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Intel Core i9-9900KS Reviewed – Still The Best Gaming CPU of 2019

Intel has finally released their latest Intel Core i9-9900KS CPU – the world’s best gaming CPU this 2019. It’s actually a refresh (of a refresh). The i9-9900KS is basically a i9-9900K, only that it is binned, carefully selected and a limited edition; offering an all-core Turbo boost of 5GHz. The i9-9900K can only go up to 4.7GHz all cores, but you can overclock it to run 5GHz all cores. Is this CPU worth it? The reviews are out and we have seen the results. Quite interesting, and it could be worth it depending on your current setup. Continue reading below to learn more about this new limited-edition CPU.

Intel Core i9-9900KS Reviewed

Intel Core i9-9900KS CPU – What’s New?

This honestly reminds me of the i7-8700K to i7-8086K; basically, the same CPU but with increased boost clock speeds. Is this going to be a thing with Intel? Probably. The i9-9900KS is like buying a cherry-picked 9900K CPU that is guaranteed to run 5GHz on all cores. It’s like buying an i9-9900K that overclocks to 5GHz all cores no problem from Silicon Lottery, only cheaper and better.

The new Core i9-9900KS is basically the same as the 9900K; there is no new technology or feature. However, there are some changes but not all are improvements or upgrades. Intel added some, but also took some. First, let’s discuss what was removed from the i9-9900KS compared to its predecessor.

Instead of your typical 3-warranty, the i9-9900KS will only come with a 1-year limited warranty. That’s right! Intel can’t even guarantee the life span of this new fast CPU. Second, there are some technologies that are no longer present in the 9900KS, but the 9900K has them. These technologies are Intel vPro Platform Eligibility, Intel Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP) and Intel Trusted Execution Technology.

Now for the improvements, I have already mentioned the most obvious one and that is an all-core boost clock speed of 5GHz. This is like an i9-9900K overclocked to 5GHz all cores. Basically, that’s it. Of course, the performance is expected to increase (a bit) as well.

Speaking of increase, the all-core boost clock speed is not the only thing that increased. Its price has also increased; from $488 to $513. It’s TDP also increased, from 95W to 127W. Considering that the price increase is only $25, compared to buying a “golden sample” i9-9900K that is sometimes priced (way) higher than $500 USD, that’s actually not bad at all. But this is a limited edition and stocks / units is expected to be fewer compared to the i9-9900K.

Intel Core i9-9900KS Best Gaming CPU 2019

How’s the Performance of the i9-9900KS?

According to Intel’s news release, the new Core i9-9900KS offers “up to 27% faster mega tasking when you simultaneously game, stream and record compared with a 3-year-old PC”. It also offers “up to 17% faster 4K video editing compared with the previous generation and up to 78% faster compared with a 3-year-old PC”; and “up to 35% more frames per second compared with a 3-year-old PC”.

Now why would Intel compare their fastest CPU to a 3-year-old PC? I bet to make those numbers look bigger; percentage increase would look more significant than comparing it to its predecessors.

But what’s the actual performance based on the reviews?
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a sample for us to test and review. But based on the reviews we have seen and read, the performance increase from the i9-9900K isn’t that significant. The 9900KS performs similarly to a 9900K overclocked to 5GHz all-cores.

It’s basically around ~5% to 10% faster than the 9900K, give or take, both in games and productivity. To be honest, that’s not very noticeable at all. However, when it comes to productivity (alone), AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X still beats the i9-9900KS and 9900K by a significant margin. The 3900X may not be as fast when it comes to gaming, still it’s very close, but hands down when it comes to productivity workload.

Intel still can’t beat it, and they have no mainstream CPU to beat the 3900X when it comes to productivity on the same price range. That’s why the tagline for the i9-9900K(S) is “the world’s fastest gaming CPU”; because only in gaming can they beat AMD.

Some Reference: KitGuru, Extremetech, PCGamer, Tech Deals

Intel Core i9-9900KS Specs Comparison

i9-9900KSi9-9900KRyzen 9 3900X
SocketLGA 1151LGA 1151AM4
Base Clock4 GHz3.60 GHz3.8 GHz
Max Turbo Boost5 GHz5 GHz4.6 GHz
Max All-Core Turbo5 GHz4.7 GHz4.6 GHz
Cache16 MB16 MB64MB
Bus Speed8 GT/s8 GT/s
Memory Channel2x DDR42x DDR42x DDR4
Memory Support2666 MHz2666 MHz2667 MHz – 3200 MHz
CPU Lanes16 PCIe Gen 316 PCIe Gen 316+4+4 PCIe Gen 4
TDP127 W95 W105 W
iGPUIntel UHD Graphics 630Intel UHD Graphics 630None
CPU Cooler IncludedNoNoWraith Prism
Pricing~ $513~ $488~ $499
Warranty1 Yr3 Yrs3 Yrs
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Peter Paul
Peter is a PC enthusiast and avid gamer with several years of hands-on experience in testing and reviewing PC components, audio equipment, and various tech devices. He offers a genuine, no-nonsense perspective, helping consumers make informed choices in the ever-changing world of technology.

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