Intel Core i9-9900KS
Maximum PC|January 2020
With 5GHz on all cores, it’s the new gaming king
Jarred Walton

This a milestone for Intel and CPUs, with the Core i9-9900KS officially being the first CPU that can do 5GHz on all eight of its cores, all the time. The Core i9-9900KS takes everything good about Intel’s existing ninth-gen refresh, then cranks the dial up to 11, using binning to select the best chips and reach the lofty goal of 5GHz. Is it enough to maintain Intel’s claim to the gaming throne? Yes, absolutely. The Core i9-9900K was already the fastest CPU in games, so tacking on 300MHz is only going to help.

At the same time, 300MHz more isn’t going to come close to closing the gap between Intel and AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X in multithreaded workloads, never mind the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X and third-gen Threadripper. Fifty percent more cores with relatively similar percore performance, and only a 14 percent advantage in clock speed for Intel, means AMD unequivocally offers more total performance in the right applications.

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