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Question Intel 8th vs 9th Gen base Core I7

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
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Recently I was looking at the base models of the Intel Core I7 processors and NOT their K, T or F variants. I noticed that the 8th Gen was using six cores with two threads per core while the 9th Gen used 8 single-threaded cores. This made me realized that for use in my world using Office applications, browsing and email, and photo editing, which makes the more wise decision.

I tried to compare cost and found that the more expensive of the two options had less expensive motherboard options whie the cheaper CPU had more expensive options when comparing on sites like NE, MC, and Amazon. Also, I was stunned by the variety of sub-I7's out there and that sometimes these etailers don't carry them and one must go into unfamiliar territory for buying considerations.

Of course none of this is made easier when one also throws into the mix that the Intel motherboard chipset is segregated between the two generations of processors (1xx & 2xx vs 3xx). Usually I would not have a problem chosing a processor but not knowing the pros and cons in layman terms to know which would be of better benefit considering TDP, L3 cache, IGp, etc. are all the same between the two just adds to my confusion. Thoughts on why one should go for the 9700 vs the 8700, or the other way? Is it more about the 1/2xx vs 3xx of the mobo one should look at?
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,520
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Since your request was very specific I will consider you're interested in these CPUs only (i7, Intel).

For your use case go with the 9700, mainly because the 9th gen will have better thermals. (uses solder between CPU die and heatspreader). Other reasons exist but are less important.

Whatever you buy DO NOT use the stock heatsink, buy a decent aftermarket cooler. If you want to use this CPU at it's true potential then you should treat it as a 95W TDP CPU both in terms of cooling and BIOS settings (some Z boards will not impose any power limits on this CPU anyway).

If you're not in a hurry, you can also wait for the 10th gen launch coming this spring. We have strong reasons to believe Intel will make significant changes to their CPU lineup in the context of very strong competition from AMD. At that time you should be able to choose between an i5 with 6c/12t or i7 with 8c/16t, so either $100 less for the same performance as today, or same $$$ for more performance.
 
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lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
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Since your request was very specific I will consider you're interested in these CPUs only (i7, Intel).

For your use case go with the 9700, mainly because the 9th gen will have better thermals. (uses solder between CPU die and heatspreader). Other reasons exist but are less important.

Whatever you buy DO NOT use the stock heatsink, buy a decent aftermarket cooler. If you want to use this CPU at it's true potential then you should treat it as a 95W TDP CPU both in terms of cooling and BIOS settings (some Z boards will not impose any power limits on this CPU anyway).

If you're not in a hurry, you can also wait for the 10th gen launch coming this spring. We have strong reasons to believe Intel will make significant changes to their CPU lineup in the context of very strong competition from AMD. At that time you should be able to choose between an i5 with 6c/12t or i7 with 8c/16t, so either $100 less for the same performance as today, or same $$$ for more performance.
If he's interested in 8th or 9th gen only, it may be because of a motherboard, which won't be any help for him for 10th gen. @BarkingGhostar -> we need more info about your situation! :)
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,389
778
126
Ok, first off good news : ignore 1xx and 2xx Intel chipset boards, they're obsolete and irrelevant. All contemporary B360/Z370/Z390 boards can run Intel 8000 and 9000 CPUs. I still have an original Gigabyte Aorus Z370 Gaming 5 I had run an 8086k in, upgraded to 9900KS, and it was fine. Replaced with a Phantom 9 Z390 for enhanced high TDP OC.

So feel free to choose 8th or 9th gen Intel with any new 3xx Mobo available at Amazon/etc. For office work a 6C/12T 8700 is about as good as an 8C/8T 9700.

However, as you didn't mention gaming but instead general office usage, it's definitely a situation where AMD Ryzen 3600 (6C/12T) beats the 8700 (6C/12T), and the Ryzen 3700 (8T/16T) beats the 9700 (8C/8T), and then the 3900 (12C/24T) beats the 9900 (8C/16T).

