It’s a ridiculously exciting time to be a PC enthusiast. AMD launched new Ryzen processors a few months ago, and will soon deliver 16- and 32-core Threadripper parts for those with huge computing needs. It’s also been relentlessly rumored that NVIDIA will soon launch some new GeForce cards, and with the SIGGRAPH professional graphics conference taking place next week, we could see some new workstation cards, too.
It’s expected that Intel will be launching its 9th-gen Core series processors in the coming months, with the top SKU looking to be an absolute beast for all-around use cases. After years of tepid iteration, the i9-9900K is going for the 2700X’s jugular – though we suspect not on the pricing front.
The i7-8700K dominated single-threaded performance charts up until the i7-8086K released this summer, peaking at 5GHz on one core. That chip then unceremoniously drops to 4.6GHz when peaking two cores, which is an issue that looks to be smoothed out with the 9900K.
This 8-core part is shown to peak at 5GHz with both 1- and 2-core use, which is hugely impressive – but it gets better. The clocks from that point on only very gradually work their way down, settling at a staggering 4.7GHz for the all-core Turbo. For comparison, the six-core i7-8700K peaked at 4.3GHz on all cores. Not only will Intel push even further ahead on the IPC front, it’ll also dominate the charts against all other 8-core processors.
We can’t exactly discount AMD in the 8-core game, though, because while its single-threaded performance can’t match Intel’s, the company’s pricing has been super-aggressive, offering a ton of performance for your dollar. But, even if a chip like the i9-9900K costs $600, it’ll become the de facto “all-around” CPU for high-end enthusiasts. 8 cores is actually enough for most people. The top-end Ryzen and Core X-series processors are for those with a greater need for more cores than more IPC, but for the everyman, IPC is king, and eight cores is the sweet spot right now.
It’s safe to say, we want one.