Intel Unveils Full Desktop Coffee Lake Refresh Lineup

Credit: IntelCredit: Intel

Six months after the original unveiling of the first Coffee Lake Refresh models, Intel finally released its full 9th-Gen lineup today. The bulked-up line of desktop chips comes with 26 new models that span the Core i9, i7, i5, i3, Pentium, and Celeron families, with ten low-power models sprinkled in for good measure.

With Intel's somewhat-belated launch of its 14nm++ chips finally complete, it's clear that these are the weapons Intel will wield in the battle with AMD's forthcoming 7nm Ryzen 3000-series processors that should arrive "mid-year."

Aside from the new Intel models that come as a byproduct of segmenting the chips into various core counts, clock frequencies, and memory support, there aren't many new features to speak of with the freshly-announced processors. The most surprising news comes in the form of Turbo Boost support for the Core i3 models, which does promise to bring even more performance to the value end of the market where AMD has steadily been chewing away market share with its more-capable Ryzen 3 models.

As Intel has already announced, the chips now feature support for up to 128GB of DRAM, a doubling necessitated by increasing RAM density, and support for Optane Memory with Pentium and Celeron processors.

Intel's full Coffee Lake Refresh roll-out has been slow, with the first K-Series chips arriving back in October 2018. A few more models have trickled out in the interim, but it's easy to assume that Intel's ongoing shortage of 14nm production capacity has played a role in the delayed arrival of the full complement of chips. There have been recent signs of the shortage easing, and Intel hopes to have the full lineup on shelves for purchase immediately. 

9th-Gen Intel Core i9 Series

Core i9 Series
Base / Boost
Cores / Threads
TDP
PCIe Lanes
Unlocked
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Integrated Graphics
RCP
Core i9-9900K
3.6 / 5.0
8 / 16
95W
16
Yes
16MB
DDR4-2666
Yes
$488
Core i9-9900KF
3.5 / 5.0
8 / 16
95W
16
Yes
16MB
DDR4-2666
No
$488
Core i9-9900
3.1 / 5.0
8 / 16
95W
16
No
16MB
DDR4-2666
Yes
$439

Intel's Core i9-9900 slots in as the lone locked model of the Core i9 series. This model still comes with eight cores and sixteen threads like the other i9 models, but Intel pared back the base frequencies to 3.1 GHz while still maintaining a 5.0 GHz boost. This model also comes with integrated graphics and weighs in at $439, serving as the budget chip of Intel's flagship lineup. 

The Core i9-9900 is $65 more expensive than the eight-core eight-thread Core i7-9700K, which is the next step down on the ladder. The -9900 might prove valuable to semi-professionals on a budget, the performance of Intel's eight cores and sixteen threads is hard to beat with a mainstream platform in threaded workloads, but the 5.0 GHz boost clock means this chip will still require many of the expensive accommodations you'll need for an i9 chip, like a beefy cooler and motherboard.

9th-Gen Intel Core i7 Series

Core i7 Series
Base / Boost
Cores / Threads
TDP
PCIe Lanes
Unlocked
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Integrated Graphics
RCP
Core i7-9700K
3.6 / 4.9
8 / 8
95W
16
Yes
12MB
DDR4-2666
Yes
$374
Core i7-9700KF
3.6 / 4.9
8 / 8
95W
16
Yes
12MB
DDR4-2666
Yes
$374
Core i7-9700
3.0 / 4.7
8 / 8
65W
16
No
12MB
DDR4-2666No
$323
Core i7-9700F
3.0 / 4.7
8 / 8
65W
16
No
12MB
DDR4-2666No
$323

Intel's Core i7 lineup comes with eight cores and no Hyper-Threading, with the Core i7-9700 models stepping down to a 65W thermal design power (TDP) compared to their other 95W Core i7 brethren. The reduced TDP rating comes as a byproduct of the reduced 3.0 GHz base and 4.7 GHz boost frequencies.

