Intel shows off world’s first six-core mobile CPUs, adds Optane to everything

Intel’s eighth-generation Core processors first debuted in late 2017, but the launch covered a limited number of processors. Notably missing was a successor to the top-tier seventh-generation quad-core chips, as well as a fully filled line-up of desktop processors. The company’s new announcement bulks up its chip line and offers the first ever six-core CPUs for mobile.

Core i9 leads six-core chips for laptops

The eighth-generation of Intel Core threw a bit of a wrench into its processor line. The new mainstream, U-Series processors were upgraded from dual-core to quad-core. That meant they performed nearly as well as seventh-generation H-Series chips, which target gaming laptops and mobile workstations. People who need serious portable power have long awaited their own upgrade, and Intel has handed them two extra cores for waiting.

intel six core 8th gen intelcore8thgen 1

Intel’s Core i9-8950HK is the headliner. It’s not only among the first six-core chips for mobile, but also the first Core i9 for a laptop. Its maximum clock speed of 4.8GHz is absurd for mobile hardware, and it’s even unlocked, so daring owners can try to overclock it for even better performance.

Processors lower in the line also benefit from an upgrade to six cores. The Core i7-8750H is the chip to watch, because it’s the one we think will appear as standard in most high-end gaming and workstation laptops. The Core i5-8400H and 8300H only have four cores, and will likely appear in entry-level gaming laptops like the new Dell G series laptops.

All these processors have hyper-threading, too, so they’ll operate as if they have twice as many physical cores as they do. Intel claims an up to 29 percent improvement in overall performance versus a 7th-generation Intel Core H-Series. The new chips also have Optane support, integrated Intel Wireless-AC with Gigabit Throughput, and integrated USB 3.1 Gen2 support.

Intel U-Series with Iris

Next up are Intel’s new additions to the mainstream U-Series line. These processors, most of which have four cores, are different from previous U-Series hardware because they include Intel Iris Plus graphics. They also have a higher thermal design power — up to 28 watts from 15 watts.

intel six core 8th gen intelcore8thgen 2

Processors like this have been in Intel’s line-up for the past few generations. They don’t appear in many laptops, but they do appear in one popular model: Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar.

The desktop line is expanded, too

In addition to the new mobile processors, Intel’s also added desktop chips – nine of them, in fact. Most of them target low power envelopes, which means they’ll primarily appear in all-in-ones.

intel six core 8th gen intelcore8thgen 3

With that said, the new Core i3-8300, with its base clock of 3.7GHz and four cores and suggested price of $138, could be a great pick for budget gaming rigs. It’s also interesting to see Intel is rolling out Optane support for all of these chips, even the least expensive of the bunch.

The plus is for Optane

In fact, while this announcement seems processor-focused on the surface, Intel’s Optane storage technology is a major part of it. All the processors announced have Optane memory support, and Intel is rolling out a new piece of branding called ‘Intel Core +.’

The “+” stands for Intel Core paired with Intel Optane. The company says this new branding with its own distinctive blue badge, will be found on laptops and desktops that have Optane included from the factory. Of course, we wouldn’t see this new badge if Intel didn’t intend for Optane to appear in a lot of systems over the remainder of 2018.

Intel also boasted specifically of Optane’s performance when paired with hard disk drive in a system that also has a solid state drive. The company claims that, in this configuration, games load up to 4.7 times more quick, and media loads up to 1.7 times more quick, than on a hard disk alone. We do find it hard to believe many laptop makers will sign up to add a third drive, but this configuration could be popular in high-end gaming laptops that need both storage space and speed.

Security patched

While Intel is making big claims about the performance of its new hardware, you may be just as worried about security. The company says all of these new processor will be patched to handle the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.

It’s only a patch, though – not an architecture change, which will be needed to address the problems without any ding to performance. Intel says all performance claims relating to its new processors are based on post-patch numbers.

Product Review

This is the best budget laptop you can buy

One of our favorite laptops, the Asus Zenbook UX330UA, has been updated to feature the 8th-gen Intel Core CPU. It's still the best budget laptop on the market, offering great battery life and zippy performance at a discounted price.
Computing

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Everything you need to know

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, this is a small update. If you've been eyeing a Surface Pro, you may want to wait…
Computing

Best Buy’s pre-Black Friday deal takes $330 off the 2017 Surface Pro bundle

If you don't need the latest Surface Pro, Best Buy has a heavily discounted rendition of the 2017 model available in its pre-Black Friday sale. For just $1,000, you can get the tablet with a Core i5 CPU.
Computing

Having enough RAM is important, but stick to these guidelines to save some money

Although not quite as exciting as processors and graphics cards, RAM is one of the most important parts of your PC. Not having enough can hurt performance. So, how much RAM do you need?
Computing

Razer’s BlackWidow Lite is a mechanical keyboard designed for work and play

Razer's latest keyboard comes with a minimalist design that will appeal to professionals. But don't let the all-black aesthetics fool you, as the BlackWidow Lite comes with mechanical keys that makes it a great gaming companion.
Computing

Microsoft’s Always-Connected PCs gets more powerful with 64-bit app support

Microsoft announced that developers can start creating 64-bit apps for Always-Connected PCs powered by Snapdragon processors. The Windows Store will also begin to accept 64-bit app submissions for Microsoft's Windows on ARM.
Computing

Nvidia admits its 2080 Ti cards have a problem, but isn’t saying what it is

Nvidia has admitted that there is a wider problem affecting its RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition cards, despite earlier claims to the contrary. It has also promised to continue working with affected consumers to replace dead cards.
Computing

The MacBook is smaller, the MacBook Air is faster, but which is better?

This year, Apple's MacBook Air got a powerful internal upgrade, but the redesign makes it slimmer and lighter. So should you get the MacBook Air over the MacBook? We'll compare both notebook's major features and help you decide.
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Computing

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you, step by step.
Computing

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.