“Wow”. That’s all I could think when I heard about the new Intel i9 processor for the first time.
Just as we all expected to hear typical “slightly more power, slightly more efficiency” we are served on every new CPU series premiere, Intel surprised us by releasing a completely new, high-end CPU that is at least a few miles ahead of its market competition.
Coming at a whopping price of $1,700, Intel i9 is simply a glimpse into the future of super processors and powerful computing engines with almost no limitations. For the very first time, a commercial chip available to the public offers 18 cores and 36 threads. Yeah, you heard me right. 18 cores.
If you’re unfamiliar with the nerd & technical jargon here’s a short paragraph answering the question “what are these cores are why are they so important”:
Cores are “subunits” of the processor. The more cores your computer has, the more tasks it can do simultaneously. To understand how it affects the quality of your work you should imagine a straight pipeline filled with tasks. Switching to a specific task requires taking out all that stand in front of it and putting them into the back of the pipeline, essentially moving that long virtual queue. Multicore setup uses additional pipelines, enabling the computer to access & cycle tasks easier, essentially making it faster.
Sadly, it doesn’t mean that our games and programs will magically run better once we buy this powerful upgrade. First, they need to support such solutions. This is why the monstrous Intel Core i9 will be no more than a cool gadget, even among the richest gamers (at least for now). PC games simply can’t take advantage of this feature and even the most demanding ones, such as the Witcher, will rarely use more than 4 cores.
Does that mean that Intel released a product that won’t find appeal in any group and we are not ready for such futuristic products yet?
But there are a few groups which welcome this new piece of silicone open-armed.
Take programmers for instance. Compiling the code and using extensive virtual machine/server setup uses a lot of resources, often far more than they have. Another group are video editors – these guys, especially the studio professionals, see this CPU as a salvation and a powerful tool, greatly enhancing the quality of their work.
Speaking of videos – casual users who have some spare money, watch a lot of 4k videos and are interested in Virtual Reality and its possibilities are another big audience for this product.
What about gamers?
Well, our group wasn’t completely left alone in the darkness. Those of you who enjoy streaming, have a good internet connection and use the highest settings might see that as a good opportunity to improve their experience for themselves, and their viewers.
All-in-all Intel has presented a great CPU of the future, however, for now, its use will be limited to hobbyists, professional editors & programmers as the unexceptionally high price and limited usage are likely to scare many PC users off.