When Intel released its 9th-gen Core processors in the fall, the company quickly found itself retaining its comfortable perch on top of the performance charts. That's thanks in part to a company which seems to be growing more aggressive by the day. The i7-8700K was already a very fast CPU, and the i9-9900K successfully took things to the next level.
How good would it be to have that kind of processing horsepower in a notebook? If you instantly began salivating at the thought, then we're happy to report that such a thing is coming, and it's not because of a leak. Instead, this is straight from Intel's own mouth. Well, it was on the company's "Export Compliance Metrics" page, until people noticed - and now it has been removed.
Fortunately, the internet never forgets, so we still get the crucial information we need about this pending launch. That includes the top dog SKU, the Core i9-9900HK, a 16-thread chip that like the i9-9900K will spike to 5.0GHz when the opportunity is right. What's not clear at this point is what the base clock of the chip is, but being targeted at mobile, it's likely pretty modest compared to the 3.60GHz base of the 9900K.
In addition to the 5GHz leader, Intel is also going to launch a 9880H clocked at "up to" 4.8GHz. Based on Intel's own performance metrics, the 9980HK would be about 4% faster. That might not seem like much, but bear in mind that the 9980HK is also a fully unlocked chip, so those with proper gear may be able to push their chip even higher.
That brings us to a concern about cooling, though. Intel's current processors can get pretty hot, even on the desktop. You need suitable cooling to make sure that you're guaranteed to see those 5GHz Turbos when the going gets tough. In a notebook, where thermal constraints are far more of a concern, it's going to take a truly well designed notebook to ensure peak performance from a chip like the 9980HK is being delivered at all times. However, that at least that gives notebook vendors the opportunity to come up with chassis design and cooling systems to make the most of these beastly chips.