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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz
Red Dead Redemption 2 39% 0%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 55% 26%
Halo: Reach 75% 59%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 33% 11%
Cyberpunk 2077 48% 15%
Borderlands 3 39% 0%
FIFA 20 56% 28%
Halo: The Master Chief Collection 39% 0%
eFootball PES 2020 50% 18%
Detroit: Become Human 48% 14%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz 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 i9-9900 8-Core was released less than a year after the Core i5-9400F 6-Core, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance 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 i9-9900 8-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i5-9400F 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 i5-9400F 6-Core is more than enough for gaming purposes. However, if you intend on running a server with the Core i9-9900 8-Core, it would seem to be a decent choice.

The Core i9-9900 8-Core has 10 more threads than the Core i5-9400F 6-Core. The Core i5-9400F 6-Core has one thread per physical core, whereas the Core i9-9900 8-Core uses hyperthreading and has 2 logical threads 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 i9-9900 8-Core and Core i5-9400F 6-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 i9-9900 8-Core has a 0.2 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. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

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 i9-9900 8-Core and the Core i5-9400F 6-Core have the same TDP of 65 Watts, and were created with the same manufacturing size of 14 nm, which means they will affect your yearly electricity bill about equally.

The Core i9-9900 8-Core has an on-board GPU, which means that it will be capable of running basic graphics applications (i.e., games) without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The Core i5-9400F 6-Core, however, does not, and you will probably have to look for a dedicated card if you wish to use it at all.

For in-depth GPU comparisons with the Intel UHD Graphics 630, click on the following GPU overview comparison icon (visible throughout Game-Debate), and choose a GPU from the list to compare against:

On-board GPUs tend to be fairly awful in comparison to dedicated cards from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, but as they are built into the CPU, they also tend to be cheaper and require far less power to run (this makes them a good choice for laptops). We would recommend a dedicated card for running the latest games, but integrated GPUs are improving all the time and casual gamers may find less recent games perform perfectly acceptably.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameCoffee Lake RCoffee Lake
MoBo SocketLGA 1151LGA 1151
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date23 Apr 201931 Jan 2019
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores8vs6
CPU Threads16vs6
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs2.9 GHz
Turbo Frequency5 GHzvs4.1 GHz
Max TDP65 Wvs65 W
Lithography14 nmvs14 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs100°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size512 KBvs-
L2 Cache Size2048 KBvs-
L3 Cache Size16 MBvs9 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630
Base GPU Frequency350 MHzvs-
Max GPU Frequency1150 MHzvs-
DirectX12vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size37.5mm x 37.5mmvs37.5mm x 37.5mm
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewThe Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz is a high-end CPU based on a refinement of the 14nm++ Coffee Lake microarchitecture. It offers 8 physical cores (16 logical), initially clocked at 3.1GHz, which may go up to 4.7GHz using 8 cores with Turbo Boost, or up to 5.0GHz boost clock on a single or dual core. The i9-9900 has 16MB of L3 Cache. Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost 2.0, Intel Thermal Velocity Boost and Virtualization are activated, although this processor does not have its multiplier unlocked. This Core i9-9900 CPU offers extremely fast gaming performance and will not be the bottleneck in any modern gaming PC. It will be able to play all modern games comfortably on ultra graphics performance at any supported resolution without being a hindrance to the accompanying GPU.The Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz is a mid-range CPU based on Intel's 9th Gen 14nm, Coffee Lake refresh microarchitecture. It offers 6 physical cores (6 logical) initially clocked at 2.9GHz, which may go up to 4.1GHz using Turbo Boost. It does not have an unlocked multiplier and therefore cannot be overclocked using traditional methods. It has 9MB 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 i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz has a maximum Thermal Power Design of 65W. 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. It Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz features no onboard 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.

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