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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i7-9700KF 8-Core 3.6GHz Core i5-8600K 6-Core 3.6GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 33% 8%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 50% 32%
Cyberpunk 2077 43% 22%
Halo: Reach 72% 62%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 26% 2%
Detroit: Become Human 43% 21%
Borderlands 3 33% 8%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 27% 0%
Resident Evil 3 Remake 38% 14%
FIFA 20 52% 34%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i7-9700KF 8-Core 3.6GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i5-8600K 6-Core 3.6GHz 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 i7-9700KF 8-Core was released over a year more recently than the Core i5-8600K 6-Core, and so the Core i7-9700KF 8-Core is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for 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 i7-9700KF 8-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i5-8600K 6-Core. 8 cores is probably excessive if you mean to just run the latest games, as games are not yet able to harness this many cores. The cores in the Core i5-8600K 6-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Core i7-9700KF 8-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Core i7-9700KF 8-Core has 2 more threads than the Core i5-8600K 6-Core. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

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 i7-9700KF 8-Core and the Core i5-8600K 6-Core are from the same family of CPUs, and thus their clock speeds are directly comparable. That isn't particularly helpful, however, as the Core i7-9700KF 8-Core and the Core i5-8600K 6-Core provide identical clock rates and thus extremely similar performance.

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.

Both the Core i7-9700KF 8-Core and the Core i5-8600K 6-Core have the same TDP of 95 Watts, and were created with the same manufacturing size of 14 nm, which means they will affect your yearly electricity bill about equally.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCoffee LakeCoffee Lake
MoBo SocketLGA 1151LGA 1151
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date31 Jan 201905 Oct 2017
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores8vs6
CPU Threads8vs6
Clock Speed3.6 GHzvs3.6 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.9 GHzvs4.3 GHz
Max TDP95 Wvs95 W
Lithography14 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature100°Cvs-
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size-vs-
L2 Cache Size-vs1536 KB
L3 Cache Size12 MBvs9 MB
Max Memory Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
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 i7-9700KF 8-Core 3.6GHz is a high-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 4.9GHz using Turbo Boost. The 9700KF is almost identical to the Core i7-9700K aside from the lack of integrated graphics. It has an unlocked multiplier and can therefore be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 12MB 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 i7-9700KF 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 i7-9700KF 8-Core 3.6GHz does not feature integrated graphics. This CPU is likely to offer decent computational performance and will not be a bottleneck in all but the most CPU-intensive AAA games in 2019.The Core i5-8600K 6-Core 3.6GHz is a high-end CPU based on the 14nm Coffee Lake microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (6 logical), initially clocked at 3.6GHz, which may go up to 4.1GHz using 6 cores with Turbo Boost, or up to 4.3GHz boost clock on a single core. The i7-8700K has 9MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 2.0 and Virtualization are activated and the processor has its multiplier unlocked. This Core i5-8600K CPU offers excellent gaming performance and will not be the bottleneck in any modern gaming PC. It will be able to play all modern games comfortably on high/ultra graphics performance without being a hindrance to the accompanying GPU.

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