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Rumors that Intel’s first Coffee Lake Core i9 processor would be made for laptops have been around since November last year. Today, the company announced a new series of 8th generation desktop and laptop chips, including the flagship six-core i9-8950HK mobile CPU.
Intel says the first Core i9 for laptops boasts a 29 percent improvement over the 7th generation Core i7, with a 41 percent FPS boost for games and 32 percent faster gameplay streaming and recording. It features single-core Turbo Boost speeds that reach up to 4.8GHz, and as it’s fully unlocked, buyers can overclock it to their heart’s content. Chipzilla says this is the fastest laptop CPU it has ever built, offering “enthusiast level” performance to mobile gamers, virtual reality fans, and content creators.
“It really is the closest to desktop performance you can get in a notebook,” said Fredrik Hamberger, general manager of Intel’s premium and gaming notebooks.
Intel revealed new Core i7 8th generation laptop CPUs, too. The 8850H and 8750H come with 6 cores and 12 threads, with Turbo Boost speeds of 4.3GHz and 4.2GHz, respectively. The Core i7-8850H is partially unlocked.
Further down the list—well below the two Xeons—we have the Core i5-8400H and 8300H. These are four core/eight thread chips that are likely to appear in more budget-friendly gaming laptops. All the new chips come with integrated Intel Wireless-AC with Gigabit Throughput, integrated USB 3.1 Gen2 support, and Optane support.
Next up are the low-power U-series CPUs. Apart from the entry-level Core i3-8109U, they all feature four cores and eight threads. These Coffee Lake chips are an upgrade over the Kaby Lake Refresh CPUs Intel announced last August, adding Intel Iris Plus graphics. They also have a higher TDP—now 28 watts instead of 15 watts.
Intel announced a series of new Coffee Lake desktop CPUs, too. These are split into three standard-power (65W) and six low power (35W) processors, none of which are overclockable, though they all support Optane. Some of the cheaper, low power chips will likely be popular in budget rigs, all-in-ones, home servers, and HTPCs. Many sport six cores, offering improved performance over previous generations.
All the new chips feature software mitigations—as opposed to architecture redesigns—to protect against Meltdown and Spectre exploits.
Intel is also creating a new processor branding called ‘Intel Core+’ This isn’t a new line of CPUs, but a way of identifying laptops and desktops that have Optane included from the factory. The company says that when Optane is paired with a hard disk, games load up to 4.7 times faster and media loads up to 1.7 times quicker than when using just a hard drive.
Finally, Intel has added four new 300-series chipsets to the single, high-end Z370 that launched last year. The H370, H310, Q370, and B360 all feature enhanced audio and I/O, integrated Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi with gigabit throughput, and 10 Gbit/s integrated Gen2 USB 3.1 I/O.