Following on from CES earlier this year, we saw many new gaming laptops launch with new RTX graphics but the downside at the time was that they were packing Intel 8th Gen CPUs, with 9th Gen just around the corner. Now just a few short months later, Intel has updated its laptop processor lineup with 9th Gen chips, with Core i9, Core i7 and Core i5 SKUs ranging from 8C/16T all the way down to 4C/8T.
Intel’s 9th Gen Core mobile processors are based on the Coffee Lake Refresh architecture. With this launch, Intel will be targeting gamers, in addition to the ‘prosumer’ category, who regularly require additional processing grunt for rendering, editing and other tasks.
At the top of the pile is the Intel Core i9-9980HK, which contains 8 cores, 16 threads and is unlocked, giving users the freedom to overclock as long as their laptop can handle the extra heat. According to Intel’s own tests, a Core i9-9980HK will offer up to eighteen percent higher frame rate. Meanwhile, those who stream and game from a laptop can expect a bigger 2x performance boost.
Meanwhile, the new Core i7-9850H is said to be up to 56 percent faster in games compared to a 6th Gen Skylake Core i7. The i7-9850H is particularly interesting as it is ‘partially unlocked’, which indicates that there will be some wiggle room for clock speeds hidden in there, although it may be up to OEMs to play around with that themselves.
Here are the specs we have so far:
In terms of efficiency, there are no earth shaking changes, you will still be getting a couple of hours or gaming or intense CPU load on battery and eight to ten while performing ‘general tasks’. However, improvements have been made to connectivity, with Intel continuing to support Thunderbolt and single-cable docking. 9th Gen mobile processors also support Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, which will enhance speeds and reduce latency compared to current-gen WiFi in laptops.
Integrated graphics isn’t a core focus here, as Intel expects these CPUs to be paired with a discrete graphics chip. In fact, many of the new laptops you’ll be hearing about today will pair an Intel 9th Gen CPU with one of NVIDIA’s new GTX 16-series laptop GPUs.
KitGuru Says: Intel 9th Gen laptops should start rolling out almost immediately, so if you are looking to get the latest and greatest, it will be worth shopping around. We’ve already had the chance to check out a few new models from ASUS, which you can find our coverage of, HERE.