As per Intel's new strategy of selling F-series parts that come without graphics, the Core i7-9700F doesn't have a graphics engine. You'll notice that Intel doesn't provide a discount in exchange for the culled feature, so both chips come at a recommended customer pricing (RCP) of $323.

9th-Gen Intel Core i5 Series

Core i5 Series
Base / Boost
Cores / Threads
TDP
PCIe Lanes
Unlocked
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Integrated Graphics
RCP
Core i5-9600K
3.7 / 4.6
6 / 6
65W
16
Yes
9MB
DDR4-2666Yes
$262
Core i5-9600KF
3.7 / 4.6
6 / 665W16Yes9MBDDR4-2666No
$262
Core i5-9600
3.1 / 4.6
6 / 665W16No
9MBDDR4-2666Yes
$213
Core i5-9500
3.0 / 4.4
6 / 665W16No9MBDDR4-2666Yes
$192
Core i5-9500F
3.0 / 4.4
6 / 665W16No9MBDDR4-2666No
$192
Core i5-9400
2.9 / 4.1
6 / 665W16No9MBDDR4-2666Yes
$182
Core i5-9400F
2.9 / 4.1
6 / 665W16No9MBDDR4-2666No
$182

The Core i5 lineup serves the vast majority of the enthusiast market with six cores and six threads. The Core i5-9600 and -9500(F) feature much lower base frequencies than their more expensive i5 counterparts, but boost frequencies remain relatively high at 4.6 and 4.4 GHz, respectively.

There's a $49 price gap between the $262 Core i5-9600K and the $213 Core i5-9600, the biggest gap of the i5 series, meaning the -9600 could be the chip to get for mainstream gamers and enthusiasts that aren't interested in overclocking.

9th-Gen Intel Core i3 Series

Core i3 Series
Base / Boost
Cores / Threads
TDP
PCIe Lanes
Unlocked
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Integrated Graphics
RCP
Core i3-9350K
4.0 / 4.6
4 / 4
91W
16
Yes
8MB
DDR4-2400
Yes
$173
Core i3-9350KF
4.0 / 4.6
4 / 4
91W
16Yes
8MBDDR4-2400No
$173
Core i3-9320
3.7 / 4.4
4 / 462W
16No
8MBDDR4-2400Yes
$154
Core i3-9300
3.7 / 4.3
4 / 462W
16No8MBDDR4-2400Yes
$143
Core i3-9100
3.6 / 4.2
4 / 465W
16No6MB
DDR4-2400Yes
$122
Core i3-9100F
3.6 / 4.2
4 / 465W
16No6MB
DDR4-2400No
$122

Intel's Core i3 series has undergone perhaps the most radical changes over the last few years, with Intel's addition of two more cores enabling an impressive boost to performance with the initial Coffee Lake chips. Intel adds in support for Turbo Boost with these refresh chips, which should boost performance further. That's a much-needed addition here on the low end of the stack, primarily because AMD's full Ryzen 3 lineup comes with unlocked multipliers and are widely available.

9th-Gen Intel Core Pentium and Celeron Series

Pentium and Celeron
Base / Boost
Cores / Threads
TDP
PCIe Lanes
Unlocked
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Integrated Graphics
RCP
Pentium Gold G5620
4.0 / -
2 / 4
54W
16
No
4MB
DDR4-2400Yes
$86
Pentium Gold G5600T
3.3 / -
2 / 435W
16No4MBDDR4-2400Yes$75
Pentium Gold G5420
3.8 / -
2 / 454 / 58W
16No4MB
DDR4-2400Yes$64
Pentium Gold G5420T
3.2 / -
2 / 435W
16No4MB
DDR4-2400Yes$64
Celeron G4950
3.3 / -
2 / 2
54W
16No2MB
DDR4-2400Yes$52
Celeron G4930
3.2 / -
2 / 254W
16No2MB
DDR4-2400Yes$42
Celeron G4930T
3.0 / -
2 / 235W
16No2MB
DDR4-2400Yes$42

As we've recently covered, Intel's Pentium and Celeron lineup now support Optane Memory, which is helpful as Intel's Optane H10 Series SSDs come to address the value segment. These dual-core chips span from 54W down to 35W, with the three least-expensive models coming without Hyper-Threading. As with all of Intel's Pentium and Celeron chips, these models don't come with Turbo Boost and step back to DDR4-2400 memory support.

