Intel has recently announced a whole array of laptops featuring its latest and greatest Core i9 processors. So in reality, how does an i9 differ from the i7 and i5 counterparts?
Is it worthy of an upgrade from your beefy specced laptop equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor? Read along and find it out for yourselves.
The Core i9 8950 HK
Let’s cut the chase directly and discuss the flagship mobile processor from Intel, the Core i9 8950 HK.
This hexa-core chipset comes clocked at 2.9GHz and offers a turbo boost up to 4.8GHz.
This seems almost similar to the Intel Core i7 8850H with six cores up its sleeve.
There are mainly two differences between the i7 8850H and the i9 8950 HK.
The main and primary difference is with the clock speeds. The Core i7 8850H has a base clock of 2.6GHz with turbo boost up to 4.6GHz.
This in comparison with the Core i9 is slightly less.
The Core i9 8950 HK is an unlocked chip.
Yes, you heard it right.
For tech enthusiasts and nerds, this might be the holy grail in the mobile computing empire they’ve been in search of.
In comparison, the i7 8850H is a partially overclockable chipset.
Features of Core i9 8950 HK
- Truly unlocked, overclockable chipset
- 6 cores/12 threads with turbo boost up to 4.8GHz
- Intel Optane memory support
- Thermal velocity boost
- 16 PCIe express lanes
What’s Intel Optane?
Intel Optane is a high-speed cache bridge between the RAM and the storage.
It helps in faster data transfer speeds between the memory, storage and the processor.
Intel optane memory comes in two variants – 16GB as well the 32GB.
The Core i9 8950K is pretty much optimized for the optane technology to extract every bit of juice it can deliver.
Optane memory is most suitable to be used along with a conventional HDD rather than an SSD. The performance impact is more dramatic with the former.
Thermal Velocity Boost
Thermal Velocity Boost is a technology where the processor will estimate the temperature and if it’s less than 50-degree Celsius, allows for an extra 200 MHz increase in clock speed over the turbo boost frequency.
This will let the Core i9 8950K to opportunistically alter the load with respect to the demand.
Is it worth the money to purchase a Core i9 laptop?
Honestly, the answer is Yes & No.
There are a lot of i7 processors out there which when coupled with a respectable graphics card delivers towering performance.
The prices of these laptops are comparatively less than a Core i9 laptop. Even budget laptops priced under Rs.80,000 does a decent job with modern games.
If you’re a gamer and is making a switch from an average laptop, the Core i9 laptop is the best thing out there.
But if you already own an i7 eighth-generation laptop with let’s say a Nvidia GTX 1080, you won’t notice much difference. There are a lot of good gaming laptops in India with these cards onboard.
For content creators and video editors, the increased core counts and frequencies might soothe you a little bit.
If you’re willing to pay a premium for the latest and greatest, it’s good.
Otherwise, we would advise you to wait a bit, let the graphics card manufacturers build something optimized for the chip to utilize it to its full potential.
Core i9 laptops in India
Asus has announced their Asus ROG G703 laptop featuring the Core i9 8950K processor that comes with a Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU on board. MSI has launched a few models with Core i9 processors in India as well. The flagship MSI GTR 75VR comes packed with beefy specs accompanied by a 10 Gbps Ethernet connectivity.