Intel's new H-Series mobile processors bring high performance to laptops

9th-Gen Intel Core H-Series
Image Credit: Intel

Intel is continuing the journey of rounding out its Coffee Lake Refresh processor (CPU) family with a new slew of high-performance mobile CPUs. Anyone looking for high-power CPUs in laptops will likely be looking at computers powered by these new models in the near future.

Intel is simultaneously expanding its lineup of 9th-generation Intel Core desktop processors alongside the launch of the high-performance, H-Series of 9th-gen Intel Core mobile processors. These new mobile processors are indicated with the suffix 'H' or 'HK'.

These new CPUs are targeted at a growing crowd of PC gamers as well as at creators looking for high-performance internals for stylishly designed computers. While a 45W TDP for all of the new mobile processors may prevent them from showing up in the thinnest and lightest notebooks, they can definitely end up in larger, productivity-focused devices.

9th-Gen Intel Core H-Series mobile CPUs

Intel Core i9-990HK – 2.4/5.0GHz base/boost | 8/16 cores/threads | 45W TDP | 16MB Intel Smart Cache | Overclocking
Intel Core i9-9980H – 2.3/4.8GHz base/boost | 8/16 cores/threads | 45W TDP | 16MB Intel Smart Cache
Intel Core i7-9850H – 2.6/4.6GHz base/boost | 6/12 cores/threads | 45W TDP | 12MB Intel Smart Cache | Partially unlocked
Intel Core i7-9750H – 2.6/4.5GHz base/boost | 6/12 cores/threads | 45W TDP | 12MB Intel Smart Cache
Intel Core i5-9400H – 2.5/4.3GHz base/boost | 4/8 cores/threads | 45W TDP | 8MB Intel Smart Cache
Intel Core i5-9300H – 2.4/4.1GHz base/boost | 4/8 cores/threads | 45W TDP | 8MB Intel Smart Cache

What they can deliver

At the high-end of the spectrum, Intel is launching the Intel Core i9-9980HK and the Core i9-9980H. Both are monsters for mobile, with eight cores, 16 threads, and a single-core boost speed of 5GHz for the former and 4.8GHz for the latter. For the i9-9980HK, overlocking is available to push performance to the limit.

Intel is also launching two Core i7 and two Core i5 models in the mobile H-Series. But, unsurprisingly, there's no mention of a Core i3 model getting the H-Series treatment.

Arriving with the new CPUs is support for the new Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6. This allows for greater overall bandwidth, reduced network latency and more simultaneously connected devices.

The new H-Series CPUs all support Intel's Optane memory, which means they'll be able to take advantage of the new Optane Memory H10 that combines large SSD capacities with a substantial amount of Optane memory to boost overall performance in a way similar to how hybrid hard drives combined a small amount of flash storage with a hard drive to boost speeds.

New desktop CPUs are coming, too

Alongside the new mobile CPUs, Intel has revealed more than 20 additional CPUs for desktops. These range from some new high-end entries in the Core i9 and Core i7 series (without overclocking) down to dual-core Pentium and Celeron processors.

Notable among the new desktop CPUs are the T-Series processors. We'd previously spotted a leak on Intel T-Series processors, and the release confirms the details of that leak. All of the new T-series processors have a low TDP of 35W, making them strong options for smaller, quieter desktop builds.

All told, Intel's new processors hold a lot of potential for mobile and small-form-factor PCs, even if they'll have to contend with AMD's upcoming 7-nanometer chips. 

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.