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Speculation: i9-9900K is Intel's last hurrah in gaming

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Will Intel lose it's gaming CPU lead in 2019?


  • Total voters
    184
  • Poll closed .

JoeRambo

Golden Member
Jun 13, 2013
1,045
823
136
IMO if you are obsessed with that game go buy 9600K and OC it to 5GHz+
cheapest Intel gaming CPU
I'd say 9900K or bust. 16MB of L3 can help in a lot of games. Actually i would disable HT and also buy some real fast DRAM ( 3600CL15 ).
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
1,295
362
136
Really? More of, Zen2 stinks / AMD stinks because they did not outright beat Intel at 1080p gaming???

Guess what, everything Intel has put out after the 8700K has been pointless; I bought one to pair with the 1080ti / 1080p 240hz Alienware monitor because 9 series is so meh compared to the 8700K, even after the de-lid required for 8700K shenanigans.

Zen2 1% mins look mostly amazing compared to Intel; memory reqs / compatibility are no longer a hot mess needing B-Die magic.


Is the 9900K / 9900KF *really* worth the money anymore? except for some edge cases...


Like all launches, everything is a wonky. BIOS's are not perfect perfect right now either.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/cacwf9
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
17,014
5,962
136
@B-Riz

Keep in mind they are talking about X-Plane 11. There are some people who obsess over one title, and for those people, specific CPUs that might not be the best overall buy one could make wind up being the best purchase. So they are talking about an edge case.

Otherwise, I'm not sure why anyone would get a 9900k/kfc (heh) at this point.
 

Zucker2k

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2006
1,370
714
136
Otherwise, I'm not sure why anyone would get a 9900k/kfc (heh) at this point.
Not sure if serious. The 9900k is STILL the best gaming processor. It also is the best processor outside of multi-threading on the desktop, I believe.

In the real world, where buyers are going to be running 5GHz all core overclocks and 3600MHz+ RAM on the 8th and 9th gen Intel platforms, their real strengths in gaming and other tasks, are going to become more obvious.

Zen 2 is a solid release, and blows Intel out of the water, value-wise, but desktop gaming is huge and for people who want the best it's still Intel all the way. Unfortunately, this may be the biggest reason why Intel may ride this storm out without dropping prices, which is a shame. Zen 2 lacks the clocks and perhaps the latency to upstage Intel in this area and a few others were memory latency is king.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
17,014
5,962
136
In the real world, where buyers are going to be running 5GHz all core overclocks
What percentage of 9900k buyers do you think actually do that? It is a small minority. Most people are just running defaults. Intel encouraged this with the 9900k (PL1 yay). AMD seems to be encouraging this with Matisse. If the 9900k has to retreat behind the seemingly-ubiquitous 5 GHz all-core OC to beat the 3700x, the 9900k has already lost. Then you have to consider the 9900k users that are staying within the 95W envelope (there are some of those!). Those guys will probably lose to the 3700x completely.

The 9900k will get more looks if the price goes down. As it stands, why am I paying ~$150 more for a 9900k AND paying more for cooling to decisively knock off the $329 3700x? The 3700x is currently 5% or less off from the 9900k, and that's in 1080p. 1440p and 4K users officially do not care about that performance margin.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
996
704
136
@B-Riz

Keep in mind they are talking about X-Plane 11. There are some people who obsess over one title, and for those people, specific CPUs that might not be the best overall buy one could make wind up being the best purchase. So they are talking about an edge case.

Otherwise, I'm not sure why anyone would get a 9900k/kfc (heh) at this point.
The 9900K doesn't exist in a vacuum though, though I understand it's in the thread title. There is also the 9700K/8700K, both of which when overclocked to 5GHz will more or less match the 9900K for gaming at a significantly lower cost. Even the 9600K can hang with the 9900K in games once pushed to 5GHz: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3489-amd-ryzen-5-3600-cpu-review-benchmarks-vs-intel

I still think for the vast majority of users with mixed usage, AMD makes much more sense. I would ONLY recommend Intel for a high end gaming *ONLY* rig, with the reason being to actually see *ANY* difference between the competing CPUs, you would need a 2080 / 2080 Ti class GPU anyway, otherwise this whole discussion is pointless - there is no discernible difference between CPUs in gaming when paired with lower end GPUs. When you're spending $1000 on a GPU, however, and therefore around $2000 for a whole gaming system, an extra $100 - $150 to get the faster gaming CPU isn't the most outrageous idea out there.

