Intel i5-9600K vs i7-9700K Comparison – 6 or 8 CPU Cores?

Intel i5-9600K vs i7-9700K Comparison – 6 or 8 CPU Cores?

Which CPU should you pick, the Intel i5-9600K,
or is it worth paying more for the i7-9700K? In this detailed comparison you’ll see the
differences between them in games and applications, both at stock and while overclocked to help
you decide which to get. Let’s start out with the specs. The key
difference is that the i5-9600K has 6 cores and 6 threads, while the i7-9700K has 8 cores
and 8 threads, neither has hyperthreading available. The 9600K has a slightly higher
base clock, but at stock the single core turbo boost of the 9700K is 300MHz higher. When
all cores are loaded up the 9700K still has a 300MHz higher boost clock, and the 9700K
also has 33% more cache. Both CPUs were tested in the exact same system,
so the only difference was the CPUs, making this as apples to apples as possible. Both
CPUs were tested with the MSI Z390 ACE motherboard with 16gb of DDR4-3200 memory running in dual
channel at CL14 with an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti to reduce GPU bottlenecks. I’ve tested both
with the same cooler, the Fractal S36 AIO with Noctua NT-H1 paste for both CPUs. Testing was completed with the same version
of Windows, Nvidia drivers, and BIOS for each CPU as well. I’ve tested both CPUs at stock, and overclocked
to 5.1GHz at 1.35v, so we can see how this helps improve performance. With that in mind we’ll first check out
the differences in various applications, as well as power draw and thermals, followed
by gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p resolutions afterwards, then finish up by comparing some
performance per dollar metrics to see which is worth it. Let’s start out with Cinebench R20. I’ve
got the overclocked results on the upper half of the graph and the stock results on the
lower half. In the single core results, shown by the lighter purple bars, the 9700K was
5.5% ahead of the 9600K due to the 300MHz difference in clock speed under single core
workloads. Once both are overclocked to the same 5.1GHz
though, there’s much less of a difference, with the 9700K now just 0.9% ahead. In terms
of multicore performance there’s a much bigger difference between the two, owing to
the 9700K having two more cores available. At stock the 9700K was 43% ahead of the 9600K,
but once we overclock them to the same speed the gap closes and the difference is closer
to 35%. Although Cinebench R15 has been replaced by
the newer R20 just covered, I wanted to also include the results of this too, as many people
haven’t moved to 20 yet this will allow you to compare my results with others. Again
in single core there was a 5% higher score with the 9700K at stock, then with both overclocked
to 5.1GHz the same score was achieved with either chip. The multicore score was 42% higher
with the 9700K at stock, dropping back a bit to a 35% difference when both are overclocked,
so similar differences to R20. I’ve tested the Blender BMW and Classroom
benchmarks, and as a test that works better with more threads it’s another clear win
for the 9700K. At stock the 9700K is completing the BMW test 44% faster and 45% faster in
the Classroom test, the largest difference out of all of the upcoming tests. Once overclocked
although Blender still sees some of the biggest differences, these results drop down to a
38% and 35% lead respectively on the 9700K. Handbrake was used to convert a 4K file to
1080p, and then a different 1080p file to 720p. This is another workload that benefits
from more threads, so at stock settings we’re seeing the 9700K perform 38% faster for the
4K conversion and 37% faster for 1080p. When overclocked the gap lowers to a 31% and 30%
increase respectively with the 9700K. Adobe Premiere was used to export one of my
laptop review videos at 1080p. As a workload that typically benefits from more CPU cores,
the 9700K was completing the task around 27% faster at stock, and 17% faster with both
CPUs overclocked. Again there’s less of a difference with the overclocks applied,
as both CPUs now have the same clock speed of 5.1GHz, whereas at stock there was more
of a difference. I’ve also tested the warp stabilizer effect
in Adobe Premiere, basically this processes a video file to smooth it out. This is a single
core workload, which is why the 9700K was able to complete the task 6% faster at stock,
but then with both CPUs at 5.1GHz the difference was only a second, as single core speeds are
now the same. I’ve used 7-Zip to test compression and
decompression speeds, and at stock the 9700K was 43% faster when it came to decompression,
but 30% ahead at compression. I’ve seen many CPUs actually get lower results when
overclocked in this test, and this was happening to compression speed with the 9700K, resulting
in it only seeing a 10% lead over the 9600K, however decompression speed was still a fair
bit better with the 9700K, scoring 31% faster. VeraCrypt was used to test AES encryption
and decryption speeds, and at stock the 9700K was 42% faster for both encryption and decryption.
Once overclocked the 9600K sees a larger improvement, as its clock speed was lower at stock, now
putting the 9700K 34% faster than the 9600K. The V-Ray benchmark renders out a scene and
relies on thread count to boost performance. As a result of this the 9700K is out in front
as expected, with a 42% higher score at stock, and lower but still respectable 34% lead with
both CPUs overclocked. The Corona benchmark uses the CPU to render
out a scene, and as another test that scales well over multiple threads it’s giving us
one of the highest improvements with the 9700K at stock, completing the task 44.5% faster
than the 9600K. Like the other multicore benchmarks, with both CPUs overclocked we can see the
gap narrow, and the 9700K now has a 33% lead over the 9600K. I don’t typically test Geekbench, but a
few of you requested it on my previous CPU comparison, so here it is. Single core performance
at stock was similar to other single core tests, with the 9700K seeing a 5% higher score
over the 9600K, then both get around the same result once overclocked to the same 5.1GHz.
The multicore performance saw one of the lower differences at stock, with the 9700K 31% ahead
