The Big Fish and Small Fries Update

Intel i9-9900k

There are new high-end CPUs available from Intel, and new low-end CPUs available from AMD. And we’ve taken a look at both!

First, the big fish (Intel’s 9th-generation i5, i7, and i9 options):

The good news:

Intel has released three new CPUs, in their new 9xxx lineup. The i5-9600K is a 6/6 CPU, a slightly faster-clocked version of the i5-8600K.

The i7-9700K, even though it is an i7, is an 8/8 CPU. Somehow, even though it is replacing the 6/12 i7 8700K, the 9700K manages to outpace it in multithreaded performance.

The new i9-9900K does not replace anything from the 8xxx series, as there were no consumer i9’s in the 8xxx series. This 8/16 CPU is currently the king of single-threaded performance, making it the best gaming CPU. With 16 threads, the multi-threaded performance of the i9-9900K is fantastic too.

The bad news:

In the honourable Intel tradition, these new CPUs are priced “competitively.” Intel’s single-threaded performance is far ahead—Intel knows it—and they’re pricing these CPUs accordingly. Well, if you want the best, you gotta pay!

AMD Athlon 200GE

Secondly, the small fry (AMD’s Athlon 200GE):

The good news:

Ever since AMD retired the AM1 platform, we have not had a decent low-end APU. The 2200G/2400G are nice, but they are not truly low-end with the starting price of $100. The new Athlon 200GE is a sweet $55! And instead of repeating the (somewhat silly) decision to give this CPU a separate socket, the 200GE is an AM4 CPU.

The bad news:

For some unknown reason, AMD decided that the 200GE should be locked and non-overclockable. This is sad, because at default speeds, the 200GE performance is quite meager. It is to be expected for a $55 CPU, but the AM1 CPUs were overclockable. The other bad news is that the 200GE’s iGPU is much weaker than the 2200G/2400G, which is also a shame.

Going forward:

  • We will add the Athlon 200GE to the Destitute tier, along with suitable motherboards. (The relevant iGPU and HSF for this tier will of course be changed as well.)
  • We will add the i5-9600K as an alternative to the i5-8600K in the Great tier.
  • We will add the i7-9700K as an alternative in the Excellent, Outstanding, and Exceptional tiers.
  • The i9-9900K is now our CPU for the Enthusiast tier.
  • In all above Intel tiers, we will change the motherboards to be Z390 motherboards.
  • For ALL CPUs (yeah, all!), we will update the descriptions. With the new CPUs, many old descriptions are outdated, or have outdated benchmarks.

We’re also considering whether the 2990WX is the best choice for the Monstrous tier (where it currently resides), but we haven’t made any definite decisions on that point. Feel free to let us know your thoughts about that!