Intel Core i9-9900KS Special Edition Review: More power, less point

Want to play Counter Strike: GO at 500 fps? Here’s your chip. For everyone else, well...

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Threadscaling performance

We’ll close our testing by looking at performance isolated by CPU core count. For that we use Cinebench R15 and run it using from 1 thread to the maximum number of threads each CPU has. While Cinebench is a 3D modelling application and isn’t the same as, say, running Excel or Chrome, it does give us an approximation of how the CPU responds under a spectrum of loads.

First up, the Core i9 9900KS Special Edition vs. the Core i9-9900K. For the most part, the Core i9-9900KS has been dogged at every turn by its sibling separated at birth, the Core i9-9900K. If you doubt the Core i9-9900KS SE is faster, though, you can see below the impact of each chip’s top boost speeds.

core i9 9900ks vs core i9 9900k threadscaling IDG

Another way to look at the difference is by percentage. You can see on a single-threaded load where both CPUs are rated to hit 5GHz, it’s basically a tie. From there though, the 5GHz boost scores give the Core i9-9900KS a very real, but not huge advantage over the Core i9-9900K. Is it worth $25? Probably. Would we pay $25 for only a 4- to 7-percent difference? Maybe. Remember, you can also brag to your friends that you have an “all-core 5GHz CPU,” and that’s really priceless.

core i9 9900ks vs core i9 9900k threadscaling percent IDG

The tougher road for the Core i9-9900KS Special Edition is against the Rzyen 9 3900X. The Core i9-9900KS Special Edition’s 5GHz boost clocks give it clear advantage on the left side of the graphic, but the sheer number of cores in the Ryzen 9 3900X gives it a commanding lead on the middle to the right in the graphic below.

core i9 9900ks vs ryzen 9 3900x threadscaling IDG

If you want to see how deep the hole is for the Core i9-9900KS Special Edition, just look at the percent difference below. You can see the Ryzen 9 3900X just running away from the 8-core Core i9 chip—5GHz or not. Basically by 8 threads, the Core i9-9900KS Special Edition is under water and continues to just get deeper.

core i9 9900ks vs ryzen 9 3900x threadscaling percent IDG
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