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Rumored Intel Core i3-9100F specs throw up a Turbo Boost conundrum

A curious Intel Core i3-9100F SKU surfaces online. (Source: IndiaMart)
A curious Intel Core i3-9100F SKU surfaces online. (Source: IndiaMart)
A listing for an hitherto unknown Intel Core i3-9100F CPU has surfaced on the SiSoftware database. The Core i3-9100F shares similar specs with the Core i3-8100 but does not come with integrated UHD Graphics. While Core i3s are known for lack of Turbo Boost, a Dell listing tells us otherwise.

Intel announced no less than six new CPUs in the 9th generation family at CES 2019 but it looks like the Santa Clara-gaint isn't completely done yet. A Core i3-9100F SKU has reared its head in the SiSoftware benchmark database. There is no mention of the Core i3-9100F in Intel ARK yet so what we know is still in bits and pieces.

Let's get the obvious things out of the way first. The Core i3-9100F is a Coffee Lake 14nm++ part that belongs to the new 9th generation family. The 'F' indication implies that the UHD Graphics iGPU will be disabled. Being a Core i3, there is no hyperthreading as expected — you get 4 cores and 4 threads and the SiSoftware entry indicates a 3.6 GHz base clock. The CPU will support up to 16 PCIe lanes, up to 64 GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and will have a 6 MB L3 cache and a TDP envelope of 65W similar to the Core i3-8100. There is no mention of a Core i3-8100F on ARK anymore so the 9100F could be its replacement.

So far so good. Core i3s generally do not sport Intel's Turbo Boost technology. However, the 9100F could be an exception. Or may be not. A listing of the Inspiron desktop on Dell's website shows a processor option of the Core i3-9100 with an indication of a 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost clock. Now, Dell's listing does not specifically mention the 9100F so there's a likelihood of Intel restricting Turbo Boost to the non-F variant with the iGPU. It's sort of confusing at the moment, but we hope to get a bit more clarity in the days to come.

According to Tom's Hardware, the new Core i3 'F' will use PTIM instead of STIM for attaching the IHS to the die. The Core i3 is multiplier-locked anyways so this shouldn't make much of a difference.

Core i3-9100F entry in the SiSoftware database. (Source: SiSoftware)
Core i3-9100F entry in the SiSoftware database. (Source: SiSoftware)
Core i3-9100 CPU option in Dell Inspiron desktop. (Source: Dell)
Core i3-9100 CPU option in Dell Inspiron desktop. (Source: Dell)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > Rumored Intel Core i3-9100F specs throw up a Turbo Boost conundrum
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-02-10 (Update: 2019-02-10)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.