Can you get away with pairing a 3600 with a 2080 Ti? Of course you can, and you'll still get an amazing gaming experience, though for the absolute 'best' high fps gaming experience the Intel CPUs are still that little bit better, especially when overclocked to 5.0GHz.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
17,014
5,962
136
I will say this: for a power user that has the technical experience to OC to 5 GHz or higher on 9900k, I would recommend that still. If it is only for games. I just don't think you're going to get the clocks out of Matisse necessary to knock off that particular configuration unless you are willing to go overboard on cooling, such as with chilled water/TEC/whatever. I would not recommend it for anything else, and there's a lot of "buts" and "caveat emptors" involved thanks to the total cost involved in getting that small performance edge in one class of applications at one particular resolution (1080p). If we're talking a 2080Ti overclocked under water, then maybe 1440p belongs in the conversation as well.

For anyone who wants to just plug-n'-play there's no way I'm recommending the 9900k, especially if they are on a budget. That's $150 they can save on a better video card.
 

TheGiant

Senior member
Jun 12, 2017
747
344
106
The 9900K doesn't exist in a vacuum though, though I understand it's in the thread title. There is also the 9700K/8700K, both of which when overclocked to 5GHz will more or less match the 9900K for gaming at a significantly lower cost. Even the 9600K can hang with the 9900K in games once pushed to 5GHz: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3489-amd-ryzen-5-3600-cpu-review-benchmarks-vs-intel

I still think for the vast majority of users with mixed usage, AMD makes much more sense. I would ONLY recommend Intel for a high end gaming *ONLY* rig, with the reason being to actually see *ANY* difference between the competing CPUs, you would need a 2080 / 2080 Ti class GPU anyway, otherwise this whole discussion is pointless - there is no discernible difference between CPUs in gaming when paired with lower end GPUs. When you're spending $1000 on a GPU, however, and therefore around $2000 for a whole gaming system, an extra $100 - $150 to get the faster gaming CPU isn't the most outrageous idea out there.

Can you get away with pairing a 3600 with a 2080 Ti? Of course you can, and you'll still get an amazing gaming experience, though for the absolute 'best' high fps gaming experience the Intel CPUs are still that little bit better, especially when overclocked to 5.0GHz.
exactly thats it
unless you are brute force pro gamer with high refresh monitor the way to go is not 8700K, 9700K, 9900K, 3700X or 3900X
it is 3600 with better GPU got from the money savings- 200EUR 3600+100EUR board gets you another 150EUR+ for GPU with pretty much zero difference in gameplay
and with absolute excellent power
man how I love that 3600
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
996
704
136
exactly thats it
unless you are brute force pro gamer with high refresh monitor the way to go is not 8700K, 9700K, 9900K, 3700X or 3900X
it is 3600 with better GPU got from the money savings- 200EUR 3600+100EUR board gets you another 150EUR+ for GPU with pretty much zero difference in gameplay
and with absolute excellent power
man how I love that 3600
Yeah, I think a 3600 paired with a 5700/5700XT makes for a VERY potent upper mid range gaming machine - it's unprecedented value that we haven't seen in a while.

I know I'm sounding greedy, but oh how I wish those earlier rumours about Matisse clocking to 4.6/4.7GHz were true. Alas, it appears we still have that 4.3GHz wall for Zen 2, which is my main issue with the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, even though for the vast majority of gamers a 4GHz+ Ryzen 3000 chip would be more than enough still.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
568
645
136
Hi all, thanks for keeping this thread going!

I started this thread last year, because — having followed the industry rumours closely — it emerged that Intel probably had nothing on their 10nm roadmap for desktop in 2019. So I wanted to gauge the expectations and presumptions in the community about Intel. Did posters here, in this knowledgable forum, still expect 10nm introductions on the desktop to arrive in 2019 with higher gaming performance than what Intel delivered with i9-9900K, and secondly, if not, would that stagnation allow AMD to overtake?

The initial sentiment and posts in this thread showed that many actually did expect Intel's 10nm on the desktop to arrive in 2019, pushing gaming performance beyond i9-9900K and keeping AMD at bay. As we know, gaming performance is heavily dependent on single-thread performance, and hence would require advances in IPC and/or frequency. Intel has announced impressive IPC gains for Sunny Cove (+18%), however all indications are that the 10nm process is not delivering and that frequency has suffered. I have seen no indications that anyone expects Intel's 10nm to overtake 14nm in that regard. Some even doubt 10nm will come to the desktop, not at the high end at least, and that we will have to wait for 7nm to see performance beyond i9-9900K/KS.

