Intel Announces i9-9900KS for October, Teases Cascade Lake-X Price-to-Performance Jump
During a press briefing Wednesday at IFA in Berlin, Intel provided details about two of its impending processor launches, both confirming the launch timeframe of its new flagship i9-9900KS desktop processor as well as teasing expected performance for its upcoming Cascade Lake-X series of HEDT processors.
The Core i9-9900KS, first unveiled ahead of Computex in May, is Intel’s short-term solution to ensuring that it retains the “gaming performance” crown in the face of stiff competition from AMD’s third-generation Ryzen processors. Based on the same 14nm Coffee Lake architecture and 8-core/16-thread design as the i9-9900K released last year, the new 9900KS bumps the base clock to 4.0GHz and promises an out-of-the-box all-core boost frequency of 5.0GHz.
While Intel still hasn’t provided key information such as price or base TDP, the company announced that the 9900KS will hit the market in October.
During its IFA press event, Intel demoed the 9900KS to show that it can indeed hit and maintain its 5GHz all-core boost frequency in gaming situations, and that it won’t require exotic cooling to do so. Intel representatives told the press in attendance that the demo 9900KS was being cooled by a Corsair 240mm AIO liquid cooler.
Intel launched the Cascade Lake architecture in the enterprise space first, announcing a range of new Xeon processors back in April at its Data-Centric Innovation Day. Now Intel’s latest high-end architecture, the successor to Skylake, is coming to the enthusiast market with Cascade Lake-X HEDT processors.
Intel promised to unveil more details about Cascade Lake-X next month, but did share an interesting slide which claims that Intel’s new architecture will offer up to twice the “performance per dollar” over Skylake-X.
Looking at the Cascade Lake architecture for servers, we know that it of course brings raw performance improvements, but Intel’s claim of a major “performance per dollar” jump over Skylake also suggests the potential for price cuts.
This is significant since Intel’s biggest challenge from AMD isn’t necessarily performance, but rather value. This is especially true in the HEDT space with AMD introducing 12-core (and soon 16-core) parts at the high end of the traditional desktop processor pricing scale, and well below the price of Intel’s HEDT processors with similar core counts.
Of course, Intel’s “performance per dollar” calculation depends entirely on the measured workloads, which were unsurprisingly not disclosed. We’ll hopefully receive more details on Cascade Lake-X core counts, frequencies, and pricing next month.
For current Skylake-X users looking to upgrade, Cascade Lake-X will retain the LGA2066 socket and will be compatible, following a BIOS update, with X299 motherboards.