Test Bed and Setup

As per our processor testing policy, we take a premium category motherboard suitable for the socket, and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the manufacturer's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Intel 9th Gen i9-9900K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7**
P1.70 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
Intel 8th Gen i7-8086K
ASRock Z370
Gaming i7
P1.70 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
Intel 7th Gen i7-7700K
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone*
G.Skill RipjawsV
Intel 6th Gen i7-6700K
ECC Extreme
F21e Silverstone*
G.Skill RipjawsV
Intel HEDT i9-7900X
ASRock X299
OC Formula
P1.40 TRUE
Crucial Ballistix
AMD 2000 R7 2700X
R5 2600X
R5 2500X
ASRock X370
Gaming K4
P4.80 Wraith Max* G.Skill SniperX
2x8 GB
GPU Sapphire RX 460 2GB (CPU Tests)
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G (Gaming Tests)
PSU Corsair AX860i
Corsair AX1200i
SSD Crucial MX200 1TB
OS Windows 10 x64 RS3 1709
Spectre and Meltdown Patched
*VRM Supplimented with SST-FHP141-VF 173 CFM fans

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this test bed specifically, but is used in other testing.

Hardware Providers
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
Intel Core i9-9900K at 95W Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Hul8 - Friday, November 30, 2018 - link

    The fact that all motherboard vendors do the exact same thing could lead one to draw the conclusion that the practice is actually mandated and suggested by Intel - unofficially of course.

    Higher benchmark results will look good especially for casual readers (who only look at certain performance graphs and skip the power consumption numbers), all the while allowing Intel to market them as "95 W" parts.
  • Alexvrb - Friday, November 30, 2018 - link

    If Intel didn't like this practice they could hardcode behavior in the CPU itself. Oh wait, they DO... and they allow this because it makes them bench better. Meanwhile look at their cheaper locked "95W" models, I bet you won't see them auto-overclocking to 150W+ even with the board defaulting to "unlimited" TDP.
  • Gastec - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - link

    It should be ILLEGAL for motherboard makers to go out of Intel's specifications by default. All overclocking should be entirely the responsibility of the user.
  • rsandru - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    It's not capping, it's running the CPU according to the Intel datasheet specification.

    Operating the component beyond specification is usually called overclocking which is nice and all but doesn't allow an unbiased comparison of the different products.
  • LTC8K6 - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    Why not clamp it to the Intel spec?
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    Because motherboards dont do that, they are letting the 9900k run wild.
  • Alexvrb - Friday, November 30, 2018 - link

    With Intel's blessing. If Intel wasn't onboard, they'd clamp the behavior on-chip, and you'd have to manually overclock to override TDP for any length of time (for unlocked chips, anyway).

    Anyway my prediction is that if Intel continues this practice, AMD just starts following suit more and more as time goes on. We'll see.
  • djayjp - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    So many of these tests would run better (faster and with much greater efficiency) on a highly parallel GPU instead.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    You may have missed the point of the article.
  • melgross - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    What I find interesting about all of this is that with mobile ARM chips the exact same characteristics are called throttling instead. Possibly we should get these naming conventions together? Either x86 chips throttle, as mobile ARM chips do, or mobile ARM chips have turbo mode too.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now