With the initial independent Ryzen 3000 reviews published, it seems clear that i9-9900K will not readily give up its champion belt. Is there room for dispute? With the first glance of the reviews — Hardware Unboxed and AnandTech in particular — it didn't seem so to me. However, as I go through more reviews, I see that Linus Tech Tips declares AMD a winner in CS:GO, which was very unexpected, as this title was one of the outliers heavily in favour of Intel before. And Digital Trends at Yahoo, tentatively gives AMD the win overall:

"Intel has declared its Core i9-9900K the best gaming processor in the world. [...] The Ryzen 9 3900X challenges that claim, and from my tests, it may have stolen the crown from the 9900K’s head. [...] Across the board, the Ryzen 9 3900X produces better framerates. I started in 3DMark Time Spy, where the 3900X takes a small, 3% lead on the Core i9-9900K. It’s not substantial, but it’s not what I expected. That trend continued across the three games tested: Fortnite, Civilization VI, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Out of the six gameplay scenarios tested (1080p in medium and low graphics setting), the 3900X was ahead in all but one. On average, the 3900X was around 5% faster. That’s a huge win for AMD and the Zen 2 architecture."

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amd-ryzen-9-3900x-review-131516343.html

There is also retesting underway at AnandTech due to BIOS issues affecting the Ryzen 3000 boost behaviour, and it is suspected this may have played a part in other reviews as well. Can retesting and further testing uphold AMD's claims of winning some and losing some, and hence validate the proposition that the current king's status is in dispute?

In any case, what is not in dispute is that Intel only has i9-9900KS on the PC gaming-oriented roadmap this year. The way it looks right now, 14nm Skylake/CFL is indeed Intel's last hurrah for the forseeable future. Next year, even if they pull a rabbit out of the hat and launches a superior product based on 10nm Sunny Cove, AMD should have Zen 3 on 7nm+ ready to fight.

Finally, reflecting on my earlier posts about my expectations, I must say AMD is very lucky that Intel has failed to execute their roadmap. Had Intel delivered 10nm and Ice Lake in 2017, with 10nm+/++, architectural refinements and core-count increases by now, the picture would have looked much worse for AMD. I can only conclude that AMD has fallen short of target in both launch timing and process frequency. Either they would have had to have been more competitive in single-threaded performance or launched at faster cadence. But perhaps I am wrong hypothesising about Intel's roadmap. Perhaps Lisa Su saw that Intel would struggle already when she laid out the plans back in 2014. Or perhaps, Intel's 14nm process refinements have surprised everyone, Intel included, and performance is already beyond those old projections.
 
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Boze

Senior member
Dec 20, 2004
631
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AMD was so far behind Intel that frankly I'm shocked (but pleasantly so) that they were able to be as competitive as they currently are right now.

I don't think Intel is going to have much on their 10nm roadmap for 2020 either, though. SemiAccurate reported awhile back that Intel's 10nm process problems were so overwhelming that they could easily extend into 2021 or even 2022.

Back in late 2018, 10nm yields were in the single-digits, percentage-wise; the chips that did make it through the process were significantly flawed (hence the China-only i3 variant).

Frankly, Intel misstepped so badly here that AMD might be able to reverse the position the two companies are in, if they play their cards right.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,048
126
I think Zen2 succeeds the ways that it does due to design, it doesn't look like 7nm really helps much overall. By that I mean that a hypothetical Zen2 on 12nm/14nm would probably be roughly the same thing with higher power/heat (but perhaps less heat density).

We may well be in an era when process tech and new nodes are truly seeing edge thin improvements at extreme cost and engineering difficulties.

If that's the case, we may see nothing substantial for at least 2-3 years. Good time to get a Zen2 build (or if just gaming, keeping/building a CL K-series OC setup).
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,735
6,250
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I know I'm sounding picky here, Ryzen 3K are great chips, just not so much 'fun' for old school tweakers like myself unfortunately.
Some of that may just be the inefficient / buggy early UEFI / AGESA versions. I'm sure that they're "tweak" them going forwards, for a little more performance.

I honestly wonder, though, about TSMC's 7nm process being the limit here. It seems that 3rd-Gen Ryzen, even being 7nm, doesn't seem to clock all that higher than 2nd-Gen.
 

Dave3000

Golden Member
Jan 10, 2011
1,047
37
91
IMO if you are obsessed with that game go buy 9600K and OC it to 5GHz+
cheapest Intel gaming CPU
Aren't X-Plane 11's load times for flights heavily dependent on the multithreaded performance of a CPU along with hard drive speed? Would a 9900k load a flight much faster than a 9600k along with having a little higher frame rate than the 9600k in X-Plane 11?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
17,014
5,962
136
9600k is going to be slower in X-Plane 11 than 9900k anyway. If you must have top fps, 9900k or bust in that game.

