Review: Intel Core i7 9700 & i9 9900 (Non-K)

i7 8700 Revisited?


The 9th Generation of Intel CPUs perform really well even with its "old", third revision 14nm node which Intel has drastically improved and technically, the densest 14nm node, dubbed as "14nm++".

With the i9 9900K and i7 9700K being in the spotlights and getting all the recognition, people tend to missed out on their pretty affordable siblings, the locked Non-K version. Well, we are going to have a look at this two chips and see how well do they stack against their better counterpart.

There are several changes that you will need to be aware of as you can see highlighted in the table above.

These non-K variant are obviously locked, and you may not be able to toy around with the clockspeed especially if you are an extreme overclocker. And not to forget, the RAM speed which is actually locked at 2666MHz.

The Turbo for i9 9900 works exactly like the i9 9900K and you can enjoy playing games with comparable performance as it boost to 5.0 GHz on 2 cores. For the i7 9700 however, on the other hand, suffers a slightly lower Turbo clock with 200MHz lower at 4.7 GHz on 1 core compared to 4.9 GHz that the K version enjoys.

Frankly enough, both processors will work well on a B365/H370 and Z370 motherboard thanks to the 65W TDP. And that's pretty much it.

Test Setup

The test setup. We are pitting them against their greatest sibling, the

Intel Core i9 9900K.

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula

RAM: 16GB G.Skill TridentZ Royal 3600MHz

Graphics Card: ASUS ROG MATRIX Platinum RTX 2080Ti

Power Supply: FSP Aurum 850W Platinum

Cooling: ASUS ROG Ryujin 360 AIO

Benchmarks: dGPU - Games (FHD 1920 x 1080)

We tested on 1920 x 1080 resolution as the CPU scaling is clearly visible. Why not 720p? Well, realistically, nobody would game at 720p when they could afford an RTX 2080Ti. Also, 1080p is the standard for most 144Hz monitors and you will realize that what I am showing here is the effect of raw CPU performance. 2K resolution is much more GPU bound and 1-3 FPS difference is not what I aimed for.

3DMark Time Spy

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Battlefield V


The i9-9900 non-K version have been released for quite a while with pretty much identical specs to the i9-9900K. However, it is locked for overclocking. Hence, draws only 65W TDP compared to the K counterpart which has 95W TDP. The big decision for you as a buyer is whether you need the overclocking capabilities or not. If you have no budget and just want the best then you may proceed with the K (or the KF/KS) variant. It is up for you to decide whether the extra $$$ is justified for several FPS gains in games.

If you don’t care for overclocking, tight on budget and want it to work just fine, vanilla, straight-of-the-box and want the best stock processor for gaming or video editing, then the i9 9900 and i7 9700 are worth a look. The specs for both the i9-9900 and i7 9700 are good enough to play any game on the market right now with ease without having to worry about bottlenecking other parts.

Right now both the i9 9900 and the i7 9700 are a good deal if you wish to squeeze the extra $$$ on other parts.

The i9 9900 is available for RM 1999 while the i7 9700 sits at RM 1499.

The advantage that the i9 have over the i7 is hyper-threading. The i7 processors have 8 cores and 8 threads. the i9 have 8 cores and 16 threads. If thread counts does not matter to you but overclocking is important, you may go for the i7 9700K.

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