
Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements Microsoft Flight Simulator Microsoft Flight Simulator Microsoft Flight Simulator

Samsung Announces Galaxy Chromebook Convertible: A "Project Athena" Chromebook

Samsung today announced the Galaxy Chromebook, a premium Google ChromeOS 2-in-1 device that converts between a conventional notebook and a tablet with a stylus. This is the first time Samsung is bringing its Android-focused Galaxy brand over to its Chromebook family. The $999 price-tag may look like a tall ask for a Chromebook, until you look at some of its specs. The star attraction is the 13.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 4K UHD resolution. Samsung developed the Galaxy Chromebook in close coordination with Intel as part of its ambitious "Project Athena" initiative of developing next-generation portable computing devices that defy conventions on performance and battery-life.

Under the hood is an Intel Core i5-10210U "Comet Lake" processor with 8 GB of LPDDR3-2133 memory, a 256 GB NVMe SSD, UFS + microSDXC card slot, and 802.11ax + Bluetooth connectivity (at this price we'd have expected at least 4G cellular modem). It dumps type-A USB ports and instead features a couple of type-C ports, one of which doubles up as a power input. The 4K UHD display is pulled by integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics. A 47.9 Wh battery powers the thing, with Samsung claiming 8h 20m of run-time. Measuring 30 cm x 20.32 cm x 0.99 cm (closed), the Galaxy Chromebook weighs 1.03 kg. The included S-Pen stylus slots into the body. The Galaxy Chromebook is available in two color options, red and gray, both priced at $999.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Intel Could Launch 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake" Desktop Processors on April 30

Intel could launch its 10th generation Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor family on the 30th of April (±24 hours depending on the time-zone), according to a report by El Chapuzas Informatico. The processors is built in the new LGA1200 package, and require new Intel 400-series chipset motherboards, which will launch alongside. Pricing of these processors will be along expected lines, with the Core i9 series in the $500-400 range, the Core i7 series in the $300-400 range, the Core i5 series in the $180-300 range, and Core i3 series priced below. As reported earlier, Intel is expected to increase Core i9 series core-counts to 10-core/20-thread, while doubling thread counts and L3 cache amounts across the Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 brand extensions, to 8-core/16-thread, 6-core/12-thread, and 4-core/8-thread, respectively.

Intel Core i5-L15G7 Lakefield Processor Spotted

Intel has been experimenting with a concept of mixing various types of cores in a single package with a design called Lakefield. With this processor, you would get a package of relatively small dimensions that are 12-by-12-by-1 millimeters withing very low TDP. Thanks to the Twitter user InstLatX64 (@InstLatX64) we have some GeekBench 5 results of the new Lakefield chip. The CPU in question is the Core i5-L15G7, a 5 core CPU without HyperThreading. The 5C/5T would be a weird configuration if only Lakefield wasn't meant for such configs. There are one "big" Sunny Cove core and four "small" Tremont cores built on the 10 nm manufacturing process. This is the so-called compute die, where only the CPU cores are present. The base dies containing other stuff like I/O controllers and PHYs, memory etc. is made on a low-cost node like 22 nm, where performance isn't the primary target. The whole chip is targeting the 5-7 W TDP range.

In the GeekBench 5 result we got, the Core i5-L15G7 is a processor that has a base frequency of 1.4 GHz, while in the test it reached as high as 2.95 GHz speeds. This is presumably for the big Sunny Cove cores, as Tremont cores are supposed to be slower. The cache configuration reportedly puts 1.5 MB of L2$ and 4 MB of L3$ for the CPUs. If we take a look at performance numbers, the chip scores 725 points in single-core tests, while the multi-core result is 1566 points. We don't know what is the targeted market and what it competes with, however, if compared to some offerings from Snapdragon, like the Snapdragon 835, it offers double the single-threaded performance with a similar multi-core score. If this is meant to compete with the more powerful Snapdragon offerings like the 8cx model, comparing the two results in Intel's fail. While the two have similar single-core performance, the Snapdragon 8cx leads by as much as 76.9% in a multi-core scenario, giving this chip a heavy blow.
Intel Core i5-L15G7 Intel Lakefield

Intel Core i5-10400 Pictured and Detailed, New Mid-range Gaming Champion in the Making?