of the 9600K, lowering to a 24% higher score once the overclocks are applied to both. These are the differences between the 9600K
and 9700K CPUs in all of these applications, as we can see it really depends on the specific
workload. At stock in all of these tests the 9700K was coming out ahead, as expected, not
only does it have two extra cores, but it’s also capable of higher clock speeds and has
more cache too. Most of these are multicore workloads, except the four down the bottom
which are single core. Once we overclock both CPUs to 5.1GHz on all
cores the differences between the two CPUs narrow in a bit. This is because at stock
there’s a 300MHz difference between both CPUs, both under single core or all core workloads.
While overclocked both chips were now running at the same speeds, so the only difference
was the increased core count of the 9700K. This is why the four single core tests towards
the bottom show much less of a difference now. Additionally the difference in multicore
performance has closed in a little too compared to the stock results we just saw. I’ve also measured total system power draw
from the wall while running the Blender Classroom benchmark. At stock the 9700K required 32%
more power, but this seems pretty fair when you consider that it was also completing the
task 45% faster too. Once both are overclocked to 5.1GHz the power difference between them
drops back a little with the 9700K now using 28.5% more power, and in blender specifically
the 9700K was 35% faster than the 9600K. These are the CPU temperatures with the same
blender tests running. Both at stock and while overclocked the 9700K was a little warmer
as expected, it does have 33% more cores afterall. There’s less of a temperature difference
once both are overclocked though, as there was a larger clock speed gap between them
at stock. Let’s get into the gaming results next,
I’ve tested these games at all setting levels at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions, and just
as a reminder I’m also using a 2080 Ti to reduce GPU bottlenecks as much as I can. We’ll
start off with stock results then check out overclocked performance afterwards. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with
the built in benchmark. In all upcoming gaming graphs I’ve got the 9700K shown by the blue
bars and the 9600K in red. I’ve also tested all of the default setting presets available,
which are shown on the left of the graph. In this game the 9700K was ahead at all setting
levels, with a 10% lead at highest settings at 1080p. At 1440p we’re more GPU bound,
so the CPU starts to make less of a difference. The lower setting levels tend to also be less
GPU bound, so there’s more of a difference there, while at highest settings the 9700K
was just 3 FPS ahead of the 9600K, or 2.7% faster. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was also tested
with the built in benchmark, and as this is a CPU heavy test we’re seeing big gains
with the 9700K. At max settings the 9700K was scoring 18.5% higher average FPS when
compared to the 9600K, and was over 25% ahead at low settings. At 1440p again the lower
setting presets see a larger increase with the 9700K as these will typically be more
CPU bound, but at higher settings there’s much less of a difference now. With maximum
settings the 1% low was the same on either CPU, with a much smaller 5.6% higher average
FPS with the 9700K. Far Cry New Dawn was tested with the built
in benchmark, and at 1080p there wasn’t that much of a difference between the two.
At ultra settings the 9700K was scoring just 6% higher average FPS, and this seems to drop
down with lower settings. Interestingly at 1440p there’s now more of a difference between
the two, as the 9700K is now 9.7% faster at max settings, but this was the only game tested
where I actually saw a bigger difference between the two chips at 1440p. Watch Dogs 2 is a game that loves CPU power,
so we’re seeing a pretty big difference between the two CPUs in this game. At 1080p
there was a 21% higher average frame rate with the 9700K, and similar improvements were
seen at the other setting levels too. At 1440p there’s less of a difference in average
FPS, with less than a 5% lead with the 9700K now, however the differences to 1% lows are
more pronounced, the 9700K was still 18% ahead in this regard at ultra settings. CS:GO is known to be a game that prefers CPU
power, so I’ve tested it with the Ulletical FPS benchmark. At 1080p the 9700K was scoring
13% higher average frame rates, though the 1% lows were much closer together with just
a 5% difference. At 1440p there’s a larger difference at the lower setting levels, but
at max settings the 9700K was only 4% ahead of the 9600K, with essentially the same 1%
low performance. I’ve also tested out Rainbow Six Siege with
the built in benchmark. At 1080p we’re almost seeing no difference between the two CPUs
in terms of average frame rate, the 9700K was just 0.3% faster, though it does have
a bigger edge in terms of 1% low, and more of a difference is also seen at lower settings.
At 1440p where we’re presumably more GPU bound there’s less of a difference in terms
of average FPS at most setting levels, at ultra the 9700K was just 1% faster, putting
this game in last place in terms of differences out of all the games I’m comparing. Out of all 6 games tested we’re looking
at an 11% higher average frame rate with the 9700K at highest setting levels at 1080p.
Some CPU heavy games like Watch Dogs 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey saw a massive improvement
with the 9700K, while others like Rainbow Six Siege were much more minimal, it really
varies by game. At 1440p as we typically start to become more GPU bound the difference between
the two CPUs lowers slightly to around a 4.6% improvement with the 9700K, but again it really
depends on the specific game and even how it was tested. This does however show that
there’s far less of a difference between the two CPUs as we step the resolution up,
the CPU would be even less important at 4K. That’s stock settings, so what about with
both CPUs overclocked? As testing every single setting level takes a long time I’ve just
picked one setting to test overclocked results at 1080p, in most cases I picked one level
down from maximum, as we saw in many cases max was more GPU bound so there was less of
