Based on the Coffee Lake platform, the new chips promise to deliver up to 41 percent more FPS (frames per second) in gameplay, and allow for 59 percent faster performance in video editing apps when compared to the previous generation of chips using the same discrete graphics hardware.
The top-of-the-line offering in the new range is the i9-8950HK processor, which comes with six cores and 12 threads – a first for Intel’s mobile chips – and maxes out at a clock speed of 4.8GHz.
Plus, chips bearing the new Intel Core i5+, i7+, and i9+ badges will support Intel’s Optane memory tech, which lets you use fairly inexpensive Optane RAM to speed up traditional hard drives for faster boot times, app launches, similar to the speed boost you’d get when using an SSD instead of an HDD. The company launched Optane memory last March, and this appears to be the first big push to get folks to adopt it.
A bunch of hardware brands have announced their new hexa-core i7 laptops for 2018, including Samsung with its beautiful Odyssey Z (shown below). Asus’s new ROG Zephyrus M gets the new chip along with a GTX 1070, a 1080p 144Hz display, and a $2,199 price tag; Gigabyte’s Aero 15 and 15X come with slim display bezels and discrete graphics; Acer’s Nitro 5 features a Core i7+ with Optane memory support and a starting price of $749, with a scheduled launch in May.
Intel hasn’t specified when the i9 will become available, but the new chip will likely feature in upcoming laptops later this year. While Windows folks who want longer battery life might veer towards the recently launched slew of ARM-based machines, gamers and content creators working on video and VR might want to hold off on purchasing new gear until the i9 processor begins to show up on spec sheets.