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Intel Core i9-9900K 9th Gen CPU Review: Fastest Gaming Processor Ever

Editor's Choice

VRMark, 3DMark & AotS: Escalation

VRMark, 3DMark

We aren't big fans of using synthetic benchmarks to measure performance, but 3DMark's DX11 and DX12 CPU tests provide useful insight into the amount of horsepower available to game engines.

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The Core i9-9900K's eight cores easily beat Ryzen 7 2700X during the DX12 and DX11 CPU benchmarks. For perspective, the Core i9-9900K has the same 4.7 GHz all-core boost frequency as the Core i7-8700K's single-core boost, which is quite impressive. As expected, tuning Core i9-9900K propels it into a league of its own.

In the DX12 test, we see a nice step forward from Core i7-9700K compared to its predecessor, the Core i7-8700K. That improvement is despite a loss of Hyper-Threading technology on the new Core i7 model.

Architecturally, the Core i5-9600K is very similar to Core i5-8600K. They offer the same number of cores. But the newer chip's higher clock rates deliver tangible gains. 

UL's VRMark test lets you gauge your system's suitability for use with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, even if you don't currently own an HMD. UL defines a passing score as anything above 109 FPS. The Core i7-9700K posts a surprisingly strong frame rate, beating the overclocked -9900K. That implies this benchmark runs best on eight physical cores.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a computationally intense title that scales well with thread count. A stock Core i9-9900K beats the rest of the processors, except for an overclocked Core i7-8700K.


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