Principled Technologies Responds To Allegations Of Intel Core i9-9900K Vs AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Benchmark Rigging

Intel Core i9
Intel made a splash when it finally introduced its oft-leaked 9th generation Core lineup consisting of three initial SKUs, the Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K, and Core i5-9600K. The launch event was high on hype—Intel called the Core i9-9900K the best gaming chip in the world, and then showed off a set of gaming benchmarks performed by an outside company, Principled Technologies. Not without controversy, Principled Technologies has taken to defending its testing methodology, which showed the Core i9-9900K trouncing AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X.

Let's back up a moment. In case you missed it, the Core i9-9900K is Intel's first-ever 8-core/16-thread desktop processor in the mainstream category. It's hot a high-end desktop (HEDT) chip like any of the Core-X series. It's a notable achievement because AMD has been cranking out 8-core chips to the mainstream segment ever since its first generation Ryzen processors debuted last year.

The Core i9-9900K has a 3.6GHz base clock and 5GHz turbo clock, and also serves up a helping of 16MB of L3 cache (SmartCache). You can think of it as a burlier version of the previous generation's Core i7-8700K—it has more cores and threads, more cache, and a higher turbo clock.

Intel's commissioned benchmarking results showed the Core i9-9900K performing up to around 50 percent faster than a Ryzen 7 2700X in some of the 19 games Principled Technologies tested. The disparity drew skepticism by some on the web, who then question if the testing company might have disabled some cores on the Ryzen part or otherwise tilted things in Intel's favor.

"For almost 16 years, we have tested products for our clients because they trust our integrity. We have worked not just for any one company but for dozens of the leading technology firms, including rivals such as Intel and AMD, Microsoft and Google, Dell and HP, and many others," Bill Catchings, co-founder of Principled Technologies, told WCCFTech in a statement.

In no uncertain terms, Catchings said his company "must categorically deny any dishonesty in our work on this project for Intel or in any of our other projects." He then went on to detail the testing methodology while simultaneously addressing some of the speculation that's been floating around.

"Use of 'Game Mode' on the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X: Some inquiries we have received concern the use of the Ryzen utility and the number of active cores in the AMD-based systems. Based on AMD’s recommendations and our initial testing on the Threadripper processors, we found installing the AMD Ryzen Master utility and enabling the Game Mode increased most results. For consistency purposes, we did that for all AMD systems across Threadripper and Ryzen™. We are now doing additional testing with the AMD systems in Creator Mode. We will update the report with the new results," Catchings said.

He also discussed the choice of coolers, resolution settings, memory speeds, and a bunch of other stuff that you can read more about by following the link in the via field below this article. In the end, Catchings says he is "confident" in the testing methodology.

So what does this all mean? Not a whole lot, really. In the end, we're still left with results from a commissioned test. That doesn't mean Principled Technologies erred in its testing, or even worse, gamed the results. But there is always going to be skepticism with this sort of thing, since Intel has an obvious vested interest in the results.

The NDA on performance testing from review sites around the web will lift soon enough, and that's when we'll have a bigger picture of performance. Until then, we can reasonably assume the Core i9-9900K is a generally faster CPU than the Core i7-8700K, save for single-core workloads where the 8700K's 100MHz advantage might come into play.