Intel’s 9th Generation Core Mobile Processors: 45W H-Series

The 45W range of processors from Intel fits into the high-performance / prosumer niche of portable gaming laptops and workstations. These typically populate the 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch devices, going from a basic gaming system with a discrete graphics card all the way up to DTR, or DeskTop Replacement hardware, that takes the place of a full on desktop in a (insert non-committal gesture) mobile sort of form factor that weighs almost double digits in pounds.

Intel has recently released some mobile processors into the market, such as Whiskey Lake at 15W on 8th Gen, but this is the first proper outing for high performance 9th Gen in a mobile form factor. At this point, we’re not seeing a replacement for Kaby Lake-G, where Intel paired a H-series CPU with a Radeon GPU in the same package, so it will be interesting to see if that gets a refresh later this year.

Intel 9th Generation Core CPUs
Mobile 45W H-Series
AnandTech Cores
Threads
Base
Freq
Turbo
Freq
L3
Cache
DDR4 OC TDP
i9-9980 HK 8C / 16T 2.4 GHz 4.9 GHz* 16 MB 2666 Y 45 W
i9-9880 H 8C / 16T 2.3 GHz 4.7 GHz* 16 MB 2666   45 W
i7-9850 H 6C / 12T 2.6 GHz 4.6 GHz 12 MB 2666 ish 45 W
i7-9750 H 6C / 12T 2.6 GHz 4.5 GHz 12 MB 2666   45 W
i5-9400 H 4C / 8T 2.5 GHz 4.3 GHz 8 MB 2666   45 W
i5-9300 H 4C / 8T 2.4 GHz 4.1 GHz 8 MB 2666   45 W
* i9 CPUs support Intel Thermal Velocity Boost for +100 MHz Turbo

Enter the Musclebook: Intel is introducing the new ‘Musclebook’ name for the DTR equivalent devices. Ultimately these are likely to be paired with the high end Core i9 processors. Intel has two parts here, the 9980HK which allows for overclocking, and the 9880H. The 9880H equivalent is new to this processor stack, based on requests from Intel’s partners that they wanted something ‘as fast’ as the top HK model, but not actually overclockable – it turns out that if you stick a HK in a system, users expect to be able to push it, and OEMs wanted equivalent performance without having to build in support for overclocking.

Both the 9980HK and 9880H supports Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost, giving an additional 100 MHz if the thermal performance of the hardware allows it. Again, Intel doesn’t specify what requirements those are, of if manufacturers can ignore them, or if it’s enabled by default etc. It could be somewhat misleading to include those values into the single core turbo frequencies, however with mobile platforms we’ve seen such a wide range in PL2 values set in hardware due to the form factor, there are a wide range of single core turbo frequencies that don’t match up to the SKU list anyway – this is OEM and design dependent, so there isn’t much fuss from us on this.

There are two Core i7 parts, with six cores and hyperthreading, and the Core i7-9750H supports ‘Partial Overclocking’. In Intel terminology, this means that the CPU can be up to 400 MHz higher if the OEM sets it as such, allowing the CPU to turbo up to 5.0 GHz. That will be extremely device dependent, and given the way that most OEMs deliver their specification sheets, it will be interesting to see if any of them actually list if this is the case, or just take the 4.6 GHz and not tell anyone.

The two Core i3 parts bring up the rear, with four cores and hyperthreading. This means Intel still makes quad cores with hyperthreading, even though they have disappeared from the desktop product line.

Given the tight integration of mobile chipsets into the products, expect to see a few new devices enabled with Intel’s new AX200 Wi-Fi 6 card that was launched last week. The mobile chipsets are also listed as supporting Samsung’s new 32 GB memory modules, so we will likely see some high-end ‘Musclebooks’/DTR replacements using those, at extreme cost to the user. Intel is again stating Optane storage support on these devices, as well as TB3 support when additional controllers are included.

With the annual Computex trade show around the corner (last week of May), we’re expecting to see a smorgasbord of devices being offered with the new H-series parts: both refreshes of old models and perhaps some new ones in the mix. Stay tuned for our coverage from the show.