Here are two of the first pictures of Intel's upcoming Core i5-10400 processor, based on the company's 10th generation, 14 nm "Comet Lake-S" silicon. With its 10th generation, Intel is looking to bolster its Core i5 desktop processor series by introducing HyperThreading and increased L3 cache to existing price-points. The i5-10400 is hence a 6-core/12-thread processor with 12 MB of shared L3 cache at its disposal, compared to 9th and 8th generation Core i5 desktop chips being 6-core/6-thread with 9 MB of L3 cache.

The Core i5-10400 succeeds the popular Core i5-9400/F and its equally popular predecessor, the i5-8400. The iGPU-devoid i5-9400F in particular owed its popularity to Intel pricing it $15-20 less than the standard i5-9400. The upcoming i5-10400 is expected to be priced under the $200 mark, with the i5-10400F being similarly discounted. Both chips feature identical CPU specs: 2.90 GHz nominal clock speeds, up to 4.30 GHz maximum Turbo Boost, and 4.00 GHz all-core Turbo Boost. As the chip lacks an unlocked multiplier, its TDP is reportedly rated at 65 W. The chip will compete with AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 for sub-$200 supremacy. The 10th generation Core desktop processor family is built in the new LGA1200 package, and launches alongside the new Intel 400-series chipset, in April.
Intel Core i5-10400 Front Intel Core i5-10400 Back

GIGABYTE Updates the Brix Lineup with 10th Generation Comet Lake CPUs

GIGABYTE has updated its Brix lineup of Mini-PCs with Intel's latest and greatest 10th generation Comet Lake mobile CPUs. Measuring 46.8 x 119.5 x 119.5 mm, the Brix mini PC is a small form factor machine with its 0,6-liter size. If anyone thinks that power is proportional to the size of a PC, the GIGABYTE Brix is here to prove them wrong. Available in four variants that differ only in CPU that is soldered inside, you can get anything from a dual-core Intel Core i3-10110U, all the way up to six-core Core i7-10710U CPU powerhouse. These CPUs are 15 W TDP models, so even though the Brix is small, its cooling solution should be able to handle the heat.

The Brix Mini-PC comes with a mounting bracket for 75 x 75 mm and 100 x 100 mm VESA mounts, meaning that you can place it behind a monitor. Storage options are limited to one 2.5-inch drive that can be up to 9.5 mm thick. For RAM, the Brix is using two SO-DIMM slots that can support up to 64 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz RAM. When it comes to connectivity options, GIGABYTE has equipped the Brix with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 wireless adapter providing Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi 802.11ac connectivity. The IO options are somewhat decent as Brix has three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports at the front, along with a USB Gen 2 Type-C connector and 3.5 mm headphone jack. On the back, there are two HDMI 2.0a ports for video output, two additional USC 3.2 Gen 2 ports, power input, and of course an RJ45 Ethernet connector.

ASUS Equips ROG Huracan G21 Mini PC with 8 cores and RTX 2080

ASUS launched its ROG Huracan G21 mini gaming PC a long time ago intending to provide a small form factor gaming machine. Today, ASUS decided to update the Huracan with the latest hardware available. Inside a 17.7 liter chassis measuring 129.9×372.4×366.1 mm, ASUS managed to pack some powerful hardware. Starting with CPU, the ROG Huracan G21 is a house to Intel's Core i9-9900K 8 core, 16 thread CPU. There are also configurations available with Intel Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9400 CPUs. The CPU is installed on Mini-ITX Z390 motherboards made by ASUS, so it is technically possible to overclock it, however with an inadequate cooling solution for that it is not recommended.

To make a gaming PC, you need to have a good GPU to push all the framerates, and ASUS opted to equip the G21 with up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card with a blower-type cooler. Other options include GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 GPUs as well. For storage, there are quite a few options. There is one M.2 SATA SSD which can range from 128 GB to 512 GB in capacity. In addition to a 3.5-inch HDD that is available in 1 TB and 2 TB capacity, there is a hot-swap bay for a 2.5-inch drive. As far as the main memory goes, there is room for up to 32 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz memory. For IO, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port is available on the front of the chassis. In the back, there are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, along with four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Video outputs are dependant on which graphics card is equipped in a given configuration. Additionally, to power this PC, ROG Huracan G21 relies on external power adapters that come in 180, 230, or 280 Watt options that again depend on the configuration of the machine. It is also worth pointing out that for audio, the G21 uses Realtek ALC1150 with ESS DAC and amplifier. Support for RGB is not lacking and of course, and it is compatible with ASUS Aura Sync software.

