When Intel announced a new 9th gen Core i9-9900K a “world’s best gaming CPU,” it lied. After poking and prodding a CPU, we can contend yet a doubt that it is indeed a fastest mainstream CPU around and—wait for it—the fastest gaming CPU too.
For those who watch any shade of CPU movements like a trouble-maker gambler following a ponies, this news won’t accurately come as a shock. After all, take a 14nm++ (+?) CPU, chuck on dual some-more cores and holder a time speed adult to 5GHz roughly all of a time, and it’s easy to see how a Core i9-9900K would tip a charts.
The shocker to us wasn’t that it was fast, yet usually how fast, and how easy it was to make even faster.
Just what does 9th-gen even mean?
With this launch, Intel has motionless to nick adult a processor array to a 9th generation. We indeed asked a association what a era description meant years ago when it clicked over to 6th gen. Back then, Intel pronounced it was associated to a graphics core generations on a CPUs. With a 7th generation, Intel pronounced even yet a graphics cores were accurately a same, a changes to a media estimate engine (technically partial of a graphics core) was adequate to count. Umm, OK.
With a 8th era of CPUs, we didn’t even worry to ask, since it was transparent it didn’t unequivocally meant anything solely maybe newer and faster.
So if we wish a brief answer, 9th gen doesn’t meant anything solely that it’s improved than perplexing to call it New CPU Number 42. As distant as we can tell, a x86 cores are a same as on a 8th gen CPU, and a graphics core, too.
STIM and More Cores!
There is one pivotal change with this generation, though: some-more cores. Obviously stung by AMD’s extravagantly successful 8-core Ryzen CPUs, Intel has motionless to compare AMD on core counts. The top-end CPU reviewed here, a Core i9-9900K, facilities 8 cores with Hyper-Threading. Intel didn’t usually glue on dual some-more cores and call it a day, either. It also brought behind a soldered thermal interface material, or STIM.
In a design below, you’re not saying a silicon chip itself, you’re saying a steel feverishness spreader, that helps strengthen a ethereal die from repairs by, we guessed it, swelling a heat.
If we consider of a silicon die as one side of an Oreo, and a steel feverishness spreader as a other side, a STIM is a white sweetened stuffing that connects a two. Years ago with a 2nd-gen Sandy Bridge CPUs, Intel used solder TIM yet unexpected altered to a expected cheaper pulp (also called polymer) TIM. With Ryzen’s arrival, Intel expected indispensable a opening boost, and a STIM is usually that.
A new Z390 chipset, too
Paired with a new Core i9-9900K is Intel’s new Z390 chipset. For a many part, a usually change of matter is local USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps speeds). The rest is a same solely for wireless integration, that we don’t caring about.
Backward harmony with comparison motherboards is a best news: Intel pronounced Z370 play should entirely support a new 9th-gen CPUs. Intel has taken feverishness in a past for requiring new motherboards with new CPUs, so let’s give credit where it’s due.
How we tested
For this test, we used an engineering representation Core i9-9900K, along with an engineering representation Core i7-8700K and an early-production AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, supposing directly by AMD.
We tested a Core i9-9900K on an Asus Maximus XI Hero Z390 board, a Core i7-8700K on a Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 Z370 house and a Ryzen 7 2700X on an MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC motherboard.,
All 3 used dual single-rank 8GB Geil Flare X DDR4/3200 DIMMs in dual-channel mode. XMP memory profiles were set for all three. For storage, we used 3 matching 250GB Kingston HyperX Savage MLC SATA drives.
We commissioned matching Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 cards on any testbed, regulating a latest accessible open drivers. All 3 were checked with GPU-only tests to safeguard they achieved consistently.
For cooling, we primarily attempted to use a batch AMD Wraith Spire Prism along with dual aftermarket, Intel BXTS15A coolers with a fans during 100 percent. We motionless a batch Intel atmosphere cooler wasn’t adult to a charge of a Core i9-9900K, so we switched to 3 Corsair H80i V2 AIO CLC coolers, with a fans set to 100 percent on all 3 and mounted in a same demeanour (external). All 3 systems were run with their side row removed, with AC-powered fans floating cold atmosphere over a GPUs and motherboards.
