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Exclusive: Testing Intel's Unreleased Core i9-9900KS

Intel Core i9-9900KS Thoughts

The battle for desktop PC gaming supremacy often boils down to a few extra frames, and gamers willing to spend enough for this class of processor will often pair it with the highest-end GPUs. There, the Core i9-9900KS wins. 

Overall, the Core i9-9900KS sets the new bar for gaming performance. It also serves up the highest overclocking ceiling we've seen with a chip right out of the box. At stock settings, we mostly matched the performance of a highly-overclocked Intel Core i9-9900K with far less power consumption, which is plenty impressive. 

Intel has extended its lead in gaming over AMD's lineup, but we have to maintain perspective. The Ryzen 9 3900X offers a lower price point and is more agile in heavily-threaded workloads, particularly in productivity applications. It also comes with other advantages, like support for PCIe 4.0. If you're not chasing the bleeding edge of gaming performance or overclockability, the Ryzen 9 3900X still offers a compelling blend of price and performance in both gaming and productivity applications.  

Intel's Core i9-9900KS offers those last few frames of performance that the most dedicated enthusiasts demand, but it does come at a hefty price. We'll have to wait until we have more data and official pricing before we make purchasing recommendations, but it is clear that the Core i9-9900KS will be appealing to extreme gaming performance enthusiasts and those searching for the ultimate single-threaded performance. Overclockers, both of the extreme and mainstream variety, also increase their chances of getting a highly-overclockable chip right out of the box. 

We still have a lot to learn about Intel's newest flagship. We'll dive in much deeper on the technical aspects, and plenty more testing, when we post our official review. Stay tuned.


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  • mamasan2000
    AMD 3900X is not a 14nm CPU. Guess that is a typo, should be 7 nm.
    Reply
  • nitrium
    Yet another super underwhelming Intel release. I guess they'll up their game next gen, but at the price they're asking for it, it's at best "meh".
    Reply
  • Aspiring techie
    There's almost zero reason to buy this CPU if the rumored price is accurate. It's only for those who want the absolute best gaming experience. For almost every other usage case in the $500 price bracket, the 3900X is the clear winner.

    I still find it funny that AMD's 12 core CPU consumes less power than Intel's 8-core. My how the times have changed...
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    Aspiring techie said:
    There's almost zero reason to buy this CPU if the rumored price is accurate. It's only for those who want the absolute best gaming experience. For almost every other usage case in the $500 price bracket, the 3900X is the clear winner.

    I still find it funny that AMD's 12 core CPU consumes less power than Intel's 8-core. My how the times have changed...

    Considering the clock speed difference and that while its not quite 7nm it is still a smaller node than Intels 14nm its not surprising at all. If anything its to be expected. If Intel was using less power with a massive clock speed advantage on a larger process then something would be wrong.
    Reply
  • Aspiring techie
    jimmysmitty said:
    Considering the clock speed difference and that while its not quite 7nm it is still a smaller node than Intels 14nm its not surprising at all. If anything its to be expected. If Intel was using less power with a massive clock speed advantage on a larger process then something would be wrong.
    I totally agree. 7nm especially has been a huge advantage on that front. It's just that AMD CPUs have traditionally been power hogs while Intel has been fast and power efficient. I find it funny that the roles are somewhat reversed now.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    Aspiring techie said:
    I totally agree. 7nm especially has been a huge advantage on that front. It's just that AMD CPUs have traditionally been power hogs while Intel has been fast and power efficient. I find it funny that the roles are somewhat reversed now.
    "Power hog" is relative - at the time of the Athlon XP, the Pentium 4 had a secondary role as a room heater.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    The advertised TDP is still a joke on these heaters...
    Reply
  • vinay2070
    9900K @5Ghz performs better than 9900KS @5GHz and costs lesser ? OMG! I understand there are bug fixes, but the cost increase for very little performance increase, that too at 5.2GHz OC is not worth it IMHO. For the price of this CPU, I can get the 3700X/Mobo/16GB ram and it does not make a lot of difference at 1440P anyway.
    Reply
  • unityole
    admin said:
    We take Intel's unreleased Special Edition Core i9-9900KS for a benchmarking spin.

    Exclusive: Testing Intel's Unreleased Core i9-9900KS : Read more

    is it possible to have Paul also test these new chips with mitigation on how they affect PCIe SSD performance?
    Reply
  • Bassben004
    mamasan2000 said:
    AMD 3900X is not a 14nm CPU. Guess that is a typo, should be 7 nm.
    Another typo is the 49.95 per thread price for the 3900X. 499/24=49.95?? The whole point of this was to try and act like Intel was releasing a competitive product, but they are just pulling the same stuff as when they did the 8086K. A special bin for <2% increase and more $$
    Reply