ASUS Debuts Latest VivoBook and ZenBook Series Lineup at CES 2020

Today, at CES 2020, ASUS debuted its latest VivoBook and ZenBook laptop refreshes. The first in the lineup is the VivoBook S series, which is consisting out of VivoBook S333, S433 and S533 models. At the heart of these new laptops is the latest 10th generation of processors from Intel that is giving the ultra-portable notebooks power to perform everyday tasks with ease. In some configurations like S433 and S533, there is a choice of Core i7 and Core i5 Comet Lake CPUs, while the S333 model is rocking Ice Lake at its core. For Comet Lake configurations, there is a choice of Intel Core i7-10510U or Core i5-10210U processor, while Ice Lake powered models have a choice between Intel Core i7-1065G7 or Core i5-1035G1 processors. As far as graphics power goes, users can choose to use Intel iGPU, or add NVIDIA MX series GPU for an additional price increase.

Next Gen Core i5 Desktop Processor Confirmed to Feature HyperThreading

A 3DMark results database entry confirmed that the 10th generation Core i5 desktop processor will indeed feature HyperThreading (HTT). Based on the 14 nm "Comet Lake" silicon, the next-gen Core i5 processor will be 6-core/12-thread. Besides HTT, the processors will feature higher clock-speeds than their 9th generation counterparts. In the 3DMark validation, a Core i5-10600 processor is referenced, featuring 6 cores and 12 logical processors. The chip has a nominal clock-speed of 3.30 GHz in its name string (a 200 MHz increment over the i5-9600), although its Turbo Boost frequency hasn't been detected properly by SystemInfo.

It's possible that the maximum Turbo Boost will be a similar 100-200 MHz gain over the 4.60 GHz of the i5-9600. It remains to be seen what L3 cache amount Intel gives these chips. The 6-core/12-thread Core i7-8700 has 12 MB, or an additional 512 KB L3 slice per core, to cope with the HTT overhead, although there have been exceptions to this rule in the company's mobile processor lineup. Intel is expected to debut its 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" processor series alongside the Z490 Express chipset in April 2020.

Intel Marketing Claims i5-9600KF Better than 3800X, i3-9350KF Better than 3600X

Intel marketing is at it again, making sweeping performance claims about its embattled 9th generation Core processors against AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen. In a recent press conference in China, the company was shown claiming that its mid-tier 6-core/6-thread Core i5-9600KF is a "better" processor than AMD's 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 3800X. This claim is hard to defend with gaming, when even the "slower" 3700X is seen performing within 1% of the i5-9600K (identical CPU specs to the i5-9600KF) at gaming, and 22 percent faster at CPU tests, beating the i9-9900K in quite a few multi-threaded tests.

The marketing slide makes four key claims: 1. that Intel processors are faster in "real-world" use-cases (gaming, home/office, light content-creation), ; 2. that with boost-frequencies reaching 4.60 GHz, the higher IPC of these chips benefit gaming; 3. that the K-series chips easily overclock to 5.00 GHz yielding even more performance; and 4. that Intel processors have "smooth and stable drivers" compared to AMD. As if that wasn't bad enough, the slide claims that the 4-core/4-thread Core i3-9350KF is "better" than the 6-core/12-thread Ryzen 5 3600X, and the entry-level i3-9100F being better than the 6-core/6-thread Ryzen 5 3500. This incident closely follows its September gaffe that sought to sourgrape AMD's HEDT creator performance leadership by discrediting its lead in certain applications by claiming they don't reflect "real world usage." Making Intel's test relevance claims comically wrong was the fact that it used app usage data gathered exclusively from notebooks.

ASRock Announces Brand new Mars Series of Mini PCs

The leading global motherboard & graphics card manufacturer, ASRock, a pleasure to launch brand new compact Mini PC - Mars Series. Supports up to Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor, 32 GB DDR4-2666 MHz, PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, 2.5-inch hard drive, and wireless connectivity; all implies into 0.7-liter chassis with 26 mm height.

ASRock Mars offers abundant USB devices connectivity, features a total of 7 USB ports, including one Type-C port; In addition, the native SD card reader and dual display outputs to provide more productive and convenience.

AMD Ryzen 5 3500 to Lack SMT, Takes on Core i5-9400

As AMD's Ryzen 5 3500 processor is inching closer to launch, we learn more possible specifications of the chip AMD is designing to take on Intel's popular Core i5-9400/9400F processor. Late July, we learned that the chip will be a 6-core model, breaking away from convention set by past generations, of the x500 Ryzen SKU being 4-core/8-thread. Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK, who has a fairly high hit-rate on unreleased products, predicts that the 3500 will be six-core, but lack SMT (it will be 6-core/6-thread).

