What is 9th Generation Processor? Pros, Cons & More

What is 9th Generation Processor?

The 9th generation refers to the processor family that is code named Coffee Lake Refresh and is considered to be an upgrade of the 8th generation.

Built on a microarchitecture that is much similar to that of 6th generation Skylake, this processor is built on 14 nm manufacturing technology.


  • The 9th generation processors come with more physical cores that increase its clock speed and processing ability making them pretty fast.
  • These processors are quite secure to use all its features and components will provide a significant boost to the power of the system on the whole.
  • With more bandwidth offered, these processors also support faster SSD which makes them more efficient in loading games fast.
  • Apart from the high cost, there are a few significant issues with this processor such as heat generation, more power consumption in specific cases, multiple user system issues, new motherboard requirement and suitability for high-end devices.

Understanding 9th Generation Processor

What is 9th Generation Processor

The 9th generation processors are upgraded version of the 8th generation processors with a few minor adjustments and enhancements made in the thermal interface of the processor as well as other aspects such as:

  • The processor comes with an ability to support up to 8 cores
  • The newer chipsets also come with an integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 that performs at 10 GB/s and
  • It will also have a CNVi-enabled Wi-Fi for better and more stable connectivity.

However, the notable difference in the microarchitecture of the 9th generation chip is that it is built on the latest 14 nm process technology of Intel.

This adds to the frequency and efficiency of the processor that comes with more cores, making it a better performing chip.

The different variants of processors come with different names.

Intel actually names their processors in two specific divisions. The first is the Core I-series number, such as:

  • Core i9, that comes with 8 core and hyperthreading ability
  • Core i7, that comes with 8 cores but with no hyperthreading ability
  • Core i5, that has 6 cores and no hyperthreading ability
  • Core i3, that comes with 4 cores and no hyperthreading ability
  • Pentium Gold, that contains only 2 cores but with hyperthreading ability and
  • Celeron, that comes with 2 cores but with no hyperthreading ability.

The second part of the name is an extra suffix. This signifies the specific features that are either enabled or disabled in the processor. These are:

  • K, signifying that the chip is overclockable
  • KF, which signifies that the processor is overclockable but does not have any integrated graphics
  • F means it has no integrated graphics and
  • T, which means it is of low power and has a 35-watt TDP.

Sometimes, there may be no suffix at all in the nomenclature.

This signifies that the processor is a standard model that comes with integrated graphics and a TDP ranging between 54 and 65 watts.

When you look at the 9th generation processors, there is a new suffix, F. This means that there are no integrated graphics in it.

The main difference in this processor, as compared with the others, is in its base frequency, which determines the TDP rating.

The main idea behind such naming is to give the users a fair idea about the features available in the processor and to choose one according to their needs.


With a few manufacturing changes made in the architecture of the 8th generation processor, Intel has come out with its 9th generation processor.

Therefore, if you are expecting something spectacular and magical in it, be warned, you can be pretty disappointed.

However, this does not mean you should not give it a try, provided you have the system compatibility and the budget to afford such a costly upgrade.

Initially, the mainstream 9th generation chips did not have Core i3 processors in the list, which was an unexpected thing for the users.

Presumably, the main reason behind this was the extra emphasis on the performance by the manufacturer.

This, ideally, is not the key factor to consider for the low-tier chips.

That is why you will find the upgraded Core i9 processor in the Intel Core family which will be compatible with any regular motherboard of a desktop computer.

Here is what you will get in each of the 9th generation Core i5-9600 K, Core i7-9700 K and the Core i9-9900 K chips.

  • All are built on the 14 nm process technology
  • The base speed of each are 3.7 GHz, 3.6 GHz, and 3.6 GHz respectively
  • All will have a maximum turbo speed at all cores of 4.3 GHz, 4.6 GHz, and 4.7 GHz respectively
  • The maximum turbo speed for the single core will be respectively 4.6 GHz, 4.9 GHz, and 5 GHz
  • The number of cores will be 6, 8, and 8 respectively
  • The L3 cache size will be 9 MB, 12 MB, and 16 MB and
  • All will have a GPU that will support UHD Graphics 630.
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However, the Core i5 and i7 variant will not have hyper-threading ability like the Core i9-9900 K chips.

The base clock speed for all 9th generation processors is not as high as expected but if you compare the price of these new chips with the older variants, there is not much to complain since it has not changed significantly either.

However, the reasons you should opt for the 9th generation processors are:

  • It will perform at a higher speed
  • It will be able to perform multithreaded tasks
  • With full HD resolution capability and support, it is suitable for high-end gaming
  • Few chips, such as the Z370, comes with enhanced features such as a built-in support for USB 3.1 Generation 2 ports numbering to six which ensure higher rate of data transfer at 10 Gbps and
  • It comes in a wide and varied product range.

Investing on it will enable you to enjoy processor frequency ranging from 4.6 GHz to 5 GHz, 6 to 8 cores, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology, HT technology, smart cache size of 9 to 16 MB, DDR4 2666 memory support for dual memory channels, Intel UHD graphics with dynamic frequency of up to 1200, and Quick Sync Video of Intel.