For OS, we used Windows 10 Home chronicle 1803, along with a latest motherboard BIOSes and chipset drivers for any platform.
To MCE or not?
For a final 5 years or so, many Intel motherboards have supposing an additional environment typically called “Multi-Core Enhancement.” MCE allows any motherboard builder to set aloft targets for boost clocks. It’s technically overclocking, yet it also isn’t since it’s enabled from a factory, so it doesn’t indeed blank your warranty.
Because MCE is partial of a knowledge many consumers would get with a Core i9 on sold motherboards, we were unequivocally during contingency about either to capacitate it.
In a end, we didn’t capacitate it for a testing, yet we did run additional tests on a Core i9 with MCE set to Auto and On, since somehow it felt satisfactory to uncover usually how easy it is to get that “free” performance.
For example, on a Maximus XI Hero house and with a Corsair H80i V2, environment MCE to automobile gave us all core loads adult to 4.7GHz during H.265 encoding. Setting it to On ran all cores adult to 5GHz underneath sincerely complicated loads many of a time.
This is usually too many too many integrity to pass up, so we’ll indicate it out when it’s value it.
Core i9-9900K 3D Modelling Performance
Let’s flog off a opening research regulating Cinebench R15. Based on Maxon’s Cinema4D engine (albeit somewhat older), this is a real-world 3D digest application.
Although we’re going to 0 in on a freshest OS chronicle for a bulk of a tests, we feel flattering gentle display how a Core i9-9900K stacks adult opposite a raft of CPUs we’ve tested regulating before OS versions. Like many 3D digest apps, it loves core count—so we’re unequivocally meddlesome in saying how a high clocks of a Core i9 matter.
Although a Core i9-9900K can’t hang with 18-core and 32-core CPUs, a multiple of a high time speeds puts it in a using with a 10-core Core i9-7900X and a 10-core Core i7-6950X chip. And yes, a Core i7-6950X did indeed cost $1,723.
The universe isn’t about multi-threading, though, and single-threaded opening is mostly distant some-more critical for many of a work people do. To magnitude that, we also run Cinebench in single-threaded mode. As we did for a final test, we ran a Core i9-9900K with MCE on and MCE off.
It doesn’t unequivocally matter, though, since on a singular core, a Core i9-9900K runs during 5GHz stock. The Core i9-9900K simply dominates a mainstream CPUs, as good as a workhorse chips that cost roughly 4 times as much.
Our subsequent exam is a Corona Renderer. This is a photorealistic unprejudiced renderer. That might sound like it’s a exam that doesn’t preference any hardware, yet it indeed refers to a digest technique it uses.
We ran a Core i9 with MCE off, on auto, and manually incited on. For a many part, that means a long-term boost speed of all cores of 4.3GHz, 4.7GHz, and 5GHz.
In Corona, that uses all of those cores, we can see 16 threads during 5GHz pays off nicely.
Next adult is V-ray, that is a physically-based renderer. More cores matter, and some-more cores during aloft clocks seem to matter more. V-ray also appears to like Intel’s design some-more than AMD’s, as a Core i7-8700K creeps right adult behind a Ryzen 7 2700X. Far ahead, though, is that Core i9-9900K.
Our subsequent exam is a open-source Blender module that’s renouned among indie film makers. We ran a Core i9 with MCE off, on auto, and manually incited on. Using a giveaway BMW benchmark file, a Core i9 has a decent lead over a Ryzen 7 2700X, yet not adequate until we switch on MCE.
Our final 3D modelling exam is POV-Ray. It’s a ray tracing focus that has a roots in a Commodore Amiga. In a built-in multi-threading test, it’s unequivocally a 4.3GHz 8-core vs. a 4GHz 8-core race, with a Core i9 entrance in about 10 percent faster when set to batch speeds.
Where a Core i9 consistently pulls distant forward of a Ryzen 7 2700X is in lighter loads. In POV-Ray, a Core i9 is about 25 percent faster interjection to a high clocks. In fact, even a comparison Core i7-8700K passes a Ryzen 7 on a single-threaded test.
Need some-more proof? Keep reading for CPU benchmarks formed on encoding and video editing.