a difference between the CPUs. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested with
the built in benchmark, and is a CPU heavy test. This is why at stock the 9700K was scoring
25% higher average frame rate than the 9600K, however once we overclock both CPUs to the
same 5.1GHz across all cores its lead lowers to 19%. Far Cry New Dawn barely saw a difference with
the 9700K once overclocked, and the frame rate was actually lower on the 9600K, something
I’ve seen from many different CPUs in this particular test. For that reason, this was
the only game tested where the 9700K’s lead actually grew with both overclocked. Shadow of the Tomb Raider only saw the 9700K
result improve by 3 FPS once overclocked, meanwhile the 9600K had a larger 8 FPS boost,
making the 9700K 12% faster at stock, lowering to 8% higher FPS with both CPUs overclocked. Watch Dogs 2 saw big improvements with the
9700K, with both CPUs at stock it was almost 28% ahead of the 9600K in average frame rate,
but once both are overclocked this lowers to a 17% lead. This is still quite a large
difference, the extra cores really seem to help this game, but in terms of gains from
overclocking the 9600K does gain more ground here. In CS:GO the frame rates are already pretty
insane regardless of CPU, however at stock the 9700K was 15% ahead of the 9600K, but
when we overclock both of them to the same clock speed the 9700K is now just 8.5% ahead
of the 9600K. Rainbow Six Siege only saw minor changes.
The 9600K was able to hit the average frame rate of the stock 9700K once overclocked,
but in both cases the 9700K was still only around 2% ahead, though the 9700K had a slightly
higher 1% low compared to the differences seen in the averages. These are the differences between these games
at stock, shown by the purple bars, and when overclocked, shown by the red bars. Basically
in these 6 games at stock the 9700K is 14.8% faster than the 9600K, but if we overclock
both to the same 5.1GHz speed the 9600K catches up a bit, meaning the 9700K is now 11% faster. When it comes down to it, when paired with
a good GPU like we’ve got here I don’t think there’s really going to be a noticeable
difference in games. As we’ve seen though, it does of course depend on the specific game.
Some seem to really make use of more than 6 cores and see a larger advantage with the
9700K, while with other games it hardly made a difference. This is only a small number
of games, the purpose isn’t to definitively say how much faster the 9700K is, but to show
how it can differ. In both gaming and other application workloads,
the 9700K was almost always ahead of the 9600K, as expected. It’s got two more cores, more
cache, and higher clock speeds at stock, though I was able to overclock both to the same speed.
Just because it’s better doesn’t mean it’s the best option though, we need to
factor in prices. At the time of recording the 9600K goes for
$245 USD on Newegg while the 9700K is $120 more at $365 USD. These are the dollar per frame values at 1080p
averaged out over all 6 games tested. Basically this just shows that the 9600K is better in
terms of value, it’s $120 USD cheaper. This doesn’t factor in additional costs such
as motherboard or cooling, but given these are costs both CPU would need as neither include
cooling I think this is a fair comparison. These are the dollar per frame values when
we factor in overclocking. The gap between them gets bigger, as overclocking the 9600K
allows it to improve more than the 9700K, which already has a higher clock speed out
of the box. It’s not all about gaming though, as we
saw earlier, many applications benefit more from the extra cores the 9700K has, more so
when compared to gaming. These are the cost per frame values while exporting a 4K video
file to 1080p with Handbrake. I’ve chosen this particular test as it was around the
middle of applications tested in terms of results, plus it’s a very real and common
workload. Compared to the gaming results, the cost per frame values are closer together
here, the extra two cores with the 9700K help make up the difference. It might not look like that much has changed,
but once overclocked the 9700K is 15% more expensive compared to the 9600K in terms of
cost per frame in this workload, this is compared to the 8% more it cost based on the stock
results. This is because, like we’ve seen throughout the whole video, the 9600K has
better overclock potential, though you will need to factor in decent cooling if you want
to get either of these chips to 5GHz or above. Although the 9600K is better in a pure value
sense, it’s going to perform slower as a result, and more so in thread heavy applications
compared to gaming due to the lower core count, so you’ll have to decide if it’s worth
paying more for the extra cores. Based on current prices, the 9700K costs 49% more money
than the 9600K, and we’re only really seeing a similar boost to performance in multicore
workloads like Blender at stock. While 6 cores is fine at the moment for most
games, some games tested here are clearly seeing a benefit from 8 cores, and it wasn’t
long ago that 4 cores was plenty for gaming. As this trend of higher core count CPUs continues
games will also continue to eventually take advantage of these resources, so I would expect
to see the 9700K performing even better than the 9600K in a year or two from now with modern
games. If you only care about the best gaming performance
today, the 9700K will give you that, and due to the extra cores it’s also more likely
to last longer too, however it does cost more, the 9600K definitely offers better value and
still performs quite well, so it’s going to come down to your needs and budget. Otherwise
outside of gaming, for multicore workloads such as 3D rendering and the like, the extra
cores can be a big advantage, although as we’ve seen in my other comparisons, Ryzen
based CPUs are better bang for buck there anyway. Let me know which CPU you’d pick and why
down in the comments, the Intel i5-9600K, or more expensive i7-9700K with two extra
cores? I’m really interested to hear which you’d go for. I’ve got more CPU comparisons
on the way, so if you’re new to the channel you’ll definitely want to get subscribed
for those as well as future tech videos like this one.

