Intel I7 9700K

Cores 8
Memory Speed 3600 MHz

Even though Intel removed hyperthreading from their mainstream processors in the Coffee Lake series, still they are worth considering in 2021. I appreciate this decision as previously, i7 7700K offers four cores that are not enough for modern games. The i7 9700K is a much smarter choice to consider over the pricy Intel Core i9 9900K but only when you don’t need that high performance in games or apps.

The main reason to consider this processor for a mid-range build is i9 9900K costs around $500, and that CPU needs a high-end cooler and a beefy motherboard to run, while with this one, the case is quite different. You can pair it with any budget-friendly Z390 chipset motherboard and overclock it with some mid-range cooler, and this will not put the burden on the overall budget of your build.

Though pricing is a real problem for this problem, the competing Ryzen 7 2700X comes at 325$ while this one costs around 385$, making the users look for alternatives. Also, Ryzen 7 2700X comes with a bundled cooler, too, while this one lacks, so of course, budget users will prefer AMD offers to afford some good graphics card for their build as they can save much with that option.

The eight cores and eight threads of this processor are enough to handle any latest title or multi-threaded workload. The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz, while at boost clock, it reaches up to 4.7 GHz, but for that, you need a Z390 board and a good CPU cooler. The TDP of this processor is 95W, meaning that you can easily overclock it with coolers like NH-D15 or Deepcool Assassins 3.

The i7 9700K has 12 MB of cache, which is the same as the previous generation, but the last generation had fewer cores than this one, meaning that it will have less cache per core. The single-core performance of this processor is exceptional when it comes to multi-thread work like 3D rendering, etc., as we’ve found it much better in them than the competitors.

Where this processor stands behind the competitors is the value as the Ryzen 7 2700x comes with a bundled cooler, were; for this processor, you must have to go with some aftermarket option. Also, in B550 and X5700 motherboards, you will have PCI 4.0 slots where this motherboard and even the next generation also lack them, but we hope that Rocket Lake CPUs will support that.

Pros
  • Most powerful performance.
  • Super-fast.
  • Perfect for gaming.
Cons
  • Gets hot often.

Intel I5 9600K

Cores 6
Clock 2.9 Ghz

Intel Core i5 9600K's performance improvement compared to the last generation is not much to merit attention, but Intel has still improved much in their Coffee Lake processors. Previously Intel processors come with four cores only till the seventh generation. Now, the company cut off hyperthreading and increase two actual core, which I appreciate much as modern games demand more cores.

When it comes to raw gaming performance, this processor is what you need, but those looking for multi-core performance will go with the AMD alternatives. The great thing about this processor is that it comes with an unlocked multiplier means you can overclock it at its full potential, but you must need a good motherboard and some moderate cooler, which you can check out there.

Intel increased the core count of their CPUs by 50% to match the performance of the first generation of AMD Ryzen processors, but the latest round of Ryzen CPUs are still superior. They again increased the cores of ninth-generation i7 and i9 CPUs but not in the i5 series. This CPU is slightly cheaper than the Ryzen 7 2700, but you need to know there is AMD CPU that comes with a bundled cooler while this one lacks. 

As mentioned above, the Intel Core i5 9600K comes with six cores and six threads enough for mid-range gaming. The base clock of this processor is 3.7 GHz which at turbo boost the clocks reaches up to 7.6 GHz, but for that, you must need a Z series motherboard which is quite expensive as compared to other chipsets and also a good cooler too so that you can get maximum out of it.

The Intel Core i5 9600K is similar to the i5 8600K, but few things changed because of the generation difference. No doubt it's a great gaming processor for this price, but the one that Ryzen 5 26000x or Ryzen 7 2700x is offering when overclock can't justify its price. Also, you may need to compromise on the multi-thread work performance, which makes the users look for other options.

Overall, it's a great gaming processor for the price we are paying for it, and with modern titles, you can easily achieve good frame rates. Though choosing between AMD and Intel is quite difficult as it depends on what software you have to run on the machine most frequently. Gamers who don't want to go above 1920x1080 can go with this chip, while those looking for more value consider Intel.

Pros
  • Perfect for streaming/video editing.
  • Exclusive performance.
  • More cores.
Cons
  • Expensive.

Intel I5 9400F

Cores 8
Clock 3 GHz

Budget gaming is impossible without the Intel i5 9400F as it's a decently priced CPU but gives great performance. This mainstream processor competes with the Ryzen 5 2600/X, while one provides great raw gaming while the other gives multi-core performance. Users can choose between two different versions where one offers integrated graphics while the other lacks and have a slight price difference.

Intel cut off hyperthreading from their mainstream and mid-range processors and increased the actual number of cores, and most of us appreciate this decision. Previously Intel i7 7700K comes with only four cores while these processors offer six cores, and in the 9th generation, Intel again revised the core count. The six cores and threads of this processor are enough for any modern game or application.

Most of the time, users have problems with the cooling solutions of Intel CPUs as they lack the bundled cooler, but luckily this one comes with it. The stock Intel cooler is good to run the processor at its base clock, but when you are looking to run the CPU at boost clocks, you need a good aftermarket cooler. Also, this CPU lacks overclocking, so you don't need an expensive cooler, but Hyper 212 Evo is enough.

