Skip to main content

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

Editor's Choice

Civilization VI Graphics & AI, Dawn of War III

Civilization VI AI Test

Civilization VI's AI test measures CPU performance in a turn-based strategy game and tends to favor per-core performance.

The Ryzen processors trail due to their lower per-core performance, defined by instructions per clock (IPC) throughput and frequency. Intel's Coffee Lake microarchitecture already dominates in comparisons of IPC, but bolstering it with higher clock rates extends the design's lead. Notice that the Core i5 and Core i7-9700K also perform exceedingly well, indicating this test runs best on physical cores. 

Civilization VI Graphics Test

Image 1 of 3

Image 2 of 3

Image 3 of 3

Core i7-9700K takes the lead once again. The Coffee Lake-based Core i7 models remain impressive, though. As you'll see throughout our gaming suite, Intel's Skylake-X-based Core i7-7820X is no match for the mainstream processors' much higher frequencies.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Image 1 of 3

Image 2 of 3

Image 3 of 3

Ryzen 7 2700X is more competitive in the Warhammer 40,000 benchmark, largely because this game responds well to threading. Core i9 is a powerful chip, but the Core i7-8700K challenges it after some overclocking. Intel's Core i7-9700K essentially ties the Core i7-8700K, reminding us that its product stack remains carefully segmented.


MORE: Best CPUs


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy


MORE: All CPUs Content

  • dlim389
    "The better the cooling, the better power consumption"? What?! This doesn't make sense at all. You meant the better the cooling, the lower the temperature.
    Reply
  • siman0
    "Redefine" at double the price of a 2700x it needs to do more than that. The price diffrence is more than enough to go up another GPU tier ie 1070ti to a 1080ti. Id rather have more pcie bandwidth and the ability to upgrade my cpu till 2020. The only way Id recommend a upgrade to something close is if you already have the motherboard. But even then Id say the 9700k.
    Reply
  • s1mon7
    Wait, so it performs within a spitting distance of the 2700x with DOUBLE the power consumption and price? Holy smokes, I thought Intel will be able to easily take on AMD after they launch their 8-cores. I have to say that these results were very surprising to me, since I believed in this being the ace up Intel's sleeve. This is really interesting, and a big win for AMD. The 9900K goes through twice the power just to squeeze out that extra clock speed edge to outperform the 2700x by a mere 10%, at double the price, mind you.

    Intel clearly needs 10nm and a new architecture to go back into the game. As is, I struggle to think of any reason to buy the 9900k.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    Interesting chip from Intel, but if you are looking at CPUs from a performance per dollar point of view, its rather disappointing. The real disappointment is the 9700k which is more expensive than the 8700k but performs basically the same on average.
    Reply
  • Adrian Ocampo
    As a gamer, why would I buy a 9700K when an 8700K trades blows with the 9900K in both gaming and productivity. It just doesn't make sense. Its like its just competing with its own product as this point. I would be better off buying an 8700K deliding it, put liquid metal and overclock to 5.0Ghz for a much lower price than a 9900K.
    Reply
  • gfaiii
    Guys just as a heads up you should say second generation 1151 socket, these are NOT compatible with 200 series boards that have 1151 sockets (without modding)
    Reply
  • sonichedgehog360
    Ladies and gentlemen, Intel’s FX 9000 series.

    (By the way, I totally saw this coming what with the crazy clock speeds they were pushing.)
    Reply
  • Johnpombrio
    I was surprised on how well the i9-9900K did on stock clocks. I may not even bother with overclocking as it does well even without it and I may be able to use air cooling that way. Compared to my Kaby Lake i7-7700K, it definitely is a big step up. I already have the ASUS Strix Z380 mobo, 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum memory kit and have preordered the CPU.
    Reply
  • sstanic
    how is this an editor's choice is beyond me. but not beyond marketing people, is it?
    Reply
  • redgarl
    For the money, you can buy a motherboard, a CPU and a 1080 GTX for the same price as the 9900k with it's motherboard.

    Also, you tested this system on a 600$ motherboard... 600$ and a prenium cooling solution.

    This system is above the 2000$ threshold compared to an AMD one barely hitting the 1000$.
    Reply