68 thoughts to “Intel i5-9600K vs i7-9700K Comparison – 6 or 8 CPU Cores?”

  1. I had 9700k at 5.2 Ghz, sold it while it still had some value and got 9600k for now until the 9900ks prices come down.

    The chips overclock great and can be cooled by 240m AIO but due to low thread count experience 1% low dips that cause micro stutters. Not in all titles but in some it might be noticeable.

  2. I just took out my 9900K out of my gaming PC and used it for a Hackintosh . I replaced it with a 9600K @5GHz and can’t tell the difference for gaming 1440P

  3. I know this is off topic from the video, but, how will you know how high your srbg is in %? Like, the Acer Nitro 5 laptop having 69% srbg.

  4. Perfect test.

    I have chance to buy 9900k for a cheap price from a friend but I really don't know if it worth to upgrade before new Ryzen cpus come this summer.

  5. Hello, Jarrod! Thx for all! Graphics of Cinebench isnt correct…4040 marks for Cinebench R15 doesnt real, this score for Cinebench r20…

  6. Does that mean if you play a game that uses lots of threads on a 9700K, and your RGB software or Windows Update decides to have a lulz at you, you only get the 9600K performance

  7. jarrod you, idk if you missed the 8700K which is 6c-12 threads retails now for 370$ lol
    & me myself would go for the cheaper one though cores are important…good rev as always,

  8. I honestly do not like either product. For me its Ryzen or 9900K. In the few cases where 9700K beats 9900K, disable HT and the 9900K will win due to more cache. Otherwise for 99% of gamers and 80% of prosumers, just go AMD.

