AnandTech has seen documents and supporting information from multiple sources that show that Intel is planning to release a new high-end desktop processor, the Core i9-9990XE. These documents show that the processors will not be sold at retail; rather they will only be sold to system integrators, and then only through a closed online auction. 

This new processor will be the highest numbered processor in Intel's high-end desktop line. The current top processor is the i9-9980XE, an 18 core part with a base frequency of 3.5 GHz and a turbo frequency of 4.0 GHz. The i9-9990XE, on the other hand, is not simply the 9980XE with an increase in frequency. 

Intel Basin Falls Skylake-X Refresh
AnandTech Cores TDP Freq L3
(MB)
L3 Per
Core
DRAM
DDR4
PCIe
i9-9990XE $auction 14 / 28 255 W 4.0 / 5.0 19.25 1.375 2666 44
i9-9980XE $1979 18 / 36 165 W 3.0 / 4.5 24.75 1.375 2666 44
i9-9960X $1684 16 / 32 165 W 3.1 / 4.5 22.00 1.375 2666 44
i9-9940X $1387 14 / 28 165 W 3.3 / 4.5 19.25 1.375 2666 44
i9-9920X $1189 12 / 24 165 W 3.5 / 4.5 19.25 1.604 2666 44
i9-9900X $989 10 / 20 165 W 3.5 / 4.5 19.25 1.925 2666 44
i9-9820X $889 10 / 20 165 W 3.3 / 4.2 16.50 1.650 2666 44
i7-9800X $589 8 / 16 165 W 3.8 / 4.5 16.50 2.031 2666 44

The Core i9-9990XE will be a 14 core processor, but with a base frequency of 4.0 GHz and a turbo frequency of 5.0 GHz. This makes it a super-binned 9940X.

Intel is listing this processor as 'off roadmap', meaning it won't come to retail. Instead of selling to end users directly, Intel will offer it to select OEMs via a series of auctions, held once a quarter, with the first auction scheduled for the third week of 2019. This means the price of the processor is not fixed, and will depend on how much each system integrator is willing to pay. We also learned that only three system integrators will be at the first auction.

Overall, this method means that Intel does not have to commit to volume sales: because these chips are super binned, they likely can only build a few hundred a quarter, hence the one auction per quarter. 

Other details about the chip that we have learned include that it will have a listed TDP of 255W, which means the peak power will be higher. Motherboard vendors will have to support 420 amps on the power delivery for the chip (which at 1.3 volts would be 546 watts), and up to 30 amps per core. It will be for the socket 2066 X299 motherboards already on the market, and perhaps importantly, there is no warranty from Intel. This means that system builders will not be able to recoup costs on dead silicon, but they might give their own warranty to end users.

Well this is interesting. We have reached out to Intel for comments.

Update 1/16: Intel's official line on the matter is: 'We do not have a comment.'

Update 1/17: Intel has sent us a second comment, confirming its existance, the target market, and the reasons for the auction:

“The Intel® Core™ i9-9990XE is designed specifically for the financial services industry because of specific customer requirements. Because the Intel® Core™ i9-9990XE was built with unique specifications and high frequency to meet the workload needs of this targeted industry, it can only be produced in limited quantities and will not be broadly made available. The part will be offered through an auction to ensure fairness in supply distribution.” – Intel spokesperson 

Update 1/18: One of our sources is now stating that the Core i9-9990XE will offer an all-core turbo of 5.0 GHz, and a 'Turbo Max 3.0' frequency of 5.1 GHz.

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  • edzieba - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    As an off-roadmap, sounds like this is a chip built for someone else that either had the deal fall through, or Intel had higher yields than expected of the top bin and say a chance to create a new SKU rather than just dump those shiny chips to a lower binning. The latter would be intriguing, as it might mean some 'golden sample' i9-9940X chips floating about that could achieve similar clocks. Reply
  • PixyMisa - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Or they know exactly what AMD is planning to release in the next few months. Reply
  • RSAUser - Friday, January 18, 2019 - link

    Or it allows them to market a very fast CPU and therefore say they're better than AMD, with the average consumer just hearing how super fast they are and therefore buying them, same as Nvidia did. Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    As much as I like AMD and wants them to be inside Apple, I think we see these end up in the next iMac. Reply
  • cpkennit83 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    If apple is going to price the next imac at over 20k, maybe. Reply
  • IGTrading - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    @cpkennit83 You've got that one right :) Only if Apple wants to sell computers more expensive than cars. Reply
  • Mitch89 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Apple already sells computers more expensive than cars.

    https://imgur.com/a/YLWvdWk
    Reply
  • Midwayman - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    I don't think Apple releasing a 20k Mac would surprising anyone. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    remember, before the iPhone, Apple was just the Patek-Phillipe of personal computer companies. with iPhone now withering, may haps they're content to be that again? :) Reply
  • rocky12345 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Yea before iPhone they were pretty much a small niche company. By the way they not not only stole the name "iPhone" from Linksys which had products out with iphone product naming long before Apple released the first iphone they also as confirmed by Mr Jobs himself went to a event and seen a Sony concept phone about to be released in the near future yep rectangle device with a flat front with glass on the front and big screen (at least for that time) he then went back to Apple head quarters & said I want this and I want it now make it happen people. They quickly got patents on the shape and format of the new device some how before Sony got their own patents approved and went with it.

    On the iPhone name stealing from Linksys I knwo this also to be true because I owned a iphone device at least 4-5 years before Apple even had wet dreams about the smart phone industry. The Linksys Iphone devices were not smart phones though they were internet phones that worked with programs like skype and yahoo etc. You could make calls on them from Skype as I did to call family members all over Canada without long distance charges and it worked like a real land line phone pretty much. Anyways Apple releases the iPhone and Linksys goes to Apple and says hey guys uhm you kinda like are using our patented name on a device you made what gives you need to stop now. Apple either threw fist fulls of money at Linksys or took it to court either way they got to keep the name and all iphone named products form Linksys soon disappeared off of the market.
    Reply

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