Intel’s secretive 14-core Core i9-9990XE processor sells for $2,300

Intel Core i9-9990XE
Image Credit: TechRadar

Intel’s 9th generation processor rollout has been a wild ride with the introduction of new F-series CPUs, the company’s first 28-core processor and now the secretive sale of an Intel Core i9-9990XE chip.

According Puget Systems, Intel just held a secret quarterly auction where the company sold a new, unheard of 14-core Core i9-9990XE CPU for $2,300. That’s a fairly extravagant selling price for a high-end desktop processor, especially when Intel’s current Basin Falls Refresh flagship chip, the 18-core Intel Core i9-9990XE, costs noticeably less at $1,999 (£1,999, AU$2,729).

That said, bear in mind that this chip wasn’t just bought at a store, but an auction for the privilege of being one of the first to test this chip.

What makes the Intel Core i9-9990XE worth all that cheddar? Well Puget Systems has shared that this 14-cores and 28-threads CPU comes with a mighty fast 4.0 GHz base clock and an incredible 5.0GHz all-core boost. Comparatively, the Intel Core i9-9980XE might feature 18-cores and 36-threads, but it only runs at clock speeds between 3.0GHz and 4.4GHz.

These high-frequencies makes the Intel Core i9-9990XE a capable performer and Puget Systems also reported that it scored 221 and 3,732 points in Cinebench single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. In our testing, the Intel Core i9-9900K only managed to land 1,873 points in Cinebench multi-core and even the Intel Core i9-9980XE lags behind with a 3,640 point score.

From what we can tell, the Intel Core i9-9990XE seems to be worthy of its name sake. However, Puget Systems has also noted that the processor runs hot nearly all the time, will see limited availability, lacks any warranty and is obviously expensive. 

All told, it seems unlikely that this this CPU come to store shelves as a standalone part, but rather be available in a select few pre-built systems only by speciality brands like Origin or Digital Storm. 

Want one for a custom build? Only time will tell if the Intel Core i9-9990XE actually releases.

Via Tom's Hardware

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.