Honestly, it is a superior CPU lineup for basically everything BUT gaming. Cooler running, better multitasking, more cache, more threads for the $, etc.
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
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378
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I guess I was just trying to figure out the why in Intel's decision to go from 1:2 core:thread ratio as what I was use to seeing to 1:1 in the 9th gen. I figured I must be missing something (ignorant) to get away from hyper-threading on a core.

lobz, yes and that would be I was looking for more modern board features not associated with OC. Things like USB-C, USB 3.1 Gen whatever, etc. I often find that in building my personal computers that CPU is the last thing that runs out of juice and it is usually the motherboard shortcomings in modern times or simply beginning to die.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
12,388
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I guess I was just trying to figure out the why in Intel's decision to go from 1:2 core:thread ratio as what I was use to seeing to 1:1 in the 9th gen. I figured I must be missing something (ignorant) to get away from hyper-threading on a core.
It was to force users who wanted an 8 core/16 thread up to the i9 series.

But that was back when they were in better shape in manufacturing and performance. It looks like many of their 10 series CPUs will offer hyperthreading again instead of having only one top consumer CPU with it.

Edit: And not to forget the security issues they were in the middle of, with some of them tied to the hyperthreading tech. I'm sure that played a part as well.
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
6,203
871
136
*snip*

lobz, yes and that would be I was looking for more modern board features not associated with OC. Things like USB-C, USB 3.1 Gen whatever, etc. I often find that in building my personal computers that CPU is the last thing that runs out of juice and it is usually the motherboard shortcomings in modern times or simply beginning to die.
If you're looking for the most feature loaded MOBO today, you might actually want to consider AMD.

Instead of a $300 Intel i7 and budget $100 MOBO, you could get a high end $300 AMD X570 MOBO and still get a 6c/12t CPU for ~$100 (1600AF or 2600).

X570 gets you PCIe 4.0 (vs. 3.0), the latest USB, most have high quality board components/electronics, and many have multi-gig ethernet options etc.
A 2600 class CPU should be fine for current office use. Even if AMD changes sockets for Ryzen 4000, you'll still be able to upgrade as far as a 16c/32t 3950x.

Edit: Whoops...I forgot to mention that while Ryzen 2000 series will work in X570 they don't support PCIe 4.0, you'd need to upgrade to Ryzen 3000 + for it.
 
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lobz

Golden Member
Feb 10, 2017
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I guess I was just trying to figure out the why in Intel's decision to go from 1:2 core:thread ratio as what I was use to seeing to 1:1 in the 9th gen. I figured I must be missing something (ignorant) to get away from hyper-threading on a core.

lobz, yes and that would be I was looking for more modern board features not associated with OC. Things like USB-C, USB 3.1 Gen whatever, etc. I often find that in building my personal computers that CPU is the last thing that runs out of juice and it is usually the motherboard shortcomings in modern times or simply beginning to die.
Thanks for the answer, in that case I'd definitely wait for Z490 mobos, if you must go with Intel. If not, the B550 mobos will come out approximately the same time as Z490 and you can get killing value out of both the mobo and CPU if you choose AMD.

Staying strictly with your original question: if gaming is not your first concern, I'd definitely not go with a 9700. A 8700 will never have problems with heat while processing office workloads, and who knows how handy having 12 threads over 8 threads will come in, a couple of years later (I'm assuming you don't purchase an office desktop CPU for $300-400 just to last 2-3 years).

Generally, I'd either buy B450 and Ryzen 5 3600, or just wait for Comet Lake CPUs with Z490 mobos and / or the new AMD B550 motherboards to have a newer platform from either company.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,520
2,908
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Staying strictly with your original question: if gaming is not your first concern, I'd definitely not go with a 9700. A 8700 will never have problems with heat while processing office workloads, and who knows how handy having 12 threads over 8 threads will come in, a couple of years later (I'm assuming you don't purchase an office desktop CPU for $300-400 just to last 2-3 years).
It's not just 12 threads vs. 8 threads, it's also 6 physical cores vs. 8 physical cores. Anything that scales poorly past 8 threads will run faster on 9700, and even many other workloads will end up in a tie at best. AFAIK the 9700 will also run 200Mhz higher with all-core boost. In order for SMT to make a difference in this fight, it will need to make up for a 35+% throughput deficit before bringing any net gains on the table. ( 33% from more cores, 5% from clocks).

