Intel Core i5 9600K processor review

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The Core i5 9600K tested
Intel's new six-core Coffee Lake processor

You guys have had to wait a long time for it, but the Core 9000 series processors finally have been released. Three of them in this initial launch actually, two eight-core processors and one six-core processor. We'll test all three of them actually, but will separate them into three reviews, as each processor really serves a different user-base. 

In this review, we test out the Core i5 9600K. This is the new mainstream processor that you can seat into your Z390 or Z370 (update your bios first please) chipset based motherboard. If you want to build a gaming rig, this processor is your best value bet in the new 9000 series. The new processors I've just called a refresh however, an 8-core part based on Coffee Lake-S, has never been released before. So with refresh, I do mean the same 14nm Coffee lake architecture that was brought into the Core 9000 series. 

Man, what a wild ride it has been for Intel huh? They've had their share of bad luck and problems alright. We're not going to focus on that though as this review will be all about what the new procs can mean for you. 

Six and eight-core processors in the mainstream segment, it's an all-new for Intel, and we do have to give credit where it's due, if you are going to purchase one of the three procs as listed today, you will need to thank AMD for that. Their aggressive product positioning with Ryzen and many cores forced Intel fabbing more core processors. And you know what? That's a very good thing, as competition in the market makes companies go that extra mile.

We expect the three processors to become extremely popular in demand for the PC gamer, as each and every one of the processors will offer great gaming performance, as Intel is able to boost the Turbo frequencies towards that 5 GHz range. And that is a big advantage that Intel has over AMD, which is stuck at that 4.2 GHz range with Ryzen 2000 (which is overall really good, but the high per clock core is where it matters in CPU bound gaming; e.g. with super high-end graphics cards like the RTX 2080 Ti). 

Intel is releasing these three processors:

  • Core i5-9600K (6 Core / 6 Threads)
  • Core i7-9700K (8 Core / 8 Threads)
  • Core i9-9900K (8 Core / 16 Threads)
No, that does not mean you'll only see three processors in the Core 9000 range, word out on the street is that a 9100, 9400 and 9500 Core series processor will be released as well. However, this specific launch invokes three processors.

Yes, the three processors are spread out over three Core range (i5/i7/i9) two out of the three processors will not get hyper-threading as probably, the lineup would compete too much with the existing 8000 series. The flagship 9900K is a mad dawg with a boost allowance towards 5 GHz. The 9700K is pretty much the same product, yet clocks 100 Mhz lower on the boost frequency and only has eight threads, so there is no hyper-threading (SMT) available. That will have an adverse effect on your normal Windows applications performance wise. Gaming wise, however, SMT is barely relevant if you have enough cores. The Core i5 9600K on its end is the entry-level product with a boost towards 4.6 GHz And with six logical cores, this might become a very attractive gaming processor. For multithreaded applications obviously lesser so. The i9-9900K (8c/16t)) is listed to sell at USD $479,- the i7-9700K (8c/8t) at $369,- and the i5-9600K (6c/6t) we expect to sell at $279,- On the next page, we'll talk a bit more about it all, as the Turbos do need to be discussed. The boost frequencies only apply towards a limited number of cores. Say two can do that 5 GHz, however, if you utilize 6 cores, it would drop down 4.7 GHz and so on. Again, we'll list that on the next few pages. 

In this review, we'll take the six-core Core i5 9600K through our benchmark paces. This is Coffee Lake, Intel's new mainstream series processors that you will need to seat on a Z370 chipset based motherboard (with updated BIOS), or a new Z390 motherboard. I know some are a bit wary about this processor, but guys, gaming wise it does a great job thanks to the high clock frequencies. Also, You'll be able to tweak this puppy towards at least 5.0 GHz on all six cores. On the next few pages, I will take you guys a little deeper into the architecture and processor series that is Coffee lake as well as the Z390 chipset. 


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