Motherboard makers are apparently eager for the arrival of Intel's not-yet-announced 9th generation Core processor family. Perhaps too eager, depending on how much of secret Intel wants to keep things. Lest there was any lingering doubt about Intel's plans, MSI spilled some of the beans in a news release announcing a round of BIOS of updates for its Z370 motherboards.
Brad Chacos at PCWorld spotted the announcement, which states in no uncertain terms that "the new BIOS updates are fully optimized for Intel 9000 processors." That's all fine and dandy, except that Intel has not formally introduced any 9000 series (9th gen) CPUs yet.
MSI stopped short of calling out specific CPU models, including the rumored 8-core SKUs that have shown up in numerous other leaks. In fact, the news release seems to suggest that only 6-core variants are in the pipeline, though that contradicts a mountain of rumors to this point.
Either way, Intel can't be too mad at MSI for partially tipping its hand, not after it already inadvertently revealed several 9000 series in a couple of technical PDFs on its website last month. Between the two documents, Intel essentially confirmed the following CPUs:
- Core i5-9600K: 6 cores / 6 threads, 3.7GHz to 4.5GHz, 9MB L3 cache, 95W TDP
- Core i5-9600: 6 cores / 6 threads, 3.1GHz to 4.5GHz, 9MB L3 cache, 65W TDP
- Core i5-9500: 6 cores / 6 threads, 3GHz to 4.3GHz, 9MB L3 cache, 65W TDP
- Core i5-9400T: 6 cores / 6 threads, 1.8GHz to 3.4GHz, 9MB L3 cache, 35W TDP
- Core i5-9400: 6 cores / 6 threads , 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz, 9MB L3 cache, 65W TDP
- Core i3-9100: 4 cores / 4 threads, 3.7GHz, 6MB L3 cache, 65W TDP
- Core i3-9000: 4 cores / 4 threads, 3.7GHz, 6MB L3 cache, 65W TDP
What about the 8-core processors? Those have only shown up in outside leaks and rumors. If those are accurate, Intel will be releasing two 8-core CPUs, including the Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K. Interestingly, rumors point to the Core i7-9700K lacking Hyper Threading support, which would be unusual for a Core i7 chip. They also suggest the Core i9-9900K will have a 5GHz single-core turbo clock, with a 95W TDP. That would take some serious optimization and binning, so we'll believe it when we see it.
Finally, Intel is also said (unofficially) to be releasing another high-end SKU, the Core i7-9700 with 6 cores and 12 threads.