As far as 8700 never having problems with heat, you're kinda contradicting yourself: either the 8700 will never make good use of it's SMT in those office workloads of the OP, in which case it has no edge whatsoever over 9700, or it will use SMT efficiently, in which case it will bring on the heat if allowed to go over 65W TDP. (and Z boards will likely let it go above 95W TDP by default). A simple x264 encode on 8700 takes package power to 90W+ @ 4.3Ghz.

As someone who owns the i7 8700 and has done extensive power/heat tests on it when building my system, I guarantee the OP should take heat problems seriously unless going for (manually) enforcing 65W TDP in BIOS, in which case performance will be nowhere near what's expected of these CPUs and the SMT vs. more cores discussion is moot.

The 9700 will run cooler than the 8700, which means either less money spent on cooling or more silent operation for same temps. It will also run faster in most scenarios, except few corner cases where SMT manages to scale beyond 35%.
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
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If you're looking for the most feature loaded MOBO today, you might actually want to consider AMD.
Being that this is for the wife and not for myself the thought came to me quite late last night (~2AM in the morning). Most places were selling the 8700+mobo = 9700+mobo = $600. So then I stumbled upon the AMD alternative in the form of a whopping AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and Gigabyte X570 UD mobo for $600. I've always tended to stay away from AMD but in this case would be curious to know how it would perform on this front as an alternative.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,389
778
126

It definitely bears repeating that any of the higher performance S115x Intel CPUs (K series OC or non-S i7/i9s) should really be paired with a respectable cooler. As that link shows, it doesn't take much. A 9700k/9900k running MCE is the only level you'd want a step above that model, it's good enough to keep all the stock ones very comfortable in temps and low noise.

It's also true there's no real reason to seek out an 8700 over a 9700 unless it's a notably lower price. At the same time for a general office build, general usability and 'blind' feel they're basically indistinguishable from one another. Benches of single apps may show more of a difference, but the extra threads do show up decently just with the overhead of your typical system in a good way that makes it sort of a half of dozen of one, 12 of the other situation. In more extreme situations it is even more noticeable. Running Windows on one of the Pentium Dual Core models vs an i3 2C/4T that otherwise has virtually identical specs, and the HT model feels much smoother in general desktop use, running multiple broswer tabs and documents, etc. It's not enough to make a lower rate core count better than a higher one without HT, but definitely close enough to not be something that would be A/B testable where nearly any general user could tell the difference.

Otoh, the difference in feel between a cheap, low iOPS SSD (especially a controller less model) vs a nicer one with very high iOPS is clearly felt in booting and opening/switching applications. It's not so much about the raw MB/sec, but the quality of the overall package.

:) But yeah, above all with those guys, keep them cool! A user's ears and experience is definitely better off with that choice, and nearly inevitably dust collects over time. A borderline stock cooler will get more overwhelmed, while I find even affordable stuff like a CM212 will keep on trucking like a boss even with a bit of a nasty dust covering from neglect. It's now been multiple times where I've discovered systems that have premium HSFs that have even come totally unplugged or had fan failure, and they remained cool enough to operate normally!

It's not just 12 threads vs. 8 threads, it's also 6 physical cores vs. 8 physical cores. Anything that scales poorly past 8 threads will run faster on 9700, and even many other workloads will end up in a tie at best. AFAIK the 9700 will also run 200Mhz higher with all-core boost. In order for SMT to make a difference in this fight, it will need to make up for a 35+% throughput deficit before bringing any net gains on the table. ( 33% from more cores, 5% from clocks).

As far as 8700 never having problems with heat, you're kinda contradicting yourself: either the 8700 will never make good use of it's SMT in those office workloads of the OP, in which case it has no edge whatsoever over 9700, or it will use SMT efficiently, in which case it will bring on the heat if allowed to go over 65W TDP. (and Z boards will likely let it go above 95W TDP by default). A simple x264 encode on 8700 takes package power to 90W+ @ 4.3Ghz.