One more thing is running this processor on the boost clocks needs a Z series motherboard like Z370 or Z360 depends on your budget, while budget-friendly chipset motherboards like B365 or H310 can't get this job done. The multiplier of this processor is locked, which means you can't overclock this processor, and for that reason, you don't have to go with some expensive motherboard.

The base clock of this processor is 2.9 GHz, while at boost, it goes way up to 4.1 GHz, and it's just a 100 MHz clock boost compared to the previous generation. Though the great thing is the price of both i5 8400 and 9400F is the same, which makes it appealing to consider the 9400F.  The i5 9400 & 9400F replaces the old generation processors as they are fast, cheap, and offer excellent value.

A decently priced processor with a cheap motherboard and bundled cooler makes a perfect budget-friendly build. Intel i5 9400F is a great gaming processor; however, this seems a bit low when you see modern gaming requirements. Also, the lack of overclocking makes users consider some other options as all of the AMD competitors come factory unlocked and give users a great advantage.

Pros
  • Fastest speed.
  • Stunning performance.
  • Affordable price for the features.
Cons
  • No integrated graphics.

Intel I9 9900K

Cores 8
Clock 5 GHz

Even though it’s been two years since Intel released this processor, it still has a gold medal in its neck just because of its performance and overclocking performance. Intel again revised the core counts of their 9th generation processors, and i7 9700K has now two more cores totalling 8c/8t. In contrast, the i9 9900K has 8c/16t with hyperthreading enabled, offering better performance in games and applications.

Increasing the actual number of cores again in the new generation is somewhere good as when it comes to the latest games; they demand more performance while it also makes the processor future proof. Hyperthreading was not available to any processor in these two generations, but with i9 9900K, Intel enabled that, and it competes for the AMD alternatives at doing multi-threads tasks.

The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz, but surprisingly it reaches 5 GHz on turbo boost, and the unlocked multiplier allows you to overclock the processor in the way you want. There are several variants of this processor, including the 9900K; the simple one offers to overclock 9900KF, which lacks the integrated graphics, and there are few others that you can check out on the Intel suffix guide.

The overclocking of this processor is not possible with some cheap components (motherboard and cooler), and you must need to go with the premium options. Although we have got a dedicated guide on motherboards and coolers for this processor, still mentioning there that it’s only working with the Intel Z390 chipset motherboards while with cheap chipset boards like B365, its performance will be garbage.

Those users who are willing to run this processor on base clocks can consider coolers like Hyper 212 Black, which are budget-friendly, but it needs at least the NH-D15 or a 280mm AIO for overclocking. One thing that might disappoint the users is that this processor lacks the bundled cooler, and if you are even willing to run it at stock clocks, you must need an aftermarket cooling solution.

Overall it’s a great processor to consider, but only when you don’t care about the expensive components to run it and not working on a budget-friendly or mid-range build. Some AMD competitors to this processor offer similar or better performance for the same price, and they even don’t need premium stuff for overclocking. However still, it’s the best LGA 1151 CPU to consider in 2021.

Pros
  • Best performance for games.
  • Reliable performance.
  • Long-term service.
Cons
  • Gets a bit hot when it gets overload with work.

Intel I3 9100F

Cores 4
Clock 3 GHz

Then last on our list is this Intel I3 9100F that does not contain more cores but has a mind-blowing performance in all circumstances. It is powerful enough in supporting all your heavy-duty tasks and even some low-profile gaming, but the best thing about this CPU is that it is highly compatible with the LGA 1151 socket. 

The maximum support of this CPU for the speed is up to 4.2 GHz and comes with a maximum of 512 GBs of storage. This storage capacity is extremely great and widest to support the well-functioning of the CPU; it can help you with your day-to-day smoother working operations without ever letting the CPU heat up or even slow down in the speed. 

Moreover, the CPU comes with the need for discrete graphics installation that can help it boost the performance to an even more extent. This boost in performance is much needed whenever you are video-streaming or performing some video editing or video rendering tasks. 

Just like any other powerfully performing CPU, this Intel I3 9100F also comes with strong support for the Intel 300 Series chipset-based motherboards. These motherboards increase the CPU in its performance even further and help it to satisfy its users even better. These 300 Series chipsets include Intel B360 Chipset, Intel Z390 Chipset, Intel Q370 Chipset, Intel H310 Chipset, Intel H370 Chipset, and Intel Z370 Chipset. So if you have a motherboard with any of these chipsets, you can enjoy the optimal performance of this CPU for sure. 

However, there is only one thing that lags in this COU, and that is the BIOS update. You need to update the BIOS before ever installing the motherboard to check the compatibility between the two. An updated BIOS is an essential thing in any CPU that helps it to be better compatible with the motherboard and help it to function even better and amazingly. So, if this CPU doesn't come with an updated BIOS, doing the thing might help you enjoy the flawless compatibility of your PC components.

Pros
  • Great build for discrete graphics card.
  • Affordable price.
  • Needs budget friendly components.
Cons
  • Low power.
  • Doesn't support overclocking.