  9. I can get a 9700k for $300 at my local Microcenter, but will be going with a 3700X for around the same price. Thread deficient CPU's never hold up well in the long term (look at 4C/4T CPU's vs 4C/8T CPU's).

  10. Hello Jarrod, have you heard of the Lenovo Y7000 SE 2019 edition with GTX 1660 Ti? It's available in Malaysia but can't seem to find any reviews on it. Really in a dilemma on Y7000se, Y540, Dell G5 15 ,MSI GL65 and Nitro 7. 😔

  11. I would choose the I7-9700K if I was building a PC right now. It is true that the I5-9600K is good enough for most 1080p gaming. But at the rate at which AMD has been increasing core count and thread count, I would feel more at ease paying the extra money for 2 more cores. Look at the I5-2500K and I7-2600k now. Yeah they are both getting long in the tooth, but the I7-2600K is still somewhat relevant in modern games whereas the I5-2500K is prone to stuttering.

  12. Hey Jarrod I have a budget of 1000$ and I'm confused should I pick a gaming laptop and get the portability advantage or should I put that money into a powerful gaming PC wich one would be the best

  13. 6 cores vs 8 cores vs 2 resolutions vs multiple settings vs stock & OC.
    This isn't your grandma's scaling video 🤘
    Fantastic work, Jarrod. Thanks.
    Any plans for something like a 6c/6t vs 6c/12t comparison?

  14. i prefer my 8700k @4.8ghz all cores over both. its only 30 dollars more for 12 threads. Less physical cores than the 9700k but the thread count makes the difference, great for gaming and productivity.

  15. Thank you for the amazing content and sorry to comment on a completely unrelated video but I need your help.
    I have a full budget of 2000usd stritched max to 2250usd
    I need a thin and light laptop (for school and gaming rtx and i7-9750h) a mouse a keyboard a pair of headphones a track pad and a back bag
    I'm really into Razer's last edition 15 9th gen processors with 2060 rtx but the best price I could find is 1900usd
    I searched more and the best choice I could find is the Triton 500 9th gen rtx 2060. but I got lost between the pt515-51-73eg and the pt515-51-75ph and I couldn't know why there's 200usd difference in price.
    I'm not a very knowledgeable so I need your help with what laptop should I buy and if you have recommendations other than these 2 I mentioned plus please recommend very good peripheral. Thank you

  16. Hey guys!
    I'm gonna buy the GA502 this Christmas so my question is that upgrading the wifi card on the Zypherus GA502DU will void the warranty or not?

  17. I choose a processor for the compact mini ITX workstation with cooling CRYORIG C7 cupper in the Sentry 2.0 case, which is better than the i9-9700 or i9-9900 without hyper trading. (The prospect of having an extra 8 threads in stock if I really need it seems tempting)
    Or maybe the cooling in the form of CRYORIG C7 Cu in the Sentry 2.0 case will not be able to cope with the i9-9900k without hyper trading or i7-9700k in stock and it is better to take the i5-9600k?
    In fact, you can render using the GPU (2080ti) and maybe the i5-9600k will be enough for comfortable work.

  18. Hello Jarrod, I have a question about the Y540 you recommend : Does the cooling pad combined to the undervolt help to reduce the overall noise ? Fans go crazy on any game so it's a bit disturbing…

    Thanks man

  19. I really regret buying a i5 9600K. Im already pushing it to its limits. I do video editing, video rendering, and moderate to heavy multitasking. I have it overclocked to 5Ghz. I really need a better CPU. Im thinking about getting the new AMD CPU.

  20. Interesting video. So what does the i7 have that the i5 doesn't other then two more cores. In terms of internal instructions sets etc… great video 👍👍

  21. I got a 6700k and will change it now. I use it for streaming and gaming.(csgo and fortnite) the i5 is enough for good gaming/streaming experience ?

  22. How is the 9700K compared to 9900K regarding temps? Running both 4.6 Ghz is the 9700K cooler than the 9900K by a significant amount or its just a few C cooler which is negligible?

  23. Dones't it feel to you that INTEL cheats all the way? Like they are able to make the i5 and i7 identify what is going on and not perform as good as it should just to define clearly that their top of the line is better then the one just below? I don't trust intel. IF AMD keep it up I will never buy intel again.

  24. hi jarrod. I noticed that many laptop model offer 2 CPU options: core i7 9750H and core i5 9300H. I am just wondering if spending more money on i7 variant will give significant performance boost. Thank

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