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

Intel Core i9-9900KS - Our Summary And The Verdict

Performance Summary: The Intel Core i9-9900KS performed very well throughout our array of tests, and depending on your particular use-case, an argument could be made that it’s the fastest mainstream desktop CPU currently available. There is – of course – some nuance to that statement.

The Core i9-9900KS is the fastest processor we’ve tested for single and lightly-threaded workloads. It put up top marks in all of the single-threaded focused benchmarks, led the pack in lightly threaded tests like LAME MT, and also offered the highest performance in our gaming and graphics tests. According to PCMark 10, the Core i9-9900KS also took the lead in the overall score, bolstered by its strong productivity results. In more heavily-threaded workloads that can leverage all of the additional processing resources available in a 12-core CPU like the Ryzen 9-3900X, however, the 8-core Intel Core i9-9900KS can’t keep up. It did catch AMD’s 12-core Threadripper 2920X, which is based on the previous-gen Zen+ architecture, on a couple of occasions, however.

The Intel Core i9-9900KS will be available today, at prices around $513. With this launch, Intel doesn’t significantly alter the CPU landscape, but it does stake a claim for the fastest gaming CPU available which supplants the Core i9-9900K at the top of the company’s mainstream desktop processor line-up. Versus the Ryzen 3000 series, there’s not much that changes as a result of the Core i9-9900KS’ release. Prices on the Core i9-9900K and KF has dropped a bit recently, which changes the value proposition slightly, but the pecking order doesn’t really change. The Core i9-9900K was already a strong product for gaming, single and lightly-threaded workloads, but for more taxing multi-threaded applications, there was no competing with the additional cores available in AMD’s mainstream platform. That still holds true with the Core i9-9900KS’ release, though it now qualifies as the fastest 8-core processor out there, where the 9900K dropped a few tests to the Ryzen 7-3700X.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Intel needs a next-gen architecture and the move to a more advanced manufacturing process to better battle AMD’s increased core counts and the power advantages of the Ryzen 3000 series, but the company is just not there yet. In the meantime, the Core i9-9900KS and impending Cascade Lake-X parts will be Intel’s weapons of choice and they are still powerful weapons indeed.

 hot  not
  • Great Single Thread Performance
  • 5GHz Across All Cores
  • Top Marks In Game Tests
  • Relatively High Power
  • Can't Catch 3900X In MT Workloads
  • Still On 14nm++ 

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