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The Intel Core i9 9900K (New Coffee Lake)

The Intel Core i9 9900K (New Coffee Lake)

Everyone knows that the battle of technology is at it’s peak, the big giants are constantly coming up with new ideas, versatile theories and innovations almost every day. In early 2018 the challenge for Intel was that AMD was capturing the market of users with their gaming processors, boards and machines.  With the attempts to stay on-top Intel started creating campaigns, public awareness surveys and webinars to engage the community and in turn users started to eagerly await for Intel to launch something majestic and prestigious.  And on October 1st, Intel pulled off two unprecedented moves bringing the Core i9 branding to the mainstream enthusiast Z-series platform and revealing the first 8-core CPU for a mainstream machine – Intel Core i9 9900K.  Intel expected this to be the answer to AMD’s Ryzen 7 CPUs, at least on core count.  With a $488 cost, the Core i9-9900K would serve to be the flagship of their new lineup, offering eight cores and 16 threads.

As Intel was still unable to fully scale their 10nm process, so their new 9th generation processor would have to be based on the 14nm process that they have using for the past 5 generations.  Of course, Intel was able to optimize it with every passing generation and those optimizations allowed Intel to make the Intel Core i9 9900K into a beast.

It is claimed that it will run up to 4.7 GHz with all 8 cores pumping, with a 5GHz max Turbo Boost clock. All that with a TDP (expected temperature ) of 95W.  It also comes with Hyper-Threading, and is expected to have 16MB of cache. And Intel knew that if it could create a processor that can run at 5GHz when overclocked, it would fully decimate the AMD Ryzen lineup.  Except maybe in terms of value, that is.

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The Clock Speed Really Matters – WHAT’s NEW THIS YEAR

The Intel Core i9 9900K is capable of being clocked at up to 5.0 GHz, and features 8 cores and 16 threads w/ HyperThreading. The Core i7 9700K has the same number of cores, but drops HyperThreading (a feature unique to the Core i7 family since the beginning of the Intel Core branding) and runs at a lofty 4.9GHz. The Core i5 9600K is clocked at up to 4.6GHz and features the same 6C/6T configuration as the i5 8600K, with all of them continuing to work with the current generation Intel 300-series platform, as well as the new Intel Z390 platform.

Here are the specifications in a nice little table.

Processor            Cores / Threads           Base / Boost Clocks         Cache    TDP       Price

Core i9 9900K      8C/16T                          3.6 / 5.0 GHz                       16MB     95W       $488

Core i7 9700K      8C/8T                            3.6 / 4.9 GHz                       12MB     95W       $374

Core i5 9600K      6C/6T                            3.7 / 4.6 GHz                       9MB       95W       $262

The Gaming Guru – All New Intel Core i9 Monster

Without a hint of a doubt the Intel i9-9900k is an absolute monster processor in terms of day-to-day desktop duties.  In comparison with the i7-8700 for instance, if we take Z370 system and managed to Turbo Boost to a constant 4.68GHz all through the testing, it will score a powerful 210 within the single core and 2028 in multicore efficiency, whereas the i9-9900 PC Turbo Boosted to 4.9GHz and got there in with 212 and 2080. This places i9-9900’s single core efficiency at around 15% quicker and its multicore efficiency at a large 57-62% quicker than the i7-8700.

Yes, the 9900k is the quickest gaming CPU around too, however it’s just too costly for what it’s – and that’s even before you begin to include the price needed for further cooling necessities. Instead, you’d be a lot better off spending that cash on more powerful graphics card and sticking with both Intel’s $370 Core i7-8700k or AMD’s $310 Ryzen 7 2700X. Both CPUs are infinitely higher value for cash then their rival Core i9, and nonetheless present greater efficiency for any high-end gaming rig.

Intel’s Core i9- 9900 vs AMD’s Ryzen 7 and what the benchmarkers found

Game Mode”:  If we compare the fact that the Ryzen Master Utility and the number of active cores in the AMD-based systems, all based on AMD’s recommendations and our initial testing on the Threadripper processors, installing the AMD Ryzen Master utility and enabling the Game Mode increased most results compared to i9-9900.  But the results may vary for other AMD machines across Threadripper.

Cooler choice:  Noctua (premium cooling components are renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality) has been chosen for the CPU coolers, due to having almost identical systems in the NH-U14S (Intel) and NH-U14S TR4-SP3 (AMD), which testers have show to have maintained a comparable thermal profile.  Also, they found that without having to perform any overclocking on any configuration and AMD claiming it was a good cooler, they found the stock AMD Ryzen™ 7 2700X Wraith Prism cooler had a small advantage over coffee series of Intel.

Memory speeds: To have complete parity across all systems, and to allow the Intel® Core i9 X-series and AMD Ryzen Threadripper to fully utilize memory bandwidth, they used 4 16GB DDR4 DIMMs on all configurations and found that Core i9 X-series is amazingly faster in performance and clocking

Quality settings:  All games were configured to use the “High” or equivalent preset, versus “Ultra” or other presets, also to emphasize CPU over GPU performance. In the case Intel i9 was the winner again.

Final Remarks:

Okay now we can conclude that 9900k is the quickest gaming & day-to-day desktop duty CPU around, but again it’s just too costly – BUT it really won’t matter because it’s about replacement not enhancement for its fans. But if you’re strapped for cash (and various other reasons, i.e installation, etc) you’d be a lot better off purchasing a better graphics card and sticking with both Intel’s $370 Core i7-8700k or AMD’s $310 Ryzen 7 2700X.


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    I never want to be using the latest and greatest. I stay 1 step behind – my i7 is perfect!

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  3. AWSCC Staff

    Many thanks for laying this out!

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  4. AWSCC Staff

    I’m not a huge tech geek but I get to learn so much more about technology when listening to my friends blabber about it. Amazing how far we’ve come on speed, processors and just overall tech! I’m currently happy with i5 but what a beast i9 would be!

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