Intel Core i5-9600K Review: A Mid-Range Gamer's CPU

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Rendering, Encoding and Compression


AMD's Ryzen 7 2700 shows the value of eight cores armed with simultaneous multi-threading technology through our parallelized rendering workloads.

The Core i5-9600K trails its comparably-priced competition from AMD, and it only offers a small step forward versus the previous-gen Core i5-8600K.

Single-threaded workloads, regardless of software type, are still dominated by Intel's capable architectures.

Encoding & Compression

Our threaded compression and decompression metrics work directly from system memory, removing storage throughput from the equation. The Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600X are competitive in the compression test, but really stretch their legs during our decompression workload.

y-cruncher, a single- and multi-threaded program that computes pi, is a great benchmark for measuring the effect of AVX instructions. Intel processors have no trouble establishing a lead in this kind of test.

The Core i5-9600K beats AMD's Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600X in our HandBrake x265 metric, which is heavily optimized for AVX instructions. That changes during the H.264 benchmark, which sees the Core i5-9600K trail a stock Ryzen 5 2600X. Intel needs a 5 GHz overclock to overtake the stock Ryzen 7 2700.


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Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • PrinceTexasLoaf
    Nice cpu it seems to have better single core if I'm not mistaken
  • Tobias Claren
    How high can I overclock with intel boxed cooler?
    Or a cooler that fits in a mini itx case lake Silverstone Raven or similar (12 litres or less)?