Intel 9th Gen Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake CPU Delidded Revealing Soldered IHS
Browse any enthusiast forum that deals with overclocking and you'll encounter complaints over Intel's choice of thermal interface material (TIM) on its 8th generation Core processor family. The consensus is that it's not very good, and that Intel should return to using solder. Well, it looks like that is happening. Yet another leak shows a 9th generation Core processor (Coffee Lake Refresh) stripped of its integrated heatspreader (IHS), with a soldering solution.
If true, the return to solder is a bit of a big deal, at least in overclocking circles. The thing with solder is that the conductivity is superior to traditional thermal grease. Switching to solder should allow for lower temps, with the difference compared to thermal grease potentially being significant. And if that's the case, overclockers may feel less inclined to rip off the IHS (a delicate process known as delidding) to wipe away and replace Intel's existing TIM.
Solder is presumably trickier and more expensive to implement, though, which would explain why Intel started using thermal grease in the first place. Having heard from enthusiasts (and maybe feeling the competitive pressure from a reinvigorated AMD), Intel appears to be returning to solder anyway.
As caught by WCCFTech, the folks at XFastest posted an image of a delidding processor on Facebook that appears to be Intel's unannounced Core i9-9900K processor. Intel essentially confirmed several upcoming 9th generation Core processors in a couple of technical documents on its website, though the Core i9-9900K wasn't among them.
Nevertheless, the Core i9-9900K has been featured in several leaks over the past several weeks. Like the other upcoming 9th generation parts, it is built on a 14nm++ manufacturing process. However, it's one of two 8-core processors that are rumored to be in the pipeline, the Core i7-9700K being the other. What's odd, though, are rumors pointing to the Core i7-9700K not supporting Hyper Threading (a first for a Core i7 part, if actually true).
The Core i9-9900K will support Hyper Threading, if previous leaks are true, making it an 8-core/16-thread processor, reportedly with a 3.6GHz base clock and up to a 5GHz boost clock (4.6GHz on all 8 cores, though we've seen different specs thrown around). It also has 16MB of L3 cache and a 95W TDP.
Looking further down the line, we're still waiting on Intel to ship its 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs in volume. In the meantime, the Core i9-9900K is poised to be Intel's flagship CPU in the mainstream category.
Thumbnail/Top Image Source: Facebook via XFastest Media HK