The fastest mainstream eight-core, 16-thread processor, but not the first.

Manufacturer : Intel

Model : Core i9-9900K

RRP : £599.99

Read the HEXUS review on the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X…

40 months. That’s how long it took for Intel to follow-up its first quad-core desktop processor, the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, launched in November 2006, with a hexa-core successor, the Core i7-980X, launched in March 2010.

The many-core race never seemed to get going, but after years of labouring with dominant quad-core chips, the industry has discovered another gear and hit overdrive with a slew of fascinating designs. Progressing from four to six cores seemed to take an age, but in the past two years we’ve gone from eight cores to over 30 in what feels like the blink of an eye.  Read the full review here.

Conclusions :

Read the full review conclusion here.

There are plenty of points to consider, but let’s start by getting the inevitable out of the way: the Intel Core i9-9900K is a very fast CPU.

First-class IPC, eight cores, 16 threads, 5GHz on up to two cores, 4.7GHz on every core, and all delivered in a 95W LGA1151 package with a vast choice of supporting Z390 boards. The essential ingredients for an excellent all-rounder are all there.

Recent releases have suggested that many-core HEDT processors will fulfil the needs of content creators, while mainstream parts continue to better serve the gamer, but the 9th Gen Core i9 blurs those lines. Delivering superlative gaming performance in an eight-core, 16-thread package, this will be viewed by many enthusiasts as the best of both worlds.

Such accolades would historically warrant an out-and-out recommendation, but today’s CPU landscape is increasingly competitive, and the Core i9-9900K isn’t a clear-cut choice. Gamers using last year’s Core i7-8700K shouldn’t feel the urge to upgrade, content creators who crave memory bandwidth and PCIe lanes may continue to prefer HEDT platforms, and heck, if you’re just after solid multi-threaded credentials, the equivalent AMD Ryzen is half the price.

Bottom line: Core i9-9900K isn’t the 10nm showstopper we had hoped to see in late-2018, but while 14nm lives on, it’s a highly capable stopgap for those with deep wallets.

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