As someone who owns the i7 8700 and has done extensive power/heat tests on it when building my system, I guarantee the OP should take heat problems seriously unless going for (manually) enforcing 65W TDP in BIOS, in which case performance will be nowhere near what's expected of these CPUs and the SMT vs. more cores discussion is moot.

The 9700 will run cooler than the 8700, which means either less money spent on cooling or more silent operation for same temps. It will also run faster in most scenarios, except few corner cases where SMT manages to scale beyond 35%.
 
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Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
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Being that this is for the wife and not for myself the thought came to me quite late last night (~2AM in the morning). Most places were selling the 8700+mobo = 9700+mobo = $600. So then I stumbled upon the AMD alternative in the form of a whopping AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and Gigabyte X570 UD mobo for $600. I've always tended to stay away from AMD but in this case would be curious to know how it would perform on this front as an alternative.
Jesus H. If you can get a 3900X and X570 for $600, RUN, don't walk, and buy it now. Get as many as you can, you could resell them all day long at a profit. That's absurdly great. And even the 3700X is better for 95% of things compared to Intel i7/i9. The 3900/3950 are untouched in absolutely everything other than edge case HRR gaming.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
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If you do get that 3900X, and you absolutely should if you can, then make sure you put it under a DH14 or so. They operate best when kept at a comfortable operating temp, and AMD's pack-in HSFs are borderline for 3700 and up these days. Less than what I would call ideal for sure. A quality unit like a DH14 or 15 will last you longer than a single CPU (can get other mounting kits), and you can resell the stock unit or keep it new/unused for later package resale with the CPU at upgrade time.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,389
778
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Ah yeah, for some reason I had another x570 Mobo in mind. It's still a dang fine deal, though a better model Mobo might be worth looking into. That UD is really limited in I/O, but only you can know which one is right for you on that front.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Generally, I'd either buy B450 and Ryzen 5 3600
That's a pretty decent "compromise", if you can even call it that. B450 is a modern chipset, supports most things, there are a few of them that support dual M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4 NVMe slots. (More X570 boards support dual PCI-E 4.0 x4 NVMe slots than B450 boards.) A Ryzen 3600 is an entry-level Zen2-architecture CPU, with 6C/12T, and for gaming, on AMD at least, you're not going to find better for budget, generally.

I run this combo, with an Asus B450-F ROG STRIX Gaming ATX mobo, and a very early-production Ryzen R5 3600 that I'm thinking of replacing/upgrading. (My Reliability Monitor stats are DISGUSTING. I had three crashes in a row yesterday. This rig is really pushing the limit. Most people on here don't report the stability issues that I've seen. I also, in the past, have run this CPU @ 127C for more than two hours, because I was testing all-core OCs with immature BIOSes, and thought that the temp sensors were wrong. Well, I Guess I was wrong. Oh yeah, I'm mining on both CPU, and an AMD RX 5700, and an MSI Gaming X GTX 1660ti at the same time. While my PSU reports 9V on the 12V line, in HWMonitor. Reports OK in BIOS though, so I'm not sure who to believe. Haven't burned out a GPU yet in this board, though I did burn out two NICs.)

But at the same time, I've been able to run ("well-behaved") DC apps for weeks at a time, only rebooting for Windows Updates. So I don't know. I think that the mining just really pushes things. Temps don't appear to be a problem, running 240mm AIO WC on the CPU, temps around 72C, RX 5700, GPU temp 82C, Junction temp 89C, and GTX 1660ti, like 65C temp reported in secondary (bottom) slot.
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
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Microcenter has the CPU for $449.99 and the board for $134.99.
If you have access to Microcenter, you can also look at their other deals.
In the i7 price range they have the 3800x for $280 (8c 16t)

Below that are the 3700x for $260 and 3600x (6c 12t) for $160

Personally I'd go a step or two down from the 3900x so I could get a better MOBO and RAM (which matters for AMD).
For Ryzen it's often recommended to get 3600Mhz reduced latency (16-16-16-36 or less) as the best bang for the buck performance.

