9.9
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9.3
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz Core i7-3960X 6-Core 3.30GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 57% 36%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 42% 14%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 43% 17%
Genshin Impact 67% 52%
eFootball PES 2021 53% 31%
Mafia: Definitive Edition 53% 31%
Watch Dogs Legion 42% 14%
FIFA 21 60% 40%
Marvel's Avengers 43% 17%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 51% 28%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz is massively better than the Intel Core i7-3960X 6-Core 3.30GHz 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 over three years more recently than the Core i7-3960X 6-Core, and so the Core i9-9900 8-Core is likely to have far better levels of support, and will be much more optimized and ultimately superior to the Core i7-3960X 6-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 i9-9900 8-Core has 2 more cores than the Core i7-3960X 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 i7-3960X 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 4 more threads than the Core i7-3960X 6-Core. Both the Core i9-9900 8-Core and the Core i7-3960X 6-Core use hyperthreading. The Core i9-9900 8-Core has 2 logical threads per physical core and the Core i7-3960X 6-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 i9-9900 8-Core and Core i7-3960X 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 i7-3960X 6-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 Core i9-9900 8-Core has a 512 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core i7-3960X 6-Core, which means that it, at worst, wins out in this area, and at best, will provide superior gaming performance and will work much better with high-end graphics cards.

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 i9-9900 8-Core has a 65 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core i7-3960X 6-Core, and was created with a 18 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core i9-9900 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).

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 i7-3960X 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 RSandy Bridge-E
MoBo SocketLGA 1151LGA 2011/Socket R
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date23 Apr 201914 Nov 2011
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores8vs6
CPU Threads16vs12
Clock Speed3.1 GHzvs3.3 GHz
Turbo Frequency5 GHzvs3.9 GHz
Max TDP65 Wvs130 W
Lithography14 nmvs32 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature-vs66.8°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size512 KBvs384 KB
L2 Cache Size2048 KBvs1536 KB
L3 Cache Size16 MBvs15 MB
Max Memory Size-vs64 GB
Max Memory Bandwidth-vs51.2 GB/s
Memory Channels-vs4
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 37.5mmvs52.5mm x 45.0mm
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs2
PCIe Configurations-vs2

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.Core i7-3960X 6-Core 3.3GHz is an extreme processor based on the 32nm, Sandy Bridge architecture.

It offers 6 Physical Cores (12 Logical), initially clocked at 3.3GHz, which may go up to 3.9GHz and 15MB of L3 Cache.
Among its many features, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost and Virtualization are activated and the processor has multiplier unlocked.

The processor DOES NOT integrated any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 130W.

Compared to Core i7-3770K there's an overall 30% performance boost. Its performance is exceptionally good and enough for even the most demanding applications.

Vendor-Specific Features

Intel Quick Sync VideoIntel Quick Sync Video
Intel InTru 3DIntel InTru 3D
Intel InsiderIntel Insider
Intel Wireless DisplayIntel Wireless Display
Intel Flexible DisplayIntel Flexible Display
Intel Clear Video HDIntel Clear Video HD
Intel vProIntel vPro
Intel Hyper-ThreadingIntel Hyper-Threading
Intel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/OIntel Virt. Tech. for Directed I/O
Intel Trusted ExecutionIntel Trusted Execution
AES New InstructionsAES New Instructions
Intel Anti-TheftIntel Anti-Theft
Idle StatesIdle States
Intel SpeedStepIntel SpeedStep
Thermal MonitoringThermal Monitoring
Execute Disable BitExecute Disable Bit
Intel VT-x with EPTIntel VT-x with EPT
Embedded OptionsEmbedded Options