Intel Core i9-9900KS Review: The Fastest Gaming CPU Bar None

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Intel Core i9-9900KS - Physics, Gaming, And Graphics Tests

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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The same trend we’ve seen through many our benchmarks played out again in 3DMark’s Physics test. Here, the Core i9-9900KS was once again able to overtake the 12-core Threadripper 2920X, and it outruns the Core i9-9900K by a large margin.

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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Those high core clocks and the ability to boost all cores to 5GHz not only gives the Core i9-9900KS’ physics score a boost, but it also gives GT2 somewhat of kicker. As such, the Core i9-9900KS ends up taking the overall lead in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark by a small margin.

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The medium-quality, high-framerate 1080p in-game tests show the Core i9-9900KS outpacing every other processor we tested. Intel boasts that the Core i9-9900KS is today’s best processor for gaming, and provided you’ve got a setup that lets the CPU stretch its legs (e.g. one with fast storage, low latency memory, and a speedy GPU), our tests corroborate Intel’s claim.

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Of course, when you crank up the resolution and image quality, and shift the performance bottleneck more onto the GPU than the CPU, the deltas separating the processors shrinks to almost nothing. Still, the Core i9-9900KS technically scores another couple of victories, leading the pack throughout all of the gaming and graphics tests.

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