Laptop Power: Intel Calls Its New i9-8950HK Processor the 'Ultimate Content Creation Experience'

Laptop Power: Intel Calls Its New i9-8950HK Processor the 'Ultimate Content Creation Experience'

As laptops become more and more powerful, many photographers and videographers are turning to them as their primary work machines. Intel's first ever Core i9 laptop processor was just unveiled, and with the company positioning it toward content creators, it too should help push the envelope all the more.

Content creators can always use more power, and it seems Intel's new processors should be a step in the right direction. The eighth generation i9, i7, and i5 processors were recently announced, and with them come a host of improvements. Built on the Coffee Lake platform using the 14nm++ process, Intel promises the new processors can edit 4K video up to 59 percent faster than the seventh generation chips with the same discrete graphics, which should be great news for video editors, especially as 4K continues to become the new standard.

Most exciting is the new i9-8950HK, which is the first mobile Intel processor to offer 6 cores and 12 threads. The processor features Thermal Velocity Boost, which automatically increases the clock frequency by up to 200 MHz so long as the temperature remains low, while its turbo boost frequency tops out at a whopping 4.8 GHz. Of course, software companies will need to write their applications to take advantage of the multiple cores, but the processor is no doubt a monster in the mobile realm. 

The new processors also have the Intel 300 Series Chipset, which includes Gigabit Wi-Fi. The chip is already in certain laptops, such as the new Dell XPS 15, which will be available for preorder on April 16. It should be exciting news for creators looking for as much power as possible on the go. 

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Johnny Rico's picture

Is this an Intel press release? I'm confused.

Alex Cooke's picture

Nope, it's an announcement of new Intel products with information from their PR.

Kirk Lawrence's picture

The biggest detail and most important for me is that it will support 32GB of RAM! Finally will upgrade my aging MacBook Pro. C'mon Apple, don't sleep on this!!!

You must have missed the news that Apple will start using their own chips starting in 2020.

Kirk Lawrence's picture

I have a late 2008 MBP, so it's waaaay beyond time I upgrade. I have an event photography business, so I can't really wait through 2 more years of slow photo editing.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Unfortunately, Coffee Lake still only support up to 16gb of low power DDR4 RAM. It’s next year’s Ice lake that can do 32gb+.

Kirk Lawrence's picture

As per the 9to5Mac article:
"The Core i9 would also address one common complaint of MacBook Pro owners: that RAM is limited to 16GB. This is because current-generation processors are limited to LPDDR3 RAM, and using desktop RAM instead would draw too much power. The new chip supports 32GB of mobile RAM."

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Of note, while the Core i9 processor allows for systems with up to 32GB of RAM, this is unlikely to apply to the next MacBook Pro, since low-power DDR4 RAM is still not supported. When using DDR4, the maximum available is still 16GB until Ice Lake.

Fritz Asuro's picture

Apple is thinking of parting ways with Intel soon, so you might not see a mac with the new processors anymore.

Unless Apple buys AMD I don’t see this happening. Seems like wishful thinking.

As is I don’t think they even fabricate the chips found in iOS devices. They outsource that you TSMC but does TSMC even have experience making desktop/server grade chips?

If Apple can provide larger scale versions of there already excellent mobile chips, I wouldn’t mind it.

Paulo Macedo's picture

I really hope not. If something like that would happen, then the PC world would be in trouble. Mac and PC both would skyrocket in price as CPU makers would not compete one against each other.
Apple will shift their laptop lineup to ARM CPU's due to their somewhat good performance and amazing battery life.
By 2020, we would be getting something like a Snapdragon 865 alike on Apple side, powering MacBooks.
Really doubt that, on the pro side, they'll ditch x86 architecture, as ARM processors just can't keep up with an x86 AMD64 architecture and dedicated GPU, not to mention the incompatibilities between let's say, a future ARM and a future Pro grade Nvidia GPU.
But, if they do buy AMD, then we would see something really cool, because AMD is developing their own ARM CPU's and they proved to be darn fast.
Time will tell, an AMD hardcore fanboy since Athlon 2600+, I wouldn't like to see that happen =P Ryzen 7 1700X here pumping iron with an Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti!!

