[CES 2019]: Intel announces six new 9th generation processors without GPUs

“The new processors are targeting AMD’s new generation Ryzen 3000 processors, by attempting to provide more effective options.”

As was expected, Intel took the stage at CES to announce new 9th generation processors. Six new processors were announced, and with the exception of one SKU, the key point to note about these processors is the lack of integrated GPUs in these units. The new processors have the same 14nm fabrication process, and the Coffee Lake microarchitecture that has been present in other 9th generation processors. Despite the lack of an integrated GPU, Intel’s new 9th generation processors are available all the way up to Core i9 SKUs, through Core i3.

Strangely, though, the only processor that they detailed among the newly launched ones is the Core i5-9400 — the only SKU with integrated graphics. The other five new processors include the Core i9-9900KF, Core i9-9700KF, Core i5-9600KF, Core i5-9400F, and Core i3-9350KF, with the ‘F’ in each of them denoting the lack of an integrated GPU — Intel’s UHD Graphics 630 iGPU, to be precise. Intel has stated that all of these processors will be available from the first quarter of 2019, with mobile versions coming within the second quarter of the year — squarely pitting it against AMD’s newly announced Ryzen 3000 series processors. The specifications of the processors are as follows:

Intel new processors

Intel’s decision to sell processors without integrated graphics has raised a few eyebrows to say the least, although speculations are on about the specific benefits that doing so can bring to the table. First of all, selling processors without graphics would help Intel mitigate production line losses arising owing to manufacturing defects. Incidental inefficiencies in the fabrication process mean that some processors come out with defects in the graphics chips. It is, hence, most likely that the new 9th generation processors are actually being sold with the graphics chips disabled, rather than completely new die without GPU cores. This also holds true since making a completely new die would significantly cost more for Intel, which does not seem to make much business sense.

The other reason is that deactivated the defective GPU chips would give these processors extra, unused silicon chips, which in turn can absorb heat from adjacent cores. This, in turn, can lead to better heating efficiency and possibly open more room over overclocking as well. Hence, Intel’s new line of processors can be found in high-end laptops that are sure to come with a dedicated GPU — in turn benefiting overall performance, overclocking and Intel’s cost management in the production line. That’s a triple strike for the chipmaker.

Intel 9th generation - featured

Intel has not announced the prices of these processors yet. However, seeing that they are set for a Q1 2019 launch, we should hear about them soon enough.

A lover of anything that has a circuit and involves physics, Shouvik is passionate about technology, science and journalism in equal parts. When not at work, he prefers reading up on ancient history, sports and engineering, going on random photography expeditions, and occasionally a long solo drive. He's also neck-deep into science fiction, and is working on a debut novel that he hopes will one day be read by Steven Erikson.
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