Oops! MSI confirms 9th-gen Core processors that Intel hasn't announced yet

Rumors confirmed.

Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake
Gordon Mah Ung

MSI confirmed in a news post on Wednesday that several of its Z370 motherboards are receiving updates to support Intel’s 9000-series processors. But here’s the thing: Intel hasn’t announced any 9000-series processors.


Rumors of a 6-core Core i5-9600K, an 8-core Core i7-9700K, and an 8-core Core i9-9900K chip with hyperthreading enabled have run rampant over the past month, and MSI’s slip-up substantiates that something is on the way, though the announcement doesn’t include core counts for Intel’s chips.

[ Further reading: The best CPUs for gaming ]

msi z370 motherboards MSI

A screenshot of the MSI post confirming Intel 9000-series support. (Click to enlarge.)

It’s not the only concrete evidence though: Core i7-9700K benchmarks made an appearance in SiSoftware Sandra’s database. Soon thereafter, a 3DMark Time Spy entry showed an 8-core, 16-thread Intel chip hitting 5GHz speeds and solidly surpassing the 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 2700X’s scores in the test.

Intel hasn’t uttered a peep about 9000-series chips, so there’s no official word on when they’ll release anything. The current rumor mill points towards a September launch, however, and it can’t be that far off if MSI published a compatibility update for the chips. At Computex, Intel said that new processors will be available before the end of 2018.

We discussed the Intel 9th-gen rumors in the most recent episode of our Full Nerd podcast. Jump to the 37:40 mark in the video embedded below to check it out.

Why this matters: If the rumors and leaks hold true, these will be the first 8-core CPUs in Intel’s mainstream consumer lineup. In the wake of 8th-gen “Coffee Lake” chips requiring an upgrade to new motherboards due to power concerns, some people worried that the 9000-series chips would be limited to motherboards using Intel’s upcoming high-end Z390 chipset alone. But between this MSI post touting Z370 BIOS updates and a Videocardz leak showing an ASRock H310 motherboard box advertising support for 8-core CPUs, it seems likely that all 8th-gen motherboards were designed from the ground up to support the increased power demands that extra cores bring—even if those cores indeed hit 5GHz like the 6-core Core i7-8086K.

[ Further reading: Intel 8th-gen motherboards explained: Z390 vs. Z370 vs. H370 vs. B360 vs. H310 ]

But there’s a reason we don’t cover speculation often: While MSI’s post and the pair of leaked benchmarks lend credence to the recent flurry of Core i7-9700K and Core i9-9900K rumors, nothing’s official until Intel makes formal product announcements.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon