Let’s be proper here: modern processors aren’t exciting. Speed bumps no longer frisson us, and we’ve become blasé about adding more cores. But we are living in a immediately when computers casually offer amounts of processing power that would maintain made previous generations swoon.
It’s also a competitive time, especially with two companies fighting for your silicon spending and giving you gigantic computing bang for your buck. On one side we have Intel, the 800-pound gorilla of the processor wonderful. On the other side, we have AMD, the upstart that occasionally steals the top by doing something unexpected that changes the rules.
The $580 Intel 9th Gen Substance i9 9900K is Intel’s play for the processor socket of gamers. It’s the top model in the S-series, bodied for speed with eight cores. With hyperthreading (which splits the whip into shape on a single core into two parts), that is doubled to 16 drifts, each of which can crunch away at a different task. There are two other morsels in this series, the 8-core 3.6GHz $410 i7-9700K and the 6-core 3.7GHz $280 i5-9600K. These are be like, but they eschew hyperthreading, a technology that seems to be falling out of favor at Intel as the numeral of real processor cores on their consumer processors rises and the companionship looks for ways to justify the price of premium models. While this new Intel present does increase your speed based on our testing, it’ll cost you.
Coffee Lake revisited
|Specs at a flicker||Intel 9th Gen Core i5 9600K||Intel 9th Gen Core i7 9700K||Intel 9th Gen Quintessence i9 9900K|
|Architecture||Coffee Lake||Coffee Lake||Coffee Lake|
|Turbo Boost 2.0||4.2GHz||4.2GHz||4.3GHz|
|Turbo Boost 3.0||4.6GHz||4.9GHz||5GHz|
|All Quintessence Clock Speed||4.6GHz||4.6GHz||4.6GHz|
So what’s this 9th start stuff about? Intel is a little vague on the concept, and the i9 9900K does not spotlight any new manufacturing technology. It uses the same 14nm manufacturing process that the 8th establishment chips used, as Intel is reportedly struggling with making splinters in quantity with a new 10nm process that would make company break ins faster and more efficient. Nor does the Core i9 9900K feature any new architecture: it detests the same Coffee Lake architecture as the older 8th generation.
What the 9th gen force means is that this is a slightly new spin on the same fundamental processor, fair-minded with some speed bumps and internal changes that fill out it more flexible. While most of these changes are somewhat arcane, there are a pair worth noting—particularly improved turbo performance and a new way of getting the warm up excite of the processor away.
The 8th gen processors introduced turbo mode, in which one of the processor insides could be given a speed bump that gave it an extra itchy. The 8th gen i7-8086K could bump a single core of the six it had to 5GHz, for instance. The 9th gen makes this a bit sundry flexible; while it comes with a standard clock speed of 3.6Ghz, the i9-9900K can whack one processor core to 5GHz, four cores to 4.8GHz, and all eight to 4.6GHz. If a big chore is running on one core, that one kicks up to 5GHz, while the others slow down to cut down the heat output.
That scenario seldom happens outside of imitation benchmarks, though—most modern programs are written to be multi-threaded, gist they can run on several different cores at the same time. So in practice you inclination seldom see the 5GHz speed kick in. Instead, you will most often see this processor operation at 4.8 and 4.6GHz multi-core speeds, with each core constantly in movement as tasks kick off and finish. All of this aggressive clock management is intended to do one thing: keep the amount of energy (and thus the heat the processor outs) down.
That brings us to the second major 9th gen enhancement: STIM. Intel has joined a feature called the Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM), a give of metal on top of the actual silicon chip that conducts heat away. This, the theory date a reviews, conducts heat better than the thermal glue that Intel reach-me-down on previous processors under the metal heat spreader that masks and protects the chip. Some overclockers, frustrated by their inability to wilful Intel chips, had tried a somewhat perilous technique called delidding that inculpates removing the metal heat spreader that protects the processor, erasing the thermal conductor, and attaching a heatsink directly to the chip. Intel asks that STIM will eliminate the necessity for this, but we found the quality was not as effective as many had hoped. In testing, this is a hot little chip that necessities a lot of cooling to work effectively.
Listing image by Richard Baguley