Recap: In early December we reported of an internal Gigabyte presentation that claimed Intel would be launching “F” variants of their current 9th-gen lineup. Over the last few days, at least eight different online retailers have begun listing the Core i9-9900KF, i7-9700KF, i5-9600KF and i5-9400F with their prices and their release date: January 3rd.
The “F” at the end of the name would mean no integrated graphics. While this could be a method of shrinking the die size, it’s more likely a way for Intel to sell processors with normal cores but defective iGPUs. A disabled iGPU does have the advantage of acting as ‘dark silicon,’ a part of the processor that helps spread heat and thus improve thermal performance. If this is the case, then the processors will probably arrive with higher boost clock speeds at similar prices to their current counterparts.
The Core i5-9400F would be a six-core six-thread part, with a base clock of 2.9Ghz and a boost clock of 4.1Ghz, both 100Mhz faster than the 8400. However, the supposed price comes in generally cheaper than the 8400's $219 at $188 on the Finnish website Yritysten, $191 on American site Provantage and $200 on Canadian website Direct Dial. Central Point, a website providing service in the Netherlands lists the price at $226, and Norwegian retailer Upheads places it at $255. It’s not unusual to see variation across regions.
Other than the 3.7Ghz base clock, the specs of the Core i5-9600KF are unlisted. With the exception of Yritysten that prices it at $188, the prices are way above the $279 the 9600K can be found for at the moment. European website Networkx is the second cheapest, at $313, and then comes Central Point at $324. Once again Uphead is the most expensive, at $355.
The i7-9700KF is in a worse position. Once again the 3.7Ghz base clock is the only known spec, but while both the Norwegian Teneodata and Upheads list the processor, only Upheads has the price, at an exorbitant $528. Given that Upheads has listed the prices of the other processors above other retailers, however there remains hope that the 9700KF will find itself a little closer to the 9700K’s $399.
Saving the best for last, the Core i9-9900KF has been listed on three websites, all of which agree on a 3.6Ghz base clock. Central point lists it for $590 while Upheads lists it for $673. Once again, we suspect it will arrive closer to the $549 the 9900K fetches when it lands in the US.
In the case of the 9400KF and 9600KF, if they do release with similar specs to their current counterparts, they’d be quite a steal at some of these websites. If the January 3rd release date is to be believed, then they'll likely debut at CES early next month. Keep your eyes open for Intel’s announcement and our potential upcoming review.