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Today, Intel launched its first eight-core processors Core i9-9900K and i7-9700K. We have collected all benchmarks and game results.
Intel launches its first mainstream eight-core processors
It took Intel a good two years to fully respond to AMD’s Ryzen processors. The Ryzen 7 1700, 1700X, and 1800X models were the first really good mainstream eight-core processors at the time, and were supposed to frighten Intel. Finally, AMD forced the chip giant to rely on more cores as well. The first response to Ryzen were the Coffee Lake processors, which with up to six cores already offered 50 percent more cores than all processors of the Core i generation before. The i7-8700K became a success for Intel because it was still very good for games and the Ryzen competitor was outperformed.
With the i9-9900K and the i7-9700K, Intel brings out the final answer to Ryzen. Both processors come with eight real cores. The new top model is the i9-9900K, which in contrast to the i7-9700K also masters hyperthreading and has 16 threads. The increased number of cores has also led Intel to finally solder its own processors. This is also very necessary. Despite the solder, the processors are still very warm. der8auer has already shown that only delidding of the processors bring better temperatures.
How i9-9900K and i7-9700K perform
However, what do the new processors offer in terms of performance? Since today at 15.00 o’clock also the first benchmarks can be published. Unfortunately we don’t have a test sample of the i9-9900K ourselves, so we use the very detailed benchmarks of ComputerBase. The colleagues have tested different processors in a suitable test setting with several application benchmarks and some games.
Game benchmarks: Eight cores convince in games
For the games ComputerBase relies on a slightly different test setting than for the application benchmarks. In order to avoid a graphics bottleneck, the test team relied on the new Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti instead of the GTX 1080 Ti. The games Assasssin’s Creed: Origins, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Far Cry 5, GTA V, Total War: Warhammer, Project Cars 2, Wolfenstein 2, Destiny 2, Overwatch, Ghost Recon Wildlands and Star Wars Battlefront 2 were tested in Full HD and UHD resolution.
Especially in Full HD the strong graphics card brings the system more into a CPU bottleneck than into a graphics bottleneck. The effect of the high number of cores is particularly interesting. The eight cores aren’t always an advantage, as not all games can handle eight cores. Nevertheless, the gaming tests clearly showed that both the i7-9700K and the i9-9900K perform better in the overall ranking than the popular predecessor i7-8700K with six cores. The i7-9700K is faster than the i7-8700K in every game. The high clock rate should be the decisive factor here. Overall, it beats the i7-8700K by four percent, while the i9-9900K is eight percent faster.
The distance to the Ryzen 7 2700X is not surprising at all. Once again, the significantly higher clock rate is the most important factor. As a result, the i7-9700K achieves on average 22 percent more FPS, while the i9-9900K achieves 26 percent more FPS.
On UHD, the performance differences are significantly lower. Despite the high performance of the RTX 2080 Ti, the lead of the i7-9700K and the i9-9900K shrinks here. In Kingdome Come: Deliverance, the Ryzen 7 2700X is even ahead, but can only outperform the competitors by two percent. With Far Cry 5, the processor is then again defeated by two or four percent. Only in Total War: Warhammer there is a high difference of 29 and 34 percent more FPS.
Application benchmarks: i9-9900K outperforms Threadripper 1920X and i9-7900X
However, the i9-9900K shows his true advantages in applications. With eight cores, 16 threads and a high clock rate, it is perfectly suited for application workloads. This is also reflected in the benchmarks. The i9-9900K surpasses the i7-8700K by an average of 36 percent. The i7-9700K performs worse and offers only a plus of 10 percent. It is thus also behind the Ryzen 7 2700X. The i9-9900K beats the Ryzen by 22 percent. The i9-9900K can exceed the comparable Skylake-X processor i7-7820X with eight cores and 16 threads by 16 percent. It is also one percent faster than the Threadripper 1920X, which has 12 cores and 24 threads. Also in its own rows, the processor almost approaches a counterpart with more cores. The i9-9900K is only three percent behind the i9-7900X with ten cores and 20 threads.
The i9-9900K needs a lot of power
The test of ComputerBase.de also includes a detailed consumption test. With the i9-9900K, Intel has introduced a power target for the first time, which is supposed to work in extreme situations. However, the processor is classified with a TDP of 95 watts, which is of course clearly exceeded under load. This is basically nothing unusual, with the i9-9900K Intel significantly exceeds the previous generation. In the Cinebench test, the i7-8700K achieved a consumption of 139 watts, while the i9-9900K already needs 184 watts. The i7-9700K needs less at 163 watts. In this case, the processor is even surpassed by the Ryzen 7 2700X, which is however specified at 105 watts TDP.
However, under maximum load the i9-9900K needs a lot more power. The processor reaches a consumption of 287 watts during the test with Prime95 including AVX2, which is even higher than the Threadripper 1950X with 273 watts. The i7-9700K also consumes a lot in this test with 251 watts. For comparison: the i7-8700K is 44 percent lower with 188 watts. The Ryzen 7 2700X also achieves 27 percent less consumption than the i9-9900K.
Almost no overclocking possible
ComputerBase also did an overclocking test. However, the already very high clock rate of the i9-9900K already limits the potential a bit. The processor already achieves a clock rate of 5 GHz on two cores without manual overclocking, while 4.7 GHz can be applied to all cores. This results in very high temperatures already without manual overclocking, which require strong air coolers or even water coolers to get more out of the CPU. Without any selection ComputerBase managed to clock the processor stable at 5.1 GHz on all eight cores. The i9-9900K achieves 2,230 points in the Cinebench R15 test with this clock speeds. Without overclocking, 2,070 points were possible, which is an increase of eight percent. However, the consumption also increased strongly with the clock rate. While the i9-9900K needed 184 watts for the benchmark at standard clock rate, the power consumption at 5.1 GHz clock rate increased to 273 watts or 48 percent.
Conclusion: a lot of money for slightly more performance
With the ninth generation of Core i processors, Intel has shown what can be pressed out of the 14nm architecture or Skylake. There aren’t many innovations and the performance increase is also rather small compared to the i7-8700K. In games, only four (i7-9700K) or eight (i9-9900K) percent more FPS overall can be squeezed out. In application benchmarks, the increase is a respectable 10 percent (i7-9700K) or even 36 percent (i9-9900K). In this case, the collaboration of more cores, more threads and a high clock rate is very mighty.
However, if you compare these performance values to the currently called price, the new processors are simply not worth their money. The i9-9900K costs a whole 580 US dollars, while the i7-9700K costs at least 410 US dollars. Although the predecessor i7-8700K with currently 370 US Dollars isn’t really cheaper than the i7-9700K, the prices are still clearly too high, especially when it comes to games. For four percent more performance you pay 10 percent more, for eight percent more performance even 56 percent more. Although the gap is becoming smaller in applications, the new generation is one thing above all else: expensive.