CPU

Intel Core I9 9900k Processor Review

The best gaming CPU in the world, or is it?

Article Index: >>    

Since the inception of the Core Series of processors, the i7 was the flagship of Intel’s line of desktop processors. Since the first generation, the top tier i7 was always a quad core chip with hyper-threading. That was until June 2017 when the rumors floating around reddit and forums everywhere became a reality with the release of the first Core i9 Processors with Skylake X and the i9 7900x. However, this was on Intel’s enthusiast platform and came with a pretty hefty premium. The 7900x was the cheapest of the i9 processors. This is a 10 core, 20 thread beast that at launch, ran you about $1,000. Shortly after that, In August of 2017, Intel finally gave us a consumer processor with more than 4 cores. The i7 8700k was Intel’s first consumer hex core processor. This 6 core, 12 thread processor was sold out everywhere, for months after its launch. It was one of the best generational performance increases since the launch of the first generation i7 920 in November of 2008.

On October 8th of 2018, Intel made waves again with the announcement of their first ever consumer grade i9 processor. We got our first look at the i9 9900k in New York, at Intel’s fall desktop launch event. The 9900k is an 8 core, 16 thread processor with 16 MB if cache and up to 40 PCIe lanes. Its advertised as Intel’s first processor capable of 5.0 GHz right out of the box. Its compatible with all 300 series motherboards, including Intel’s new Z390 Chipset. Intel has also switched to what they call STIM, solder thermal interface material. In short, they are no longer using a tradition TIM or thermal interface material between the die and heat spreader. Instead, the heat spreader on the 9th generation processors are now soldered to the dye. This is supposed to increase thermal conductivity. But will it? Seeing the 9th generation and 8th generation are both on the same architecture, is it worth an upgrade to get two additional core?

Then, we also have to take into consideration the fact that AMD is finally giving Intel some serious competition with their second generation of Ryzen processors like the 2700x. Its pretty well known that Intel has AMD beat on IPC, in the overwhelming majority of games and Adobe apps such as Premier Pro. However, AMD is no slouch at all and does have one area in which they shine. That is price to performance. Especially when the i9 9900k is over $200 more than its AMD counterpart, the R7 2700x. So, what exactly is the benefits of choosing the i9 9900k over the 2700x, aside for Intel Optane support? We tested the 9900k head to head with the R7 2700x to answer that question, and many more. We’ve also included results from the i7 8700k, to see if its worth upgrading to the 9th generation, if you are already on the 8th. So, lets see how these three processors compared

Review Sample Provided by: Intel
Product Name/Link to Website: Core I9 9900k
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

Specifications and Features

i9 9900k

Essentials

Performance

  • # of Cores 8
  • # of Threads 16
  • Processor Base Frequency 3.60 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency 5.00 GHz
  • Cache16 MB SmartCache
  • Bus Speed 8 GT/s DMI3
  • TDP 95 W

Supplemental Information

  • Embedded Options Available No
  • Datasheet View now

Memory Specifications

  • Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 64 GB
  • Memory Types DDR4-2666
  • Max # of Memory Channels2
  • Max Memory Bandwidth41.6 GB/s
  • ECC Memory Supported No

Processor Graphics

  • Processor Graphics Intel® UHD Graphics 630
  • Graphics Base Frequency 350 MHz
  • Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency1.20 GHz
  • Graphics Video Max Memory 64 GB
  • 4K Support Yes, at 60Hz
  • Max Resolution (HDMI 1.4) ‡4096×2304@24Hz
  • Max Resolution (DP) ‡4096×2304@60Hz
  • Max Resolution (eDP – Integrated Flat Panel) ‡4096×2304@60Hz
  • DirectX* Support 12
  • OpenGL* Support 4.5
  • Intel® Quick Sync Video Yes
  • Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology Yes
  • Intel® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
  • Intel® Clear Video Technology Yes
  • # of Displays Supported 3
  • Device ID 0x3E98

Expansion Options

  • Scalability 1S Only
  • PCI Express Revision 3.0
  • PCI Express Configurations Up to 1×16, 2×8, 1×8+2×4
  • Max # of PCI Express Lanes 16

Package Specifications

  • Sockets Supported FCLGA1151
  • Max CPU Configuration 1
  • Thermal Solution Specification PCG 2015D (130W)
  • TJUNCTION 100°C
  • Package Size 37.5mm x 37.5mm

Advanced Technologies

  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Supported Yes
  • Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
  • Intel® vPro™ Platform Eligibility Yes
  • Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology Yes
  • Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) Yes
  • Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) Yes
  • Intel® TSX-NI Yes
  • Intel® 64 Yes
  • Instruction Set 64-bit
  • Instruction Set Extensions Intel® SSE4.1, Intel® SSE4.2, Intel® AVX2
  • Idle States Yes
  • Enhanced Intel SpeedStep® Technology Yes
  • Thermal Monitoring Technologies Yes
  • Intel® Identity Protection Technology Yes
  • Intel® Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP) Yes

Security & Reliability

  • Intel® AES New Instructions Yes
  • Secure Key Yes
  • Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) Yes
  • Intel® Memory Protection Extensions (Intel® MPX)Yes
  • Intel® OS Guard Yes
  • Intel® Trusted Execution Technology Yes
  • Execute Disable Bit Yes
  • Intel® Boot Guard Yes

Z390 Chipset Specifications

Essentials

Status Launched

Launch Date Q4’18

Bus Speed 8 MHz DMI3

TDP 6.0 W

Supports Overclocking 1

Supplemental Information

Embedded Options Available No

Memory Specifications

# of DIMMs per channel 2

Graphics Specifications

# of Displays Supported ‡ 3

Expansion Options

PCI Express Revision 3.0

PCI Express Configurations ‡ x1, x2, x4

Max # of PCI Express Lanes 24

I/O Specifications

# of USB Ports 14

USB Revision 3.1/2.0

Max # of SATA 6.0 Gb/s Ports 6

Integrated LAN Integrated MAC

Integrated Wifi Intel® Wireless-AC MAC

Supported Processor PCI Express Port Revision 3.00

Supported Processor PCI Express Port Configurations 1×16 or 2×8 or 1×8+2×4

Advanced Technologies

Intel® Optane™ Memory Supported ‡ Yes

Intel® vPro Technology ‡ No

Intel® ME Firmware Version 12

Intel® HD Audio Technology Yes

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology provides protection, performance, and expand-ability for desktop and mobile platforms. Whether using one or multiple hard drives, users can take advantage of enhanced performance and lower power consumption. When using more than one drive the user can have additional protection against data loss in the event of hard drive failure. Successor to Intel® Matrix Storage Technology.

Yes

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology for PCI Storage 1.00

Intel® Smart Sound Technology Yes

Intel® Platform Trust Technology (Intel® PTT) Yes

Security & Reliability

Intel® Boot Guard Yes

Article Index:

Paul Malfy

I started building computers in 1994. I studied journalism and computer science in college. I love gaming but hardware is my true passion. Especially video cards.

Related Articles

Got something to say, then say it!

Close