Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The Core I9 9900k really is a great processor. However, just because it was released on Intel’s consumer platform, doesn’t really make it a consumer grade chip. Let’s be honest here. The I9 9900k is an enthusiast grade chip, on the consumer platform. For the record, I’m not saying that as a bad thing at all. I always loved platforms such as X99 and X299 for things like photo and video editing. For gaming, I’ve always went with Intel’s top i7 on their consumer platform. Chips like the 4790k and 7700k were better for gaming than say the 5820k was. This is mainly due to fewer, faster cores and a higher IPC. Now, the first consumer octa-core processor, the I9 9900k combines both higher core counts with higher frequencies and IPC than its enthusiast counterparts from previous generations such as the 5960x and the 7820x. Both were and still are great chips, but more designed for productivity work. The I9 9900k is the best of both worlds, gaming and productivity.
Now, that’s not to say it doesn’t come at a cost. Being on the consumer platform, the I9 9900k is much small that its enthusiast counterparts. This means a much smaller IHS when compared to a chip that fits the LGA 2066 socket. You’re basically adding 2 cores and 4 threads on the 8700k. Although Intel has soldered the IHS to the dye, the 9900k does produce some serious heat. In fact, I would highly recommend using custom water cooling if you chose the 9900k for your next build or upgrade. At a minimum, I’d use a 360mm AIO cooler, and a good one at that. The I9 9900k is not a chip you can throw a Hyper 212 EVO on and go to town overclocking. But, if you’re looking to get into watercooling, the 9900k could be the way to go.
The H320 X2 Prestige I used did well cooling the 9900k. However, even with the 360mm AIO, when clocked at 5.0 GHz, the 9900k hit thermal limit and began to throttle running the AIDA64 FPU stability test. Giving me FX 9590 flash backs. With the fact the 9900k boosts to 4.7 GHz, there really isn’t a need to set the processor to 5.0 for everyday use. Although, for gaming and light benchmarking, it ran at 5.0 GHz with little to no issues aside from stuttering when the chip spiked in temperature here and there.
In games, the 9900k and 8700k had similar results. The 8700k did come out ahead of the 9900k in a few games. However, in synthetic benchmarks, the 9900k came out on top in almost every other test we ran. Especially in benchmarks such as Winrar and 7-zip, the 9900k just dominated its 8th generation counterpart. I will say that the R7 2700x performed better than I had expected and at its current price point, it is a great value and the best price to performance ratio of the three processors tested in this review. That being said, for the performance you get out of the I9 9900k, I personally feel the selling price of the I9 9900k of $529.99 USD on Amazon, really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Especially considering the i7 5960x launched only a few years ago over $1000 USD and the i7 7820x was $599.99 when it launched. So, over the last several generations, the price of an Intel octa-core processor has come down significantly. Also, I was just over a year ago the 1800x launched at $499.99. Taking all this into consideration, I fell that the added benefits of Intel Optane Technology, higher frequency and the much higher IPC is well worth the $200 plus dollars the I9 9900k costs over the 2700x. Plus, you’re almost guaranteed to not run into RAM compatibility issues with the 9900k. But, what if you’re running a Z370 board and an i7 8700k? Is it worth the upgrade? Probably not. However, if you’re running an I3, or even an i5 on a Z370 board, and you have the extra cash, the 9900k would be a great upgrade from even the I5 8600k. Intel’s 9th generation has given us another first, much like the 8th did. I can’t wait to see what they do with the 10th generation.