Intel 9th Generation Core Desktop Processors: 34 CPUs Intel 9th Gen Press Slide Deck
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  • 29a - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    People do a lot more with computers than play games. Reply
  • Opencg - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    i suppose you have a point but honestly the value market for threaded performance is what amd is doing best right now. in most catagories intel hasnt seen much of a loss in threaded value. the real standout is the 8700k vs 9700k which you would easily get the 8700k if you wanted thread count. but its only one generation back and intel would be competing in a saturated market including with their own products. Reply
  • shusse82 - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    I concur with everyone. 16 threads are probably not used as efficiently for games as they could be. Yet someone else makes a good point that 16 threads applies to more than games.

    Personally, I've combined the two. If I'm stuck on a game on my 9900K, I press the windows key, fire up, chrome or firefox, and search for the answer, opening as many tabs as I need without any slowdown when I check back and forth between the game and the browser.
    Is the good speed because of the 16 threads or just because the 9900K is a fast chip?
    I don't know. Maybe someone can chime in on this?
    Reply
  • Opencg - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    the extra threads only matter when the 2 threads of a core can share the cache and execute in a way that actually runs faster than a single thread would without sharing its resources. its complicated but the extra threads pay off the most when alot of computation needs to be done at the same time all in the same way. video encoding is a good example since it requires alot of the same type of computation and can be split into many similar routines.

    if you are running alot of programs that work like this then the threads can pay off giving nearly double the performance but games will always have some code that needs 1 thread taking its own core to complete the fastest. and much of what could be hyperthreaded often isnt due to the cost of programming. as far as running many programs it depends on how well they each hyperthread. each program will need its own core. but the programs that can hyperthread will take up less time on each core.
    Reply
  • GlossGhost - Monday, May 06, 2019 - link

    There are a few games that make use of cores and threads and scale well, but you really have to identify those and see if you're playing one of them and if it will be worth it in the end. However I would always prefer HT over no HT. Reply
  • RobATiOyP - Friday, May 10, 2019 - link

    The whole peformance advantage of SMT is when 1 CPU is blocked due to memory stalls, which CPUs do a whole load of prediction to try to avoid happening as it costs 100's of cycles and is generally invisible at the OS level.
    Sometimes 2 threads on one 1 core can run slower, nearer to memory speeds, so saving power by interleaving memory access, rather than have a single turbo core sucking juice whilst busy waiting on memory accesses.
    Software developers aren't given time required to deliver quality and fix real bugs, so Intel segmenting the HT market for monetisation reasons, actually killed off mainstream benefits as hardly anyone writes code for 20% of the market
    Reply
  • RobATiOyP - Friday, May 10, 2019 - link

    I used to do this on a single CPU, it seems in the PC world most journalists/readers forget that 99% of threads spend almost all of their real wall time idle, blocked. You DO NOT need a core or even SMT to have benefits from multi-programming which was originally invented to maximise usage of expensive mainframe CPUs.
    Games and highly efficient programs often operate on data flows, which maximises performance due to cache effects, whereas naive approaches like spawning 100's of threads, stall on cache misses. The massively parallel part of games is delegated to a specialised co-processor, it's the Amdahl's law remnants which are hard to parallelise which are focussing gamers on single-thread performance
    Reply
  • RobATiOyP - Friday, May 10, 2019 - link

    It's always "better" to have a whole core, rather than merely the 5% extra registers and logic stuff that HT needs. But if you're trying to maximise processing from a die for performance per $ (or watts consumed) then HT shines, because it allows a CPU stalled on memory for 100's of cycles to do something useful.
    Intel's market segmentation has disincentivised software developers from writing the code that maximises the benefits of HT (like sibling threads pre-loading caches) because that work only benefits a part of the market part of the time, so is just NOT done, like boring non remunatarive pursuits like quality coding and bug fixing.
    HT is a feature that like 64bit addressing makes sense to software producers when > 90% of their target market supports it. Unlike optional math instructions that can be patched in transparently to isolated routines on the fly at runtime, it affects the whole architecture of a program.
    Reply
  • 240hzGamer - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    Can you also tell me the lottery numbers? Thanks Reply
  • Gastec - Friday, April 26, 2019 - link

    The majority of Consumers don't even know what Ryzen is, heck they don't even know what AMD is. They only know that the processors in ALL the computers they have ever seen or bought are made by Intel and AT MOST they have a vague understanding that i7 is better that i3 because 7 is moar than 5.
    Whenever I'm talking to my work colleagues, all "engineers", about AMD Ryzen CPU's or graphic cards they look at me like I'm some sort of freak.
    Reply

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