9600k = less L3, no HT, etc. I doubt you will get higher clocks with the 9600k once you take heat out of the equation.
 

rbk123

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
735
337
136
I honestly wonder, though, about TSMC's 7nm process being the limit here. It seems that 3rd-Gen Ryzen, even being 7nm, doesn't seem to clock all that higher than 2nd-Gen.
And nothing Intel has outside of their 14nm work does it either. Makes me wonder if what they did with 14nm was a fluke not likely to be repeated for a long time.
 

misuspita

Member
Jul 15, 2006
190
186
116
The 8700K/9700K also beats it, though by slightly lesser margins: https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/1869/bench/Cost_1.png In terms of gaming, the Ryzen 3000 chips are about equal with the 9600K, according to that chart.

You're right, the boost clocks (and potential overclocks, it seems) are somewhat underwhelming, but even if it boosted (or overclocked) to 4.5GHz hypothetically, it's still not a 9900K killer like many here had claimed.

My 8700K overclocks to 5.0GHz, frankly if there is a Ryzen 3000 chip that can beat this for gaming purposes, I will gladly upgrade to it. Heck, even if it beats a stock 8700K I'll probably jump onboard just because I'm bored of Intel (been using them since Core 2, mainly because they always lead in gaming) and just want an excuse to build an AMD gaming rig, apart from a lower price for equivalent cores/threads.

Was really looking forward to Zen 3000, but apart from 'more cores' (useful of course, just not so much for gaming) there really isn't any reason for me to 'upgrade'.
Well, this review might shed some light.

 
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rbk123

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
735
337
136
The 9900K doesn't exist in a vacuum though, though I understand it's in the thread title. There is also the 9700K/8700K, both of which when overclocked to 5GHz will more or less match the 9900K for gaming at a significantly lower cost. Even the 9600K can hang with the 9900K in games once pushed to 5GHz: .
Once you start stretching the envelope this way to "more or less match" and "can hang with", now you have to include R3 since it meets that criteria. You can't have it one way.
 
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JoeRambo

Golden Member
Jun 13, 2013
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Well, this review might shed some light.
No 5Ghz gaming results? No lights shed I guess, same IPC means same performance @ stock that happens at around same clocks. Except one CPU has 600-700Mhz headroom more.

I am more interested in 9400F versus 3600 type of match up, ultimate battle of budget 6C.
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
996
704
136
Once you start stretching the envelope this way to "more or less match" and "can hang with", now you have to include R3 since it meets that criteria. You can't have it one way.
Uhh not quite. Maybe you should actually check the numbers again at GN, the 5GHz 9600K is within margin of error to the 9900K in most titles. The Ryzen 3K chips, even overclocked, aren't quite at that level.
 

rbk123

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
735
337
136
Uhh not quite. Maybe you should actually check the numbers again at GN, the 5GHz 9600K is within margin of error to the 9900K in most titles. The Ryzen 3K chips, even overclocked, aren't quite at that level.
Uhh, some have the 3900K taking the gaming crown from the 9900k. Even the ones that don't AMD is just a few frames behind. Reel it in a little.
 

JasonLD

Senior member
Aug 22, 2017
315
286
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Intel will retain its gaming lead next year if Intel somehow find a way to put Sunny Cove into 14nm++ next year or somehow find a way to release 10nm desktop chips next year. If not, they Zen 4 will definitely overtake even overclocked 9900k for sure on gaming. Comet lake is not going to improve their position at all.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,735
6,250
126
I am more interested in 9400F versus 3600 type of match up, ultimate battle of budget 6C.
I just watched Joker's and TechYesCity's Ryzen 3700X / 3900X / 9700K / 9900K benchmark videos, and at least on one of them, they also had the 9400F in the gaming benchmarks, and while he didn't audibly mention that CPU, it seemed to score higher than the 3700X on several games. So possibly for gaming, that might be a consideration. (*If someone does ZERO productivity, video-editing, or 3D-rendering, or streaming, just PURE gaming, and @ 1080P, and on a severe budget.) Though, I would still pick the Ryzen, because it's more well-rounded, and even the R5 3600 should be more in the same ball-park price-wise, maybe slightly more, but you can pick up a B450 board for $100-120, whereas comparable Z390 boards (to allow for DRAM OC / faster than 2667 DDR4), start at like $170 and up. So that kind of negates the savings of a $140-150 i5-9400F, as compared to a $200 R5 3600. (Which, if you buy it at MC, you can get a $30, or is it now $50, discount with a board. So, save even more compared to Intel, and blow it away in productivity.)

Edit: For a counter-point, check out the TechDeals video, he benchmarks 30 (!) games, with play-throughs and benchmark graphs, and has the 3600X, and it scores VERY favorably, very little difference from the Intel CPUs like 8700K. (Both are 6C/12T.)
 
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