Best Intel Core i9 Black Friday Deals 2021

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Our Verdict
Intel’s eight-core Core i9-9900K includes everything to meet enthusiasts, like more cores, higher frequencies, and performance-boosting Solder TIM. Those improvements make the chip the most effective mainstream processor available to buy, but the $500 price tag relegates it to the most extreme performance enthusiasts.

For
Gaming performance
Performance in both single- and multi-threaded workloads
Solder TIM
Against
Price
Cooling requirements
Power consumption under heavy load
Intel Strikes Back
Core i9-9900K
Although Intel added more cores to its previous-gen Coffee Lake processors in order to match AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, struggles using its 10nm node obviously delayed a far more significant response. The business’s ninth-generation Core processors, otherwise referred to as the Coffee Lake refresh, represent another step of progress in a contentious battle for desktop supremacy as the business looks to keep its top spots on our set of Best CPUs.

Intel’s line-up matches AMD’s Ryzen core-for-core, including a fresh Core i9 with eight Hyper-Threaded cores (8C/16T) and the best frequencies we’ve observed in the mainstream space. Gleam bulked-up Core i7 armed with two extra cores, and also a revamped Core i5. AMD isn’t setting still though: The business recently released its new flagship, the 16-core 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X, to fight Intel’s new challengers.

AMD’s high core counts, aggressive prices, and nods to enthusiasts have earned it a good amount of goodwill. Now it’s Intel’s turn to respond. The Core i9-9900K, for example, ships in a a translucent plastic dodecahedron obviously designed to wow system builders, like the way AMD impressed using its Threadripper packaging. Intel also switched back again to using Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM) between your die and heat spreader, facilitating better thermal transfer to handle more cores and higher overclocks. Ninth-gen Core CPUs are also Intel’s first with hardware-based mitigations for the Meltdown and Foreshadow vulnerabilities. These should minimize the performance impact of circumventing recently uncovered exploits.

Core i9-9900K may be the most effective mainstream desktop processor we’ve ever tested. But it is also the most expensive. Understanding that Intel will not match AMD’s value proposition, may be the ultimate in desktop performance worth paying extra for? The brand new Core i9 was incredibly impressive through our benchmark suite. However, most users will be better served by cheaper alternatives, such as for example Core i7-9700K.

On the other hand, if money is no object and you have the necessity for speed, Core i9-9900K may be the CPU to buy.

Intel Core i9-9900K
The Coffee Lake refresh commences with three new K-series processors. Each of them feature the same underlying Coffee Lake microarchitecture as previous-gen models. And needlessly to say, the Core i5 and Core i7 brands are represented. These times, though, an eight-core, 16-thread Core i9 commands the spotlight.

The brand new K-series chips are created on Intel’s 14nm++ node, include a built-in UHD 630 graphics engine, sport unlocked ratio multipliers that permit easy overclocking, and boast support for dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory. Intel also responds to increasing RAM density by doubling memory capacity support up to 128GB.

Improved heat dissipation also facilitates impressive clock rates over the ninth-gen models. Core i9-9900K stretches up to 5.0 GHz when two cores are active, outstripping the Core i7-8086K and its own capability to hit 5.0 GHz using one core. As you can plainly see in the chart above, Intel is pushing the voltage/frequency curve using its eight-core models. They both feature higher boost multipliers than previous-gen CPUs. These should help extend Intel’s advantage in lightly-threaded tasks like gaming. Meanwhile, the excess cores help Intel compete readily against Ryzen in more taxing workloads.

Core i7-7820X could very well be the most comparable CPU from Intel’s high-end desktop portfolio. Nonetheless it employs a fundamentally different design. The $600 chip requires a pricey X299 motherboard, is most beneficial paired to a quad-channel memory kit, lacks integrated graphics, and utilizes a mesh architecture allowing you to connect on-die logic rather than the familiar ring bus (have a look at our deep dive to learn more). As we’ve shown, the mesh architecture includes a negative effect on some desktop-class workloads, so that it isn’t the very best solution for enthusiasts.

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