Daris Fox's picture

Apple has been pushing for iOS to replace macOS for a long time, it's just a question of when. Just like MS is doing with Win 10 making it hardware agnostic especially when you hear the rumours about Andromeda and the fact they've got Photoshop running on a ARM Architecture using SD835s.

Convergence is happening all around us now, what we know as OS today will probably cease to exist in 10-15 years except for legacy applications maybe even sooner depending on what Microsoft and Apple push next.

Paulo Macedo's picture

I just don't see fit, that mobile cpu's would be used on desktop computers, like the workhorse I have at home.
Eventually they will merge, we might see ARM embeded on x86, like we see GPU's.
As for SD835, that's the cpu inside my Nokia 8, quite capable, but besides reproducing and recording 4K video it strugles to process and edit 4K video (when compared to my PC).
It might be an option for laptops, to ensure thinner computers with "powerful" processors without generating much heat, as a laptop would be much easier to cool than a smartphone. I believe that there were already some Surface models running Windows 8 RT (or SE? don't remember), with ARM architecture from Intel.
I a hard believer that the future is on GPU's.

Sorry for all the geekness...part of my job. lol

Daris Fox's picture

Agreed, hence why I said legacy applications. By this point in 5 years time most major programs will likely be PWA based. The shift is already happening just look at the UWP platform and major companies are offering a web first presence for programs. Add into the equation technologies such as Docker or MS's own tech for app virtualisation and containerisation which was running Ps.

More complex apps such as media creation, analytics and the like will become 'legacy'. For the vast majority of the population they already get by with a mobile device. I know a lot of people who no longer have a PC or a Mac instead rely purely on their phone, and that's the convergence will only grow wider.

It was a ARM Surface device that died, but MS is already deep into the development of it's spiritual successor. The ARM based surface was too ahead of it's time and relied to much on the vagaries of the market and apps to survive. The Andromeda (think the original Courier) device is already being mentioned to the media and showing up in patents. That's a miniature PC with LTE functionality, it's not a phone but a PC with mobile abilities. Phones have already hit saturation, and companies are moving to the next big thing such as what MS pushed with Continuum and Samsung with Dex. Also consider projects like Hololens which will be a fundamental way shift the way we use computers added to the power of AI assistants such as Siri and Cortana which is back by intelligent data processing.

As a side note, I'm a IT Consultant and project developer I'm already implementing the above technologies into companies at varying stages of deployment and testing. There's also some stuff coming out later this year that will make you rethink how PCs are going to be used (barring R&D/marketing getting their way).

Kirk Lawrence's picture

That's not for a couple more years, if you can believe the rumors. This chip will be used by OEM's in the second half of this year.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

To note, ARM64's Architecture is inherently faster and efficient than the antiquated 86x64 and since ARM can do both how the x86 addresses memory (Unlike the PowerPC before it), emulation and inline compilation is way, way faster. The transition is much less painful than the move to x86...

Deleted Account's picture

4k is great and all but does it display colors well and how dark/bright are the blacks/whites

Processors don't display colors.

Deleted Account's picture

Exactly. So many computers are getting more and more advanced in processing power but lag in display stats.

LA M's picture


It's not the computers...those have been well capable for years. It's the crappy software and lack of optimization (Adobe).

Chad D's picture

ditto this adobe sucks these days
nothing but issues with them anymore

Deleted Account's picture

Well also physical performance of screens. It's crazy how dim many of them are.

Paulo Macedo's picture

Well, there is a rumour out there that Apple is thinking of leaving x86 architecture on their laptops in favour of ARM. So, this content creating behemoth will and its successors will be available on the PC platform.

Andre Goulet's picture

Videographers aside, I call BS on needing all this horsepower to edit photos. I do some serious composites on a 2012 13" MacBook Pro with an i5 processor and 16gb of RAM and only have to wait for 2 filters, that I rarely use, to do their job. Other than that, everything is smooth and quick. I even do the same editing on my 12" MacBook Retina and have no issues. Storage is the only real issue that we all deal with, all the time, with laptops. Fast storage is too small for any busy photographer to not end up spending half their time managing photos.