It all depends on whether you choose a Core i5, i7 or i9 model.

Looking at the different variations of the 9th generation processors, the features of each can be enumerated as per its specifications.

For example, the Intel 9th generation Core i9, i7, i5, i3 processors will all have high-performing cores that are reviewed and certified by reputed and reliable sites like AnandTech.

These cores, numbering to 8, and with hyperthreading ability will have base threads and a Turbo frequency. However, different models of each can be classified as under the following heads:

Model             Frequency      L3                    Cache              DDR4               IGP      TDP

i9-9900 K         8C / 16T          3.6 GHz            5.0 GHz            16 MB 2666    Yes       95 watts

i9-9900 KF       8C / 16T          3.6 GHz            5.0 GHz            16 MB 2666    No        95 watts

i9-9900            8C / 16T          3.1 GHz            4.9 GHz            16 MB 2666    Yes       65 watts

i9-9900 T         8C / 16T          2.1 GHz            4.4 GHz            16 MB 2666    Yes       35 watts

The intel Core i7 processors will have specifications under the same heads and as follows:

i7-9700 K         8C / 8T                        3.6 GHz            4.9 GHz            12 MB 2666    Yes       95 watts

i7-9700 KF       8C / 8T                        3.6 GHz            4.9 GHz            12 MB 2666    No        95 watts

i7-9700            8C / 8T                        3.0 GHz            4.7 GHz            12 MB 2666    Yes       65 watts

i7-9700 F         8C / 8T                        3.0 GHz            4.7 GHz            12 MB 2666    No        65 watts

i7-9700 T         8C / 8T                        2.0 GHz            4.3 GHz            12 MB 2666    Yes       35 watts

The specifications of the Core i5 variant of the Intel 9th generation processors will look like:

i5-9600 K         6C / 6T                        3.7 GHz            4.6 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       65 watts

i5-9600 KF       6C / 6T                        3.7 GHz            4.6 GHz            9 MB   2666    No       65 watts

i5-9600            6C / 6T                        3.1 GHz            4.6 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       65 watts

i5-9600 T         6C / 6T                        2.3 GHz            3.9 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       35 watts

i5-9500            6C / 6T                        3.0 GHz            4.4 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       65 watts

i5-9500 F         6C / 6T                        3.0 GHz            4.4 GHz            9 MB   2666    No        65 watts

i5-9500 T         6C / 6T                        2.2 GHz            3.7 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       35 watts

i5-9400            6C / 6T                        2.9 GHz            4.1 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       65 watts

i5-9400 F         6C / 6T                        2.9 GHz            4.1 GHz            9 MB   2666    No        65 watts

i5-9400 T         6C / 6T                        1.8 GHz            3.4 GHz            9 MB   2666    Yes       35 watts

The Intel 9th generation Core i3 processors, on the other hand, will come with:

i3-9350 KF       4C / 4T                        4.0 GHz            4.6 GHz            8 MB   2400    No       91 watts

i3-9320            4C / 4T                        3.7 GHz            4.4 GHz            8 MB   2400    Yes       62 watts

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i3-9300            4C / 4T                        3.7 GHz            4.3 GHz            8 MB   2400    Yes       62 watts

i3-9300 T         4C / 4T                        3.2 GHz            3.8 GHz            8 MB   2400    Yes       35 watts

i3-9100            4C / 4T                        3.6 GHz            4.2 GHz            6 MB   2400    Yes       65 watts

i3-9100 F         4C / 4T                        3.6 GHz            4.2 GHz            6 MB   2400    Yes      65 watts

i3-9100 T         4C / 4T                        3.1 GHz            3.7 GHz            6 MB   2400    Yes       35 watts

Finally, the Intel 9th generation Pentium Gold and Celeron processors will have their respective specifications as:

G5620             2C / 4T                        4.0 GHz            NA                   4 MB   2400    Yes       54 watts

G5600  T          2C / 4T                        3.3 GHz            NA                   4 MB   2400    Yes       35 watts

G5420             2C / 4T                        3.8 GHz            NA                   4 MB   2400    Yes       54 to 58 watts

G5420  T          2C / 4T                        3.2 GHz            NA                  4 MB   2400    Yes       35 watts

G4950             2C / 2T                        3.3 GHz            NA                   2 MB   2400    Yes       54 watts

G4930             2C / 2T                        3.2 GHz            NA                   2 MB   2400    Yes       54 watts

G4930  T          2C / 2T                        3.0 GHz            NA                   2 MB   2400    Yes       35 watts.

With such a large variety of 9th generation processors available, you will surely find one to use in your system.

The Pros of 9th Generation Processor

1. More physical cores

The 9th generation processors come with a higher number of physical cores, especially, the i7 and i9 variant.

It will, therefore, have a better performance rate and a higher clock speed. This means better and faster processing of data and information.

2. Powerful and secured

Using this processor in your systems does not only mean that you will have one of the most powerful processors in it.

This will also signify that you have the assurance that your system will have a higher level of protection against flaws in security and risks of hacking and other attacks.

3. Power boost

Not only literally, you will also get a significant power boost in all other aspects of your system when you use the 9th generation core processor.

