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Confused about the reaction to the 9900K

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JimmyBoyUSA 4 months ago

So I want to preface by saying I too think the 9900K is overpriced for what it is, and I think Intel could be doing a better job for their customers. However, it is important to remember that nearly every company in the world is pretty self-serving to themselves/stockholders.

After reading countless posts, the general consensus on this site is that the 9900K is a complete waste of time and no one should be buying it due to better priced options available from AMD and Intel’s own lineup. The thing is… you know the 9900K is going to sell like hotcakes.

I think most people on the site are getting hung up on performance/price ratio. When you look at the 9900K this way, then it is