Core i3 and Pentium chips have suffered the most at the hands of Intel's 14nm shortage, largely because the company is prioritizing higher-margin models during the squeeze, so we might continue to see limited availability.

9th-Gen Intel Core T-Series

T-Series
Base / Boost
Cores / Threads
TDP
PCIe Lanes
Unlocked
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Integrated Graphics
RCP
Core i9-9900T
2.1 / 4.4
8 / 16
35W
16
No
16MB
DDR4-2666Yes
$439
Core i7-9700T
2.0 / 4.3
8 / 8
35W
16
No
12MB
DDR4-2666Yes$323
Core i5-9600T
2.3 / 3.9
6 / 6
35W
16
No
9MB
DDR4-2666Yes$213
Core i5-9500T
2.2 / 3.7
6 / 6
35W
16
No
9MB
DDR4-2666Yes$192
Core i5-9400T
1.8 / 3.4
6 / 6
35W
16
No
9MB
DDR4-2666Yes$182
Core i3-9300T
3.2 / 3.8
4 / 4
35W
16
No
8MB
DDR4-2400
Yes$143
Core i3-9100T
3.1 / 3.7
4 / 4
35W
16
No
6MB
DDR4-2400Yes$122

Intel's T-Series models are designed for the space-constrained systems that need to sip the least amount of power possible to facilitate lesser thermal solutions. All of these models come with a 35W TDP and span from four cores up to eight. The flagship T-Series Core i9-9900T is the only model to come with Hyper-Threading active, meaning the chip wields 16 threads. Pricing also runs the gamut from $122 for the Core i3-9100T (which only supports DDR4-2400) to $439 for the Core i9-9900T.

Intel says the full lineup will be available today at major retailers, but we wouldn't be surprised to see sporadic shortages. We'll keep an eye on availability and update accordingly.

23 comments
    Your comment
  • ingtar33
    reminder, this refresh is a refresh of a refresh of a refresh.

    the last substantive change to the intel chip design was when they went from broadwell to skylake (and that was mostly to the memory subsystems, the overall design was so close as to almost qualify as a refresh). Every update since has been a "refresh" or a "refresh with more cores". zero progress on node shrink, or design update in almost 4 whole years now, this is like the Pentium 4 days when intel would release revision after revision of the same chip with slightly higher clock speeds or more cores.

    Unlike with the p4 I don't see a new chip design like the core design coming down the pike to break them out of this nonsense.
  • salgado18
    Quote:
    reminder, this refresh is a refresh of a refresh of a refresh. the last substantive change to the intel chip design was when they went from broadwell to skylake (and that was mostly to the memory subsystems, the overall design was so close as to almost qualify as a refresh). Every update since has been a "refresh" or a "refresh with more cores". zero progress on node shrink, or design update in almost 4 whole years now, this is like the Pentium 4 days when intel would release revision after revision of the same chip with slightly higher clock speeds or more cores. Unlike with the p4 I don't see a new chip design like the core design coming down the pike to break them out of this nonsense.

    I disagree on the conclusion. Intel is not dumb. As soon as the first Ryzen models came to market, and caught everyone (including them) by surprise, they probably started development of a new chip architecture. We don't see anything because it takes years to come out with a complete redesign, but I'm sure they are hard at work to come back to the top. If they aren't doing this, the future battles are already lost, because Zen is a very modular, powerful and cool architecture. They need something completely new to stop AMD's growth.
  • Brian_R170
    Intel website shows the TDP of the Core i9-9900 as 65W. Your table currently shows 95W.

    Edit: I see the table is fixed now, but I wondering if the comment that it will still need "a beefy cooler and motherboard" is valid given that it's locked and limited to 65W.