The Optane memory support, 5 GHz capacity, 8 cores, 16 threads and more of the processor can provide up to 18% higher fps or Frames Per Second while gaming.

While 4K video editing, it will be up to 28% faster, both compared with the 8th generation processors.

4. Supports Wi-Fi 6

The new chip supports Wi-Fi 6 Gig+. This is the latest standard in wireless technology which takes the performance and functionality of the processor far beyond the numbers.

The maximum output throughout is 10 gigabits per second. The Wi-Fi 6 AX200 adapter is compliant with the 802.11ax standard.

This will attain a speed up to 2.4 Gbps maximum by using the 5 GHz band. This is three times more than the 867 Mbps standard of the 802.11ac.

5. More bandwidth

Though you will not use all the speed offered by the 9th generation processor theoretically, you can actually have higher bandwidth when you use your laptop to play 4K content.

This will also help you to run high-end PC games or stream 4K videos.

You will even be able to add a higher number of connected devices, and manage them more efficiently because there will be no slowdown in the connection.

6. Faster SSD RAM

The new Optane memory H 10 module is supported by the 9th generation processor.

This will help you to catch the most and frequently used processes by your computer together with a distinct hard drive.

The processor helps in combining the super-fast memory of the Solid-State Drive or SSD with flash drives of high capacity. All these are done in the same M.2 form factor.

7. Game load times

If you are into high-end gaming then this latest chip will provide a lot of support.

Once again, the latest combination of the Optane memory with 1TB QLC 3D NAND storage of Intel will reduce the load times of the games making your system even faster by 2.29%.

As for the file opening rate, it will be about 1.63 times faster when compared with that of a system that has a triple-level cellular SSD.

8. Support DDR4 memory

If your laptop is equipped with the 9th generation Core processor, it will support up to 128 GB DDR4 memory. This will enable your consumer package PC to perform at workstation level.

This factor is facilitated even more by the ability of the processor to support other features such as the high-capacity SSD 660p of Intel and the new 17.x Rapid Storage Technology.

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9. Efficiency and form factor

When you consider the form factor and efficiency of the new computers, the new 9th generation processor will help you to control your tasks and the activities of the system in a much better way.

You can switch to a number of diverse modes, if your system comes with it, that is.

10. Battery life

Finally, the 9th generation processor will improve the battery life significantly, though there is no official announcement from Intel about the exact figurative value.

The Cons of 9th Generation Processor

11. GPU

In spite of the hype, the GPU of the 9th generation Intel Core processor is just the same as it was last year. This signifies that there will be no significant change in the display and performance.

12. Process technology

The 14 nm process technology of this processor is the same as last year’s as well. Therefore, it will be the same when the level of performance is concerned.

13. Internal design

If you consider the internal design of the 9th generation processor, you will see that there is no significant change in it as well.

14. Cost

Since everything boils down to the price, do not expect to make any savings while upgrading your system with a 9th generation Intel Core processor. In fact, the high cost of the CPU may compel you to decide against such an upgrade.

15. Power consumption

You will not save much in power and energy efficiency either. This is because the 9th generation core processors are known for its significant power draw.

16. Heat

The processor also gets hot very easily and quickly. This means that it may damage the components of your system as well as the chip itself.

You will need to invest in a proper and efficient cooling system, but then that will raise the cost even more.

17. Limited usage

The usage of the 9th generation processor is significantly limited to a few specific types of users. If you are a regular computer user, you may not want using this hi-fi processor because it will actually be an overkill.

18. New motherboard

If you want to use this processor, you will first need to invest on a new motherboard, because it will not fit into the old one. Once again, this will add to your cost.

19. Availability

As of now, there are not many 9th generation processors available in the market, especially the i7 models. You will mostly get the i9 series that has a good benchmark but comes with a high price tag.

20. Trivial speed changes

If you are looking for speed, then there is no compelling reason to upgrade your PC with a 9th generation processor.

This is because the speed differences will be trivial as compared to the other previous generations. In fact, the change is just about 6%.

21. Multi-user system issues

If you want to use the 9th generation processors for multi-user systems then you may face some serious issues regarding side-channel attacks.

This is because you will need a malware running on the same physical mechanism as the one that deals with the target process.

22. Clock speeds

There will also be a mild increase of about 7% in the clock speed, but that is only in the Turbo Boost Clocks and that too in the best-case scenarios. As for the base clock, the speed is the same as its predecessors and is at 2.6 GHz.

23. Suitable for high-end devices

The 9th generation processor will not be able to provide much of its inherent benefits to the computers, especially laptops, that are averagely priced and are in the i5 core section.


Putting everything, from the features, specs, pros and cons across the table, it can be concluded that the entire series of the 9th generation processors, especially the mobile processors, can provide a welcome hike in the performance of the system.

It is ready to compete and win the ‘Best Gaming Processor’ title.

About Puja Chatterjee

Puja ChatterjeePuja Chatterjee is a technical writer with extensive knowledge about computers. She graduated from BIMS. Her expertise includes technology writing and client relationship management gained through over 12 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin.