CPU Intel I9 10900x vs 9900k. Comparison + tests in games!

Hello, everyone!Today we’re going to compare two top-end processors from Intel. Their cost varies by about 30% if you compare the minimum price of the boxed versions. The processors themselves are a little from different categories, so comparing them is going to be very interesting.


We’re going to start with analyzing the most basic characteristics of processors, their architecture, socket and other important parameters.

Although both processors are produced by the same company, there are many differences in them due to the difference in their purposes. The 10900x has the 2066 socket, which implies that a special motherboard was chosen for it, into which Intel processors more familiar to all gamers will not fit. It also has a completely different Cascade Lake-X architecture and high power consumption of 165 watts. Therefore, the choice of power supply for such a system should also be carefully approached. As for the 9900k, everything is quite familiar to all users who already have an Intel processor. This is the familiar architecture of Coffee Lake Refresh and the widespread 1151v2 socket, it is not difficult to find a motherboard with such a socket. Also the power consumption is significantly lower.

We reviewed the main characteristics, now let’s move on to the parameters showing the performance of these processors.

Let’s look closer to the details. Our monster of the tenth series has 10 cores and 20 threads that have a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, and in boost the frequency can reach 4.5 GHz. It is also worth noting that the processor has TurboBoost Max 3.0 technology with which the frequency reaches 4.7 GHz. This technology is a kind of add-on over the normal turbo boost mode. This is based on the fact that in the most busy time periods the tasks transfer to the fastest cores that are least loaded. Thanks to this, the users can achieve a more optimized operation of the CPU and further increase its speed. Level 3 cache is 19.25 MB.

Now let’s look at the characteristics of the more familiar Core I9-9900k. It already has fewer cores, only 8 and twice as many threads. The base frequency is 3.6 GHz, and in turbo boost it reaches 5 GHz. The K prefix indicates the possibility of overclocking the processor, but keep in mind that the power consumption will increase with a manual change of the multiplier and voltage. So you should take care about a high-quality power supply and good cooling for the processor in advance.

Both CPUs are manufactured using 14nm process technology. Intel is going to switch to a finer process technology of 10 nm only from the next generation of processors, but at the same time we can expect a change in the socket itself again.

Based on the parameters above, you can already say a lot about these two processors. More experienced users already understand what kind of performance they will have in games. So let’s not hesitate and let’s move on to games.

Gaming Test 

The tests were carried out at maximum graphics settings using TOP models. The graphics card from NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is responsible for processing the graphics.

The first game in the tests is the gorgeous game from Rock Star Red Dead Redemption 2. The company worked hard on the game after its release on the PC. A large number of bugs were removed, optimization was significantly tightened, making it much more comfortable to play. As for performance, the 9th series processor is ahead, but the overall difference between them is not so significant and amounts to only 5-6%.

The Outer Worlds is a single-player sci-fi role-playing game with a first-person view. It amazes with the beauties of its locations and captivates with its non-standard storyline. There is no difference in performance between the processors in FullHD resolution in terms of average FPS, but at the minimum FPS the 9900k is still ahead. The same 9900k bypasses the 10th generation CPU by about 5% on average in higher resolution.

PUBG is a sensational game in its time, which almost independently created and popularized the Battle Royale genre. Even at the moment, the game is consistently in the leading positions in the Steam rating on-line. The game is very dynamic and makes the player be as focused as possible and respond quickly to all events. Therefore, it requires a high and stable FPS. Both processors show excellent results in FullHD resolution. If the user has a monitor with a high frequency, the game will be as smooth as possible which will help to respond even faster to unexpected opponents in the game. There is a difference in performance between processors and on average it is about 5%

Colorful and exciting game from the publisher Ubisoft has captured the fans’ hearts for its beautiful graphics, dynamic gameplay and incredibly beautiful landscapes. Almost every game in the series finds its fans, so the company is still releasing and developing more and more new games.

The processors are quite equal in their performance in FullHD resolution and show no significant advantages; the 9900K wins again at the minimum FPS in 4K resolution because of its higher clock frequency during turbo boost.

The final game in our top is going to be The Witcher 3, perhaps an already legendary game from the Polish developers. Everybody already knows about its detailed graphics, so let’s talk about the results of our processors. Both processors show more than 150 FPS in 1080p resolution which will allow playing comfortably even on 144 GHz monitors. There is no significant difference in performance.


Now, after we’ve just carefully examined the characteristics of the processors, conducted the game tests and carefully studied the FPS of both processors, we can summarize everything. Despite the fact that the 9900K performs better in most games even by just a few percent, the 10900x is still a fine processor. Not many games can fully use such a large number of cores and threads. But many applications load all cores to the maximum allowing you to get a significant increase in performance. Therefore, first of all, you should consider what the processor is purchased for. If it’s just for games and nothing more, you don’t have to overpay and you can choose the 9900K. If you plan to work with demanding programs, then it’s worth considering the 10900x, the full power of which is revealed in work, not in games.

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