It’s official: 9th-generation Intel Coffee Lake-S processors coming later this year

Just a few days ago, we found speculation that the Intel Core i9 was coming to the mainstream as part of the 9th-generation Intel Core family. But, now it looks like Intel has made the 9th generation official in its latest microcode revision

Intel’s 9th generation Core family will be coming to market by the end of the year, according to official listings found by Wccftech. While we’ve already seen some speculation about the Core i9 and i7 chips, this listing is notable because, while it doesn’t include the higher-end chips, it does include the quad-core i3 chips that were missing from that earlier leak.

So, it looks like Coffee Lake-S is going to be a full blown generation, meant to give Ryzen 2nd Generation some competition.

However, it’s odd that the leaked processors from last week didn’t get an official listing. The octa-core Core i9-9900K and hexa-core i7-9700K are still without final specs, even though we believe they will be part of this generation at some point. The rumored 8-core, 16-thread Core i9-9900K will be necessary for giving AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X some competition. 

By the numbers 

These new processors are confirmed to be a refresh of the Coffee Lake architecture, which makes us think Cannon Lake is further off than we once thought. And, while we didn’t get confirmation of the high-end Core i9 and i7 we’ve seen rumored earlier, there were seven new processors listed in Intel’s document: 

  • Core i5-9600K: 6 cores, 6 threads, clocked at 3.7GHz to 4.5GHz
  • Core i5-9600: 6 cores, 6 threads, clocked at 3.1GHz to 4.5GHz  
  • Core i5-9500: 6 cores, 6 threads, clocked at 3.0GHz to 4.3GHz 
  • Core i5-9400T: 6 cores, 6 threads, clocked at 1.8GHz to 3.4GHz 
  • Core i5-9400: 6 cores, 6 threads, clocked at 2.9GHz to 4.1GHz 
  • Core i3-9100: 4 cores, 4 threads, clocked at 3.7GHz 
  • Core i3-9000: 4 cores, 4 threads, clocked at 3.7GHz 

We were initially thinking that Intel would be getting rid of the quad-core model with the Coffee Lake-S refresh, but it looks like that was unfounded, as there are two Core i3 models with this traditional core count. This listing also solidifies six cores as the new mainstream processor.

This refresh will add some of the features present in the Coffee Lake-H laptop processors, like 802.11ac Wi-Fi and support for up to six Thunderbolt 3 ports – but motherboard manufacturers will have to add in support for that technology.

What’s even more impressive is the fact that while maintaining the same core counts and TDPs, these 9th-generation Intel Core processors manage to slightly boost clock speeds. And, while this won’t be enough to justify Coffee Lake owners to go out and upgrade, it should convince some people with older processors. 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.