The Ryzen 5 3500 will be clocked at 3.60 GHz nominal, with a boost frequency of 4.10 GHz. There's no word on other specs, such as L3 cache amount. A single "Zen 2" chiplet normally has 32 MB of it (16 MB per CCX). The main competitor from the Intel stable is the Core i5-9400 / i5-9400F, which ticks at 2.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz boost. The i5-9400F in particular has had a big impact in the sub-$200 segment, as it's been aggressively priced under promotions by various DIY retailers. The chip lacks an iGPU, but has the specs to pull a fairly powerful gaming PC. With the Ryzen 5 3600 at $199, AMD could price the new chip around $169-179.

AMD Ryzen 5 3500 a 6-core Processor

AMD is giving final touches to a second wave of 3rd generation Ryzen processor family, which includes the new Ryzen 5 3500 processor, and "Pro" variants of various already-launched SKUs, such as the 3600X, 3700X, and 3900X. These chips were spotted in an import registry of the Eurasian Economic Union. The most interesting bit from this disclosure is the fact that the Ryzen 5 3500 is a 6-core processor with 65 W TDP. For the previous two generations of Ryzen processors, AMD configured its x500 series SKUs, such as the 2500X and 1500X, as 4-core/8-thread processors. It's likely that the 3500 will be a slightly lower-clocked sibling of the Ryzen 5 3600, priced lower, to compete with Intel chips such as the Core i5-9400 or i5-9500. This also raises the possibility of Ryzen 3 "Matisse" processors being 4-core/8-thread chips.

Official PC System Requirements for Rage 2 Outed

As we draw closer to the release of Rage 2, publisher Bethesda has released the official PC system requirements for the game. The original Rage pushed the boundaries of rendering technology with its Mega Texture technology (which featured some slight streaming issues as available textures were rendered visible according to the scene).

The least of the requirements are set at an Intel Core i5-3570 or an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X CPU, paired with 8 GB of RAM and the long-in-the-tooth GTX 780 3 GB or R9 280 3GB. Recommended configurations will have to pack, at least, an Intel Core i7-4770 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X CPU with 8 GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB or AMD Vega 56 8GB graphics card. The 8 GB of RAM in the recommended settings is a welcome surprise, in that most games have now been requiring 16 GB of system RAM. Unfortunately, Bethesda didn't mention what gameplay experience can be expected from the recommended system configuration. RAGE 2 releases on May 14th.

Intel CPU Shortages Could be Over, Hints Microsoft

Microsoft CFO Amy Hood in a quarterly financial results conference call with investors this Wednesday hinted that the worst could be over with Intel CPU shortages. "In Windows, the overall PC market was stronger than we anticipated, driven by improved chip supply that met both unfulfilled Q2 commercial and premium consumer demand as well as better-than-expected Q3 commercial demand." It's important to note that Hood did not name Intel, as PCWorld otherwise observed, but it's highly likely that she was referring to Intel, given that it continues to dominate pre-built notebook and desktop markets.

PCWorld uses Hood's statement from the previous quarter's results call to zero in on Intel. "The overall PC market was smaller than we expected primarily due to the timing of chip supply to our OEM partners, which constrained an otherwise healthy PC ecosystem and negatively impacted both OEM Pro and non-Pro revenue growth," she had said. Prices of 9th generation Core desktop processors in the retail channel appear to be normalizing, with the Core i5-9400 selling for $184 on Newegg, which is close to MSRP, its iGPU-devoid twin, the i5-9400F selling at a discounted price of $169; the overclocker-friendly i5-9600K selling for $264, and the i7-9700K at $409, which is a tiny $20 markup over MSRP.

Intel Expands 9th Gen Core Desktop and Mobile Processor Families

Today, Intel launched the most powerful generation of Intel Core mobile processors ever: the new 9th Gen Intel Core mobile H-series processors, designed for gamers and creators who want to push their experience to the next level. "Our new 9th Gen platform is designed to delight gamers, creators and performance users by giving them more of what they want. We are bringing desktop-caliber performance with up to 5 GHz and 8 cores in a range of thinner systems and new level of connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) so users can game or create where they want," said Fredrik Hamberger, general manager of the Premium and Gaming Laptop Segments at Intel.

