Intel Core i9-9900K CPU Review: 8-Core 9th Gen Coffee Lake Benchmarks

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Intel Core i9-9900K: Physics, Gaming, And Graphics Testing

For our next series of tests, we moved on to some game-related metrics with 3DMark, specifically the physics benchmark that's part of the Fire Strike test, along with a couple of actual games. For the 3DMark Physics test, we simply create a custom 3DMark run consisting solely of the physics test, which is CPU dependent, and report the results...

Gaming: 3DMark Physics
Taking the GPU out of the Equation

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*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration

The Core i9-9900K put up a strong number in the 3DMark Physics test. Though this test is multi-threaded, it doesn't seem to play well with the different cache hierarchy and mesh configuration of Core X processors, but it excels on the Core i9-9900K. The 8-core Core i9-9900K actually catches a 16-core Threadripper and pulls ahead of the Core i9-7980XE.

High Resolution Gaming And Graphics Tests
1080P and 4K Gaming With GeForce GTX 1080

We also ran some high-resolution game and graphics tests on our test rigs 3DMark, Middle Earth: Shadow Of War and Rise Of The Tomb Raider. We used 3DMark's Fire Strike Extreme preset, and both of the games were run in two different configurations -- either 1080p with Medium details, or 4K with High/Very High details. The lower resolution tests are more CPU bound, while the higher resolution tests are more GPU bound.

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*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration



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*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration


The Core i9-9900K took the pole position in both of our 1080P game tests, outpacing the previous leader -- the Coffee Lake-based Core i7-8700K -- by a few percentage points. The processor's combination of high clocks, high IPC relative to the competition, and larger cache are very well suited for gaming.

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Cranking the resolution up to 4K and increasing in-game image quality levels the playing field, however, as you would expect. As we shift the bottleneck onto the GPU, high-end CPUs are typically waiting around while the GPU catches up, and as such, framerates level off.

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*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration


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*AMD Threadripper 2990WX (b) Results = 16 Cores Enabled, With UMA Memory Configuration

3DMark Fire Strike jibes with our high resolution game tests. The Core i9-9900K performs near the top of the charts, but because this benchmark is almost completely GPU-bound (save for the Physics portion of the benchmark), the deltas separating the high-end processors are relatively small.

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