Last year, Intel reset the bar for what counted as a performance desktop processor with the introduction of the Core i9. Before that, the Core i7 Extreme Edition offered the highest performance, with up to 10 cores. However, the Core i9 increased that to 18 cores and 36 threads. Now Intel is bringing Core i9 to laptops.

At an event in Beijing, Intel revealed the first 8th generation Core i9 chip for use in laptops. It’s called the Core i9-8950K and includes six cores (12 threads) and is manufactured using Intel’s 14nm++ process technology.

When compared to the Core i7-7820HK, Intel claims the 8950K will allow 4K video editing to be 59 percent faster using Adobe Premier Pro. When playing Total War: Warhammer II, you can expect a 41 percent increase in frames per second. In general use, the chip is expected to be about 29 percent faster when compared to a 7820HK.

Intel is really pushing the performance on offer in this new mobile processor. It runs at 2.9GHz, but can boost up to 4.8GHz. The chip will ship unlocked and features a new Thermal Velocity Boost allowing for automatic clock frequency increases of up to 200MHz. Heat is the key limiter here, with the 45W TDP 8950K needing to stay below 50 degrees Celsius in order to reach its highest frequencies.

To compliment the speed of the chip, Intel also used its new 300 Series Chipset, which integrates Gigabit Wi-Fi. Intel claims it is “capable of being up to 2 times faster than standard 2×2 802.11AC.” There’s also support for Intel Optane memory to ensure accessing storage doesn’t form a performance bottleneck regardless of whether you pair it with an SSD or hard drive.

We are also going to see devices using Intel Core i5+, i7+, and i9+ badges. This simply means a mobile or desktop system includes the combination of an Intel Core processor and Optane memory. We should expect to see these badges appearing on gaming laptops, virtual reality hardware, and any systems setup for professional content creation.

As well as the 8950K and the “+” badges, Intel also announced a number of other new processors, including some more mainstream 8th generation Core i3, i5, and i7 chips with Iris Graphics for laptops, new additions to the desktop processor line-up, and some new vPro processors aimed at business use. The focus, of course, will be on that blisteringly fast Core i9-8950K, though.



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