There are 580 million enthusiast PC gamers and 130 million PC-based content creators today who care about raw performance as much as they do responsiveness of their PC. They require PCs that can handle everything from demanding AAA games to taxing creative workloads like editing, rendering and transcoding massive 4K video - all while on the go. The 9th Gen Intel Core mobile processors deliver desktop-caliber performance in a mobile form factor and feature amazing performance; the fastest, most reliable wireless with Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Gig+); the most versatile wired connectivity with Thunderbolt 3; and support for Intel Optane memory technology.

Intel Core i9-9900F Makes an Appearance in SiSoft Sandra: No iGPU, No Unlocked Multiplier

Intel has been playing with the release of multiple of their 14 nm ++ processors without any integrated graphics tech, such as the Intel Core i5-9400F, or the iGPU-less, unlocked Core i9-9900KF. However, as strange as it may seem, a quick look online still shows the i9-9900KF selling for more ($582.50) than its complete i9-9900 sibling.

The Core i9-9900F, as caught in SiSoft's Sandra, is likely simply a locked-down version of Intel's Core i9-9900, since delidding of Intel's Core i5-9400F has shown that the silicon real-estate for the iGPU is still there - as such, this likely isn't an effort from Intel to reduce the silicon used for graphics and pass on the savings to customers. At the most, this is Intel launching products that may carry defective iGPUs from the production process and still be able to sell them - though Intel does seem to be looking not to budge on its profit margin, even on these "crippled" CPUs.

Intel CPU Shortages to Worsen Thru Q2-2019

Supplies of Intel processors will worsen in the second quarter of 2019 according to Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes. In a research-based report covering not just the DIY channel, but also the OEM channel focusing on notebook manufacturer, DigiTimes notes that heading into Q2, growth in demand for entry-level portables such as Chromebooks based on entry-level Intel processors, and mainstream notebooks powered by Core i3 processors, which make up the largest demographic of PC consumers in the market.

A pertinent concept to this report is supply-gap, the percentage difference between demand and supply. A positive supply-gap indicates demand exceeding supply and shortages. Leading notebook vendors HP, Dell, and Lenovo, reported supply-gaps of 5% going into Q3-2018, which severely impacted their bottom-lines. The companies waded through Q4 with 4-5%. DigiTimes reports that even Apple wasn't spared from shortages in "Amber Lake" processors. "In the first quarter of 2019, the Core i5 processors featuring Coffee Lake architecture are now having the worst supply shortfall. Some of the demand for Intel's entry-level Atom processors has turned to AMD, while some others have opted for Core i3 processors," the report reads. AMD's market-share among OEMs increased from 9.8% in Q1-2018 to 15.8% in Q1-2019.

Intel Expands its 9th Gen. Core Desktop Processor Lineup with Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F

Intel today expanded its 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake Refresh" socket LGA1151 desktop processor lineup with six new SKUs. The first of these will begin rolling out in stores toward the end of January 2019. These include the Core i5-9400 6-core/6-thread processor clocked at 2.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz Turbo Boost, and 9 MB of shared L3 cache. The company is yet to list out model names of its other five models, although these are expected to include Core i3-9350KF, Core i5-9600KF, Core i7-9700KF, and Core i9-9900KF, besides a possible Core i3-9300. The "KF" SKUs are targeted at the DIY channel and the gaming pre-built ODM market, and are expected to lack integrated graphics.

Update: Intel also revealed its Core i5-9400F processor, which has the same specifications as the i5-9400, with the exception of no iGPU. Intel's own list price for this chip is USD $182.

Intel Readies "KF" Variants of Key 9th Gen Core Desktop SKUs

Intel is readying a curious-looking "KF" brand extension for key SKUs of its 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake Refresh" family. These SKUs include the Core i9-9900KF, the Core i7-9700KF, Core i5-9600KF, and the Core i3-9350KF. The source revealing slides from a GIGABYTE internal presentation mentioning these doesn't explain what "KF" means, but we've heard rumors on what "KF" could mean. The "K" in KF denotes that the processor features an unlocked base-clock multiplier. No points for guessing that one. The "F," however, could indicate a disabled or physically absent iGPU.

This won't be the first time that Intel has launched variants of its mainstream desktop premium SKUs with disabled iGPUs. Intel's reasons for doing so with "Coffee Lake Refresh" could be many, including harvesting dies with defective iGPU components. Physically absent iGPUs could only make sense from the perspective of increasing yields per wafer, as the dies could be around 15% smaller for the 8-core silicon, and 25% smaller for the 6-core silicon. It doesn't make sense from a purely TDP-optimization perspective, because Intel processors are capable of power-gating (and not just clock-gating) user-disabled iGPUs.
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