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
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  • edzieba - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    The difference is the ARM chips being labelled with the short-term term frequencies and performance, while Intel put the steady state values on the box. Motherboard manufacturers throw the box values right out the window, but if Intel were to dictate /those/ the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the peanut gallery would be cacaphonous.
  • melgross - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    Its just a matter of semantics. It doesn’t have to be spelled out.
  • Targon - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    There are actually three primary states. Base clocks, boost or turbo speeds, and then you can get thermal throttle which will actually lower the speed below the base clock speed. If the i9-9900k has a base of 3.6GHz, a turbo that goes up to 5GHz, but you have poor cooling, you may be seeing the CPU sticking to that 3.6GHz, or even below it if the temperatures get too high.

    This is where those very thin laptops may have Ryzen versions performing better than Intel, because of the temperatures keeping the chip running at or even below base speeds. For a small form factor machine, will the 9900k be running at base speeds ALL THE TIME due to temperatures/TDP/cooling? In the same small form factor case, would a Ryzen 7 2700X end up having a similar level of performance after several hours(to allow the heat generation to stabilize)? If you start when things are COLD, you could turn the machine on and run benchmarks, and see better numbers than if the machine were already on and you had been running intensive applications for several hours prior to running the benchmarks.
  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    @Ian: Thanks for this informative test and review. One comment, one question/request. Comment: I continue to be struck by Intel's prowess when AVX512/AVX2 comes into play. I am also (negatively) impressed by the thermal load use of these instructions causes. The reduction in performance when using AVX512/AVX2 under strict adherence to a TdP of 95 Wh speaks volumes. Did you ever have a chance to ask Intel why running AVX makes their chips so power-hungry? Even if not, I'd appreciate your thoughts on why AVX makes Intel's chips run so hot.

    Here my question/request: I now that you/Anandtech have a large dataset on x264 video encoding speeds. However, especially for i7s and AMD's six-core and up Zen chips, I'd like to know how they fare when encoding/transcoding a 2160p 10bit video, as that is now in increasing demand, and really makes the processor sweat (and slow down, a lot). Any chance you and your colleagues can add that to the encoding tests? If space is an issue, I suggest to dump the x264 720p speed test; even a lowly Athlon or Celeron chip does that quite well, and at good speed.
  • HStewart - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    I believe you can turn off AVX512 in bios - it use in special application that need the speed

    Also I would think the external GPU's is another major factor in considering power requirements on a system.

    I don't belkieve there is any power needs or reduction in topp speed for AVX2 only that AVX512 uses extra power on system and top frequency are reduce if being used.

    One thing about AVX2 - on Intel it is 256bit and AMD has dual 128 bits currently - not sure about new Zen's coming out next year. But at least with PowerDirector, it give you significantly performance increase
  • GreenReaper - Saturday, December 1, 2018 - link

    It's pretty simple, really: the more data the CPU has to process in parallel, the more horsepower it uses. It's like doubling or quadrupling the number of active cylinders in an engine - you gain performance, but it requires more power and produces more heat. That's why they're off if not in use.

    Dedicated GPU blocks for video coding will also use more power, but are likely to be far more efficient than doing the operations with general code - as long as it's within their defined capabilities. (Similarly, if you had to do the equivalent of the AVX operations without the relevant hardware, it would probably use even more power than it currently does, at least over the extra time it took.)
  • Davenreturns - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    I have found much confusion among the readers on hardware review websites when it comes to this issue. So I would like to present some information from Anandtech's Bench tool in order to clarify the situation for me and others hopefully:

    Looking at the CPU Power Bench

    The following two processors have these results under full package, full load:
    i7-6700k 82.55W First mainstream desktop 14 nm processor, 95W TDP according to Intel
    i9-9900k 168.48W Latest mainstream desktop 14 nm processor, 95W TDP according to Intel

    I assume that these two values were measured in unlimited mode. If this is the case, this means that the power listed above is when all cores/threads are loaded at full max turbo mode. So if you are expecting a certain level of performance given that Intel advertises 95W for both CPUs, then you are being misled and may not get the performance you are expecting when upgrading the CPU but not your cooling.

    This is a CHANGE from the past in how Intel uses TDP without telling the customer. It also highlights that Intel use to be conservative with cores/clocks/turbo when they had no competition and were able to shrink nodes between Nehalem and Skylake. Now they are PRETENDING that they can just double the cores and raise clocks on the same node and not increase power. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't look like this is the case anymore.
  • AlyxSharkBite - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    Really interesting how when you limit it to 95W it’s really close to the 2700X
  • 4800z - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    A power unlimited 2700x. Also this article doesn't include any games. If it did you'd see the 9900k still does much better, because games don't use all 8 cores.
  • schujj07 - Thursday, November 29, 2018 - link

    2700X - 117.18W Max = 11.6% over stated TDP
    9900K - 168.48W Nax = 77.3% over stated TDP

    Don't forget not everyone views gaming and the end all be all form of benchmarking. Would it be interesting to see if it affects the gaming sure. It most certainly would affect those who game and stream at the same time.

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