Intel revs up 'mobile workstation' laptops with Core i9 superchip

By David Flynn, April 5 2018
Intel revs up 'mobile workstation' laptops with Core i9 superchip

It's the world's most powerful laptop processor, and it's coming to a notebook near you.

With six computing cores, a base rate of 2.9GHz and a top speed of 4.8GHz, Intel's new Core i9 mobile powerplant is set to light the touchpaper on a blistering new series of high-performance laptops.

A go-anywhere cousin of the desktop-grade Core i9, it tops out Intel's eighth-generation Core family line-up (built on what boffins call the 'Coffee Lake' platform) and sits above even the cage-rattling Xeon chips which have previously ruled the mobile workstation roost.

For bonus insanity points the Core i9-8950HK (to give it its proper name) is fully unlocked for overclocking, with Intel expecting its partners to offer unshackled laptops to 5GHz and higher.

Intel is claiming a 29% overall performance boost compared to the previous seventh-generation Core i7 desktop processor, with up to 59% faster 4K video editing, and an 88% overall pickup if you're upgrading from a 'three-year old' system.

Dell has been first to jump with the announcement of a Core i9-driven XPS 15, beefing up the slim 15.6-inch notebook with the muscle needed for heavy-duty CAD/CAM work and video editing – even if some of the applications themselves would be begging for a larger screen.

Watch for more Core i9 laptop plays from the usual suspects including Asus, HP and Lenovo, although we hope the new model catwalk will see professional office-grade machines instead of having to make do with over-glitzed gaming rigs.

If your needs don't stretch to the Core i9's stratospheric heights, the freshly-baked quad-code Core i7 and Core i5 chips pack plenty of grunt.

Other high-tech trimmings for eighth-gen Core laptops should include integrated Gigabit WiFi and faster data access for hybrid SSD/hard drive systems.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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