Intel confirms the existence of the i9 processor you won’t be able to buy

Update: Intel has now confirmed both the existence of the Intel Core i9-9990XE processor and that it will only be available to purchase through auction.

The company also clarified its reasoning for the chip’s limited availability, stating that the processor was built specifically for those working in the financial services industry rather than general consumers. Plus, because there’s a limited number of the Intel Core i9-9990XE processors on offer, Intel deemed auction to be the the fairest method of distribution. Intel’s full statement can be seen below:

“The Intel Core i9-9990XE is designed specifically for the financial services industry because of specific customer requirements. Because the Intel Core i9-9990XE was built with unique specifications and high frequency to meet the workload needs of this targeted industry, it can only be produced in limited quantities and will not be broadly made available. The part will be offered through an auction to ensure fairness in supply distribution.”

The original story can be seen below:

Intel is reportedly releasing a new 9th Generation Intel Core desktop processor named the Core i9-9990XE. But while this new CPU will offer the fastest frequencies of the 9th Gen range yet, the chip won’t be sold at retail. In fact, it will only be available via a closed online auction. 

Anantech reports it has seen multiple documents appearing to confirm both the existence of the chip and that it will be flogged exclusively to system integrators in multiple auctions.

Anantech also claims that despite offering a base frequency of 4.0 GHz and boosted speeds up to 5.0 GHz, the Core i9-9990XE will only have 14 cores and 28 threads. That’s less than the 18 cores and 36 threads the current range-topping i9-9980XE offers.

This means the Core i9-9990XE is unlikely to offer a fantastic performance for heavy multi-threaded workloads due to its relatively low thread count. Only those who need a CPU for low-threaded tasks will get their money’s worth here, especially considering the inevitable spiralling price the processor will draw in auction.

Related: Intel Ice Lake 

Judging from its spec sheet, the Core i9-9990XE isn’t actually an entirely new chip, but essentially just handpicked, high-performing (aka super-binned) i9-9940X processors capable of hitting frequencies up to 5.0 GHz.

This would explain why the new processor is in limited supply, with Intel looking to maximise revenue by auctioning off the super-binned CPUs instead of selling them at a fixed fee. The first of these auctions will kick things off in January, with more to follow in batches every quarter.

Further details were provided by Anantech regarding the Core i9-9990XE, including that it will have thermal design power (TDP) of 255W and offer compatibility for the socket 2066 X299 motherboards. There will also be no warranty from Intel, making the investment in the processor a little bit of a gamble.

We reached out to Intel to comment on the reports, which replied: “Intel does not comment on rumours or speculations. We will share information with you as and when it becomes available.”

Are you annoyed that Intel’s Core i9-9990XE processor will only be available via exclusive auctions? Rant away @TrustedReviews.

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