If you're considering $600 for CPU/MOBO, perhaps something like this for $560:

That's a 3800x + Asus ROG Strix X570-E Gaming, you could save another $20 going with a 3700x (~200MHz slower)
I think this is the cheapest MOBO that jumps from 1gb ethernet (has 2.5gb), plus all the other high end stuff (Intel WiFi AX200, USB 3.2-G2 etc).

The extra $40-60 can be put towards a RAM upgrade, the cheapest 16GB kits are like $60.
Here's the cheapest (per pcpartpicker) lower latency 3600MHz kit at $130 (what I can find online suggests these are Samsung B-die):
 

EliteRetard

Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2006
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871
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Hmmm...

The 3600x + Asus X570-E Gaming + the fancy 3600MHz B-die would come out to $570.

You can always upgrade later to a 12 or 16 core option.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Asus ROG Strix X570-E Gaming
That board was on my short-list for an upgrade possibility with 3rd-Gen Ryzen 3000-series CPUs, from my current Asus ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming ATX mobo. Which is GREAT on features, dual PCI-E 3.0 x4 NVMe slots (running in RAID-0), dual GPU slots, PCI-E 3.0 x8 and 3.0 x4 for primary and secondary, when using the second NVMe slot, PLUS a PCI-E 2.0 x4 I think it is, as a bottom slot, which once held a 10GbE-T Asus card, which mysteriously died in a week, and then a little later on, the onboard NIC died. Not sure what's up with that. Got a RealTek PCI-E x1 2.5GbE-T card in there now.

But the X570-E ROG STRIX board, has RealTek 2.5GbE-T onboard, and dual NVMe slots, and dual GPU slots, and the works. All for around $300 list. (Kind of pricey for me, that's why I've held off. The RealTek 2.5GbE-T cards were only $20 shipped from China a few months ago. Not that I would suggest getting anything from China these days, with the CoronaVirus scares.)
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
14,608
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A quality unit like a DH14 or 15 will last you longer than a single CPU (can get other mounting kits), and you can resell the stock unit or keep it new/unused for later package resale with the CPU at upgrade time.
I would stick to the NH-D15 for the 3900x if going with a Noctua heatsink.
 

Thunder 57

Golden Member
Aug 19, 2007
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That's a pretty decent "compromise", if you can even call it that. B450 is a modern chipset, supports most things, there are a few of them that support dual M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4 NVMe slots. (More X570 boards support dual PCI-E 4.0 x4 NVMe slots than B450 boards.) A Ryzen 3600 is an entry-level Zen2-architecture CPU, with 6C/12T, and for gaming, on AMD at least, you're not going to find better for budget, generally.

I run this combo, with an Asus B450-F ROG STRIX Gaming ATX mobo, and a very early-production Ryzen R5 3600 that I'm thinking of replacing/upgrading. (My Reliability Monitor stats are DISGUSTING. I had three crashes in a row yesterday. This rig is really pushing the limit. Most people on here don't report the stability issues that I've seen. I also, in the past, have run this CPU @ 127C for more than two hours, because I was testing all-core OCs with immature BIOSes, and thought that the temp sensors were wrong. Well, I Guess I was wrong. Oh yeah, I'm mining on both CPU, and an AMD RX 5700, and an MSI Gaming X GTX 1660ti at the same time. While my PSU reports 9V on the 12V line, in HWMonitor. Reports OK in BIOS though, so I'm not sure who to believe. Haven't burned out a GPU yet in this board, though I did burn out two NICs.)

But at the same time, I've been able to run ("well-behaved") DC apps for weeks at a time, only rebooting for Windows Updates. So I don't know. I think that the mining just really pushes things. Temps don't appear to be a problem, running 240mm AIO WC on the CPU, temps around 72C, RX 5700, GPU temp 82C, Junction temp 89C, and GTX 1660ti, like 65C temp reported in secondary (bottom) slot.
I think you should invest in a multimeter. You can certainly believe that :) .
 

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