The i9 has two models. The first is the eighth generation i9-8950HK, which is already on the market. The second model, released on October 19, is the 9th Generation i9-9900K.
Intel Core i9 vs i7 vs i5: Which CPU Should You Buy?
Intel and AMD are back in the battle for processors, with the Intel Core i9 being the fastest desktop processor ever.
Core i9 is Intel’s fastest consumer processor. With up to 16 cores, these are processors designed for enthusiasts and power users alike. But what is Core i9? And is it really better than Core i7 or Core i5?
In Intel’s simple words, Core i9 is faster than Core i7 which is faster than Core i5. But faster isn’t always better, and most people don’t need extra power. So how do you know which Intel processor to choose?
Intel Core i5 vs i7 vs i9
The Core i9 series gets this extra power in the simplest way: by adding more cores. The “core” is the processor (not the chip itself), and each core adds to the overall processing performance. This is why you have dual-core and quad-core processors.
The latest Core i9 processor, the Intel Core i9-12900K, has a MSRP of $ 589. This flagship desktop processor has 16 cores – eight performance cores (P-core) for running process-intensive applications and eight performance cores (E-core) for background tasks and light tasks.
P-Core cores are best suited for applications that mainly use one or more threads, such as games and other heavy applications. In contrast, E-Core is best to run applications that run in the background, such as cloud storage applications or streaming services.
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Should you buy a Core i7 or i9?
It depends on what you do, but most users won’t notice much of a difference between the i7 and i9. In the case of the i7, the next-generation Intel processor is 11700K. It’s an octa-core processor with 16 threads that can speed up to 5 GHz. Intel sets its TDP at 125 watts, mirroring the previous generation’s 10700K. However, like this chip, the 11700K can draw significantly more power under load.
Intel recently replaced the 10900K 11900K, which looks like a strange step backwards. The newer CPU has two fewer cores and four fewer threads, but keeps the boost clock high.
The current i9 and i7 processors are very similar on desktops, which we’ll cover in the next section. Without the primary advantage, the 11900K doesn’t have the same range as the 10900K for multi-threaded workloads. The 11700K is also around $ 150 cheaper, depending on where you are looking.
For mobile devices, you have the choice between the newer i7 or the older i9. Intel rolled out its last two versions for mobile devices, porting the Comet Lake design to laptops before releasing the 11th-gen Tiger Lake platform. If you are buying a laptop, it is not about the processor you should choose, more about the design of the laptop. Thin and light laptops are equipped with 11th generation i7 processors, while powerful workstations or gaming laptops can be equipped with the Comet Lake i9.
Core i7 vs. Core i9 on desktop
Before we delve into the subject, it’s important to define a naming scheme for Intel’s processors. We have a full breakdown, but you only need three suffixes for this guide. “K” processors can be overclocked, “F” processors have no integrated graphics, and “T” processors draw less power at the expense of clock speed.
Intel’s current Rocket Lake lineup has five i7 processors, but they are all similar. The 11700K and 11700KF models are unlocked with eight cores and 16 threads and have a base clock of 3.6 GHz with a single core gain up to 5 GHz. Below 11700 and 11700F. These processors are clocked slightly lower with a base clock of 2.5 GHz and single-core acceleration to 4.9 GHz, and also lowered the TDP from 125 watts to 65 watts. Finally, there is the 11700T, a power-optimized processor with a TDP of just 35 watts. It can go down to 1.4 GHz, but can still go up to 4.6 GHz on a single core.
The i9 line is almost the same, with only a few differences in clock frequency. 11900K and 11900KF start at 3.5 GHz and boost up to 5.3 GHz on a single core, while 11900 and 11900F reach a maximum frequency of 5.1 GHz at just 65 watts. The 11900T is almost identical to the 11700T, only with a slightly faster boost clock (4.9 GHz).
Rocket Lake includes a new microarchitecture but still relies on the 14nm process node that Intel has been using for years. Strange then, 11900K looks like a downgrade from 10900K. While there are generational improvements, the newer i9 has two fewer cores and four fewer threads. On paper, it is identical to 11700K except for the clock rate.
We usually recommend i9s because of their primary advantage in applications that favor multiple cores. This is not the case in this generation. The 11900K might perform better than the 11700K, but it doesn’t perform any better at $ 150. You get nearly identical specs at 11700K, and after a little overclocking, exactly identical. It’s possible that Intel will limit the memory controller to 11700K, however.
Intel HEDT X-series processors offer up to 18 cores for workstation users, which can be useful for software that can use more cores. However, they are hard to recommend to anyone else as they are very expensive for what they offer (especially compared to AMD’s competitors) and are based on much older processor technology.
Core i9 processors, on the other hand, draw up to 45 watts. The Core i7 Iceland processor, 1060G7, can run at just 9 watts TDP. 11th Gen Intel Iris Plus graphics are also available.
Top-tier Intel i7 and i9 processors have a large number of cores, but does that really matter? All of Intel’s ninth-generation i7 and i9 models have eight physical cores, similar to the older eighth-generation i7 processors. Overall, Core i7 processors have six to eight cores, while all i9 processors ship with at least eight.
The main difference between these processors is Hyper-Threading, but we’ll get into that soon. The number of cores starts to look very different when you consider the HEDT (high-end desktop) X-series models for both processor families. These enthusiast workstation processors will feature up to 18 cores. However, if you’re looking for a gaming PC, that would be overkill, not to mention your valuables.