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

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Intel’s processors extend their lead in the single-threaded POV-Ray and Cinebench tests. However, it's easy to see that AMD’s extra cores help offset their lower IPC in threaded benchmarks.

The Core i9-9900K sets a new high water mark for mainstream desktop performance at stock and overclocked settings in the threaded POV-Ray and Cinebench benchmarks.

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Our threaded compression and decompression metrics work directly from system memory, removing storage throughput from the equation. Ryzen 7 2700X is competitive in these workloads, especially after overclocking. But Intel's Core i9-9900K carves out a commanding lead.

y-cruncher, a single- and multi-threaded program that computes pi, is a great test to use for measuring the affect of AVX instructions. Core i7-7820X sports two 256-bit AVX FMA units per core that operate in parallel, so it isn't surprising to see that CPU leading through the multi-threaded test. Core i9-9900K is still highly competitive, but we dialed back its all-core AVX frequency to 4.8 GHz for our overclocked configuration. Consequently, the tuned -9900K is outperformed by the stock configuration, which benefits from the dual-core 5.0 GHz AVX frequency. 

Core i9-9900K leverages high clock frequencies to dominate the HandBrake x265 test, which relies heavily on AVX instructions, and the H.264 test. Notice that the tuned -9900K outpaces the stock configuration in these tests despite our 4.8 GHz AVX offset. That's because the stock setup drops to an all-core 4.7 GHz under full utilization.


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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.