Before I had even landed back home from Intel's 9th Gen announcement event in New York, the Core i9-9900K sample from Intel had arrived. We still have some time before we can publish our results, but we can still take a look at how Intel packaged it up for us. A fair warning: we didn't get the flashy d12 case shown on stage.

This One Doesn't Roll

Shown on stage at Intel's event was a brand new flashy box design in the form of a dodecahedron. It looks exactly like a 12-sided die, similar to those used in dice-based games such as D&D. Its full size isn't much more than the size of one's hand.

Here is Intel's Anand Srivatsa holding the flashy design on stage. Roll for initiative, I guess?

Intel 9th Gen Core
AnandTech Cores TDP Freq L3 L3 Per
Core
DRAM
DDR4
iGPU iGPU
Turbo
Core i9-9900K $488 8 / 16 95 W 3.6 / 5.0 16 MB 2.0 MB 2666 GT2 1200
Core i7-9700K $374 8 / 8 95 W 3.6 / 4.9 12 MB 1.5 MB 2666 GT2 1200
Core i5-9600K $262 6 / 6 95 W 3.7 / 4.6 9 MB 1.5 MB 2666 GT2 1150

Intel is releasing three processors next week, although Intel is only sampling the Core i9-9900K.

The Press Kit

Instead of the dodecahedron, Intel plumped for a customized box. Inside, we were greated with our name.

Intel's big thing for the Core i9 and the 9th generation parts is the motto 'performance unleashed', by moving up to eight cores on the Core i9 series. All of this inside is cardboard, with the processor underneath.

Intel has supplied the press with engineering samples, that show off the S-Spec name of QQPP, and the base frequency of 3.60 GHz.

There's not much else to say. Intel is sampling the Core i9-9900K only, and motherboard vendors have started shipping out samples. We have reviews of the motherboards soon, and our 9th gen review will be going live on the embargo day, October 19th.

Edit: Peek for Peak in title. Too many peeks.

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  • 0ldman79 - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    They also can't just put stuff where ever they want. The CPU are still somewhat "modular" in design in that the ALU is here and this shape, the FPU is here, the L1, L2, L3, GPU, etc...

    To change the shape of that, which is currently rectangular, would require a full redesign of the chip. They're actually designing these things accounting for the time it takes for the electrons to make the trace to the next transistor/gate/whatever.
    Reply
  • willis936 - Friday, October 12, 2018 - link

    Layout isn't an easy problem even when you're assuming a rectangular die. You can make all of your islands rectangles but there are some good numberphile videos about math games that highlight just how few combinations of rectangles can be made into a larger rectangle. Designers still have to squish dimensions and make compromises to fit everything in. So a hexagon would create a different set of challenges but just because the valid layouts are less intuitive to a human I'm not sure their would be inherently fewer good layout choices. The biggest challenge I can think of is how to make a rectangular transistor make a non-90 degree mating point with another transistor. I'm imagining something like a nearest neighbor interpolation of a slanted line (think a graduated step response like unfilitered PCM). Reply
  • woggs - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    Wafers are cut into chips using a saw or laser scribe and then snapped along straight lines, like cutting glass. Straight lines across the wafer... No other option makes any sense at all. Reply
  • willis936 - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    Lasers and water jers do not need to cut in a straight line. Water jets are not used for obvious reasons. Hexagonal cutting patterns would certainly add manufacturing time because of the extra cutting time but I think if design and manufacture concerns were ignored there would be mild performance gains when we simply don’t have any more bandwidth left in existing electrical channels. Reply
  • Qiasfah - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    You don't roll for initiative with a d12, plz Reply
  • CaedenV - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    lol
    I think they are rolling for damage
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    Was gonna say that someone hasn't played a D20 based RPG. Though there are other systems that don't put the D20 to use like Savage Worlds where the largest die you toss is a D12 and combat initiative is determined by drawing cards from a poker deck. Then there's Shadowrun which is infamous for requiring a bucket of D6s. Eh, it was still fun joke even if the D12 isn't commonly used for initiative. Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    Yeah, but it was a good turn of phrase. I think we can probably overlook that detail. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, October 11, 2018 - link

    @Ian: Thanks! Any updates/news/rumours on availability of the i9 processors in the next 3 months? Nice that they ship review samples, but we all know that those are from early low number/yield runs. Intel's fabs are currently overwhelmed, after their planned move to a 10 nm process was postponed or cancelled, leaving their working 14 nm FF++ fabs unable to cope with demand. Knowing how soon i9s will ship in quantity and thus sell at sane prices might make a difference if building a system. Thanks! Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Friday, October 12, 2018 - link

    Review CPUs are from the final batch of ES. Intel has said that they'll meet demand for 2018 as per their financial report, and that going forward their focus is on Core and Xeon over other segments. Reply

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