With AMD’s second generation Ryzen launch we saw the Ryzen 7 2700X take the top spot ahead of Intel’s Core i7-8700K in terms of overall performance. Intel still had stronger performance in games, but the Ryzen 7 2700X was very attractive to not just gamers, but creators, designers, etc. With 8-cores and 16-threads it really is a great processor. Now it is time for Intel to strike back and today we have probably the most anticipated Intel product of the year, the Core i9-9900K. This is Intel’s first 8-core, 16-thread mainstream processor, packing in clock speeds of 3.6 GHz base and a single-core turbo frequency of 5.0 GHz. Intel calls the Core i9-9900K the world’s best processor for gaming and today we are going to see if that is true and how it stacks up against other processors out there.
Special thanks to Intel for providing us with the Core i9-9900K Processor to review.
The 9th Generation Core lineup
So initially Intel will be launching three processors that will make up the 9th generation Core series. They are the Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K, and Core i5-9600K. As we mentioned the Core i9-9900K is an 8-core, 16-thread chip running at 3.6 GHz with a boost up to 5.0 GHz. It features 16 MB of Intel Smart Cache, is fully unlocked, supports dual channel DDR4-2666 memory, and is a 95W part. The chip is also being manufactured on the 14nm process.
Intel’s pricing (per 1000) is set at $488. Although pre-release pricing for the i9-9900K is $529 at our favorite online retailer.
There is not a whole lot new with the Intel’s 9th generation Core series. The biggest announcement is that Intel will be using solder thermal interface material (STIM). This should help with temperatures and enabled higher overclocks.
Also the new Z390 chipset now has native USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and integrated Intel Wireless AC.
Keep in mind that you can run these new chips on Z370 motherboards (with a BIOS update of course).
Our pre-release sample came directly from Intel and sadly it was not the cool dodecahedron packaging we’ve all seen, but Intel did step things up this time. Typically processor samples from Intel would come in a small unmarked black box not much larger than the processor itself. This time we actually have a very cool 9th Gen Core i9 box!
Opening the box up we see the processor presented under a pentagon. On the inside of the box it also says “Performance Unleashed” with the Intel logo.
Getting the processor out it looks much like other Intel processor’s we’ve reviewed in the past. Here are a couple of quick shots of the front and back of the chip.