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The Intel Core i9-9900K

First off, I need to give a big thank you to Intel for providing a majority of the hardware used in this review. Without them this wouldn’t be possible until the 9900K would have faded even further into irrelevance. Don’t think for a second that I’m going to go easy on Intel just because they sent me some hardware, I mean, this is a costly, beastly and power hungry 8 core processor in a new land of efficient Zen 2 hardware.

Well that is what I’m going to find out. I’ve had nothing but good times with my personally purchased 8700K. Before that CPU I had the 5820K but at around the same time I had that CPU I also purchased the 1800X at launch… That hardware relationship didn’t last long at all. I found nothing but problem after problem with that CPU and it was a major downgrade for me. From what I’m hearing about Zen 2 and the desktop Ryzen 3000 series it seems to be a mixed bag of growing pains but tons of potential. Obviously if AMD would have sent me any of the current line up to test, I’d have been all over it. With the way things are right now I just have to make do with what desperate ol’ Intel decided to throw at me.

Ok, enough throwing sarcastic shade. Let’s break down what I’ve got on the testing block!


The Hardware

  • Hardware Provided by Intel
    • (What we’re testing) Intel Core i9-9900K
      • SRELS - L907C559 E4 - P0 Stepping
    • Noctua NH-D15
    • ASRock Z390 Taichi
      • Using P4.10 BIOS
    • G.Skill Trident Z RGB F4-3466C16D-16GTZR
    • Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB NVMe
    • Fractal Design Define S2
    • Seasonic 850w Focus Gold
  • My Personal Hardware
    • EVGA RTX 2080Ti XC Black
    • PNY CS1311 960GB SSD
    • SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SSD

The Tests

First, I’m going to start off with my usual voltage scaling tests to find the minimum voltage required to run all the benchmarks. Those benchmarks are:

  • Asus RealBench – 6 passes
  • Cinebench R15 - 6 passes MP 1 pass SP
  • Cinebench R20 - 6 passes MP 1 pass SP
  • AIDA64 - 3 passes
  • GeekBench 4.3.4 - 1 pass
  • Passmark PerformanceTest - 1 pass

The Testing Results

Intel Core i9-9900K Voltage Scaling

Every test was able to be run with these voltages on this 9900K. For stabilities sake I’d add 0.020v to each one if you want to be totally sure you’ll be stable.

NOTE: These voltages are only what were required for running the benchmarks below and are not indicative of voltages you might require for power virus stability tests.


Asus RealBench 2.43


Cinebench R15 & R20


AIDA64 Extreme Edition 6.00.5100

AIDA64 CPU Tests


AIDA64 Memory Tests


GeekBench 4.3.4

GeekBench 4.3.4 Single Core

GeekBench 4.3.4 Single Core CPU
GeekBench 4.3.4 Single Core Memory

GeekBench 4.3.4 Multi Core

GeekBench 4.3.4 Multi Core CPU
GeekBench 4.3.4 Multi Core Memory

Passmark PerformanceTest 9.0 Build 1031

Passmark PerformanceTest CPU Tests


Passmark PerformanceTest Memory Tests


Comparison Tests

AIDA64 Comparison

AIDA64 Memory




GeekBench Comparison

GeekBench Memory

GeekBench CPU

Sorry about the long names for the Ryzen results. I’ll think of more space friendly names in a later article update.


Efficiency Testing

This is a testing technique that SkyJuice in our discord came up with. Basically, it goes like this:

  • Reset BIOS to default
  • Open HWINFO & Log
  • Run CB R20 2x
  • Stop Log
  • Note the CPU Package Power for the run
  • Throttlestop set PL1 & 2 to noted W
  • Log
  • Run CB again 2x
  • Stop log
  • Throttlestop lower PL 1 & 2 by 5W
  • Repeat until you hit 800mhz all core

When you get down to your base clock you will need to enable clamp mode on both PL values for the clock to go lower than the base.

To set up and clean up the logs I just go and remove all the rows that have less than 100% CPU usage along with that extra row at the bottom that has the headings in it.

The CPU Package Power is taken from the HWINFO64 logs by just selecting all the values and taking the average. Yes, it’s an average of an average, sue me! Same thing with the CPU Package Temperature and the clocks.

For the math parts of this whole thing it’s a simple score divided by GHz and a score divided by power.

816 Testing

9900K 816 On The ASRock Z390 Taichi

This was run using the stock turbo ratios.


612 Testing

8700K 612 On The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7

This was run using the stock turbo ratios.


9900K 612 On The ASRock Z390 Taichi

For this run I used the same turbo ratios as the 8700K.



For thermal and power testing the room was kept to 73F/23C using a portable AC unit. The Fractal Design Define S2 had all its panels removed. There are two Fractal Design fans on the front for intake with one on the back for exhaust. The Noctua NH-D15 has both of its fans installed. All fans are at 100% speed.


ASRock Z390 Taichi - CPU Package Power


ASRock Z390 Taichi - CPU Package Temperature


ASRock Z390 Taichi - Motherboard Vcore



ASRock Z390 Taichi - SmallestFFT


ASRock Z390 Taichi - SmallFFT


ASRock Z390 Taichi - LargeFFT


ASRock Z390 Taichi - Blend



ASRock Z390 Taichi - AIDA64


Update Log

DateGitLab Commit TimeActual Edit TimeChanges
8/30/2019 3:38AM Initial Post
8/30/2019 4:29AM Added:
To-Do Placeholders
8/31/2019 1:37AM Added:
Power Efficiency Testing
9900K 612
8700K 612
8/31/2019 Added:
Explanation For Power Testing
8/31/2019 9:42PM Added:
8/31/2019 Added:
More Section Placeholders
8/31/2019 Added:
GeekBench Multi Core and Single Core
4.7GHz To 5.0GHz
8/31/2019 Added:
4.7GHz To 5.0GHz
8/31/2019 8:50PM Added:
This Table
8/31/2019 9:37PM Added:
4.7GHz to 5.0GHz
8/31/2019 11:19PM 11:19PM Added:
Link To The Raw Data On OneDrive
9/01/2019 7:43PM 7:23PM Finished:
9/01/2019 7:23PM Added:
Auto 2666 & 3.2GHz
Auto 2666, Auto XMP & 3.2GHz
9/01/2019 7:23PM Added:
GeekBench Memory As Separate Chart
9/01/2019 7:23PM Moved:
Update Log To Bottom Of Page
9/03/2019 8:10PM 8:10PM Finished:
9/05/2019 6:30PM 6:30PM Added:
Thermal & Power
9/05/2019 10:50PM 10:50PM Added:
Thermal & Power
9/05/2019 11:01PM 11:01PM Added:
Thermal & Power
9/06/2019 8:50PM 8:50PM Added: