Intel's 9th-Gen CPUs: What Gamers Need to Know

The next generation of desktop processors is officially here. Intel just took the wraps off of its 9th-Gen Core CPU series, which promise to deliver a whole ton of extra power, particularly for gamers and content creators.

Credit: Intel

(Image credit: Intel)

Whether you're a PC enthusiast or are just trying to make sense of all the jargon, here's what you need to know about Intel's CPUs, and why they matter for gaming.

What are Intel's new 9th-Gen processors?

Intel's 9th-generation Core series is the company's latest family of desktop CPUs, led by the flagship Core i9-9900K. The new processors will be available in Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 variations.

What are the 9th-Gen CPUs' key specs, and what do they mean for gamers?

Dubbed the "world's best gaming processor" by Intel, the Core i9-9900K is the first 5.0-GHz broad volume CPU, and the company's first mainstream processor with 8 cores and 16 threads.

If that all sounds like another language to you, know that the new processors will run CPU-intensive games better than ever, particularly if you're playing and streaming to Twitch at the same time.

Credit: Intel

(Image credit: Intel)

At its Oct. 8. reveal event, Intel showcased a single PC running PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and World of Tanks simultaneously while also broadcasting both games, and the titles ran without a hitch.

Intel also promises up to 10 percent better performance on games such as Hitman 2 and World of Tanks over the previous generation, and says to expect up to 34 percent better video editing. So if you're a content creator, you should have these new chips on your radar.

For a more nitty-gritty breakdown of every 9th-Gen Core variation and their complete specs, check out the full rundown from our pals at Tom's Hardware.

When will Intel 9th-Gen be available?

Intel's 9th-Gen Core processors will be available for pre-order starting on Oct. 19.

The line starts at $262 for the Core i5-9600K, $374 for the Core i7-9700K and $488 for the 9900K.

What desktops will utilize Intel 9th-Gen CPUs?

Credit: MSI

(Image credit: MSI)

You can expect Intel's latest CPUs to show up in most mainstream gaming PCs this fall, including the Alienware Aurora, Lenovo's Legion series and the all-new MSI Trident X. Other key partners include Acer, Asus, HP Digital Storm and Origin.

Should I buy a system with Intel 9th-Gen?

If you're rocking a CPU that's from three years ago or older, 9th-Gen seems like a great excuse to upgrade. The new processors seem specifically aimed at those who play and stream at the same time, and don't want to spring for a separate dedicated PC just for broadcasting. We'll have a better idea of how 9th-Gen Core stacks up when the wave of new Intel-powered systems hit our labs this fall, so stay tuned for full reviews.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.