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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-9900KF 8-Core 3.6GHz Core i7-5960X 8-Core 3.0GHz
Borderlands 3 43% 32%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 38% 26%
Cyberpunk 2077 51% 42%
eFootball PES 2020 53% 44%
FIFA 20 59% 52%
Gears 5 17% 2%
GreedFall 59% 51%
Ghost Recon Breakpoint 37% 25%
NBA 2K20 59% 51%
Control 47% 38%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-9900KF 8-Core 3.6GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i7-5960X 8-Core 3.0GHz when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core was released over three years more recently than the Core i7-5960X 8-Core, and so the Core i9-9900KF 8-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i7-5960X 8-Core when running the latest games.

Both CPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings (assuming they are accompanied by equivalently powerful GPUs).

The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core and the Core i7-5960X 8-Core both have 8 cores. Games are not yet able to harness this many cores, so it is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games; however, if you intend on running a server with this CPU, it would seem to be a decent choice.

Both the Intel Core i9-9900KF 8-Core 3.6GHz and the Intel Core i7-5960X 8-Core 3.0GHz have the same number of threads. Both the Core i9-9900KF 8-Core and the Core i7-5960X 8-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-5960X 8-Core has 2.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core and Core i7-5960X 8-Core are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Core i9-9900KF 8-Core has a 0.6 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the .

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core has a 45 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i7-5960X 8-Core, and was created with a 8 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i9-9900KF 8-Core will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCoffee LakeHaswell-E
MoBo SocketFCLGA1151Socket 2011-3 / R3 / LGA2011-3
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date31 Jan 201929 Aug 2014
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores8vs8
CPU Threads16vs16
Clock Speed3.6 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency5 GHzvs3.5 GHz
Max TDP95 Wvs140 W
Lithography14 nmvs22 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs67°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs512 KB
L2 Cache Size-vs2048 KB
L3 Cache Size16 MBvs20 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs4
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5mm x 37.5mmvs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Core i9-9900KF 8-Core 3.6GHz is a top-end CPU based on Intel's 9th Gen 14nm, Coffee Lake refresh microarchitecture. It offers 8 physical cores (8 logical) initially clocked at 3.6GHz, which may go up to 5.0GHz using Turbo Boost. The 9900KF is almost identical to the Core i9-9900K aside from the lack of integrated graphics. It has an unlocked multiplier and can, therefore, be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 16MB of SmartCache. Intel SmartCache refers to the architecture that allows all cores to dynamically share access to the last level cache. Level 3 cache is a static memory bank of a processor and it is used to feed it instructions. This processor also supports DDR4 based RAMs with maximum memory support of 64GB. The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core 3.6GHz has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 95W. It is on par with competitor processors. Among its many advanced features are Intel Optane Memory support, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization technology. The Core i9-9900KF 8-Core 3.6GHz does not feature integrated graphics. This CPU is likely to offer great computational performance and will not be a bottleneck in even the most CPU-intensive AAA games in 2019.Core i7-5960X 8-Core 3.0GHz is an extreme processor based on the 22nm, Haswell architecture.

It offers 8 Physical Cores (16 Logical), initially clocked at 3.0GHz, which may go up to 3.5GHz and 20MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked, meaning it can be overclocked easily.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 140W.

It proves to be over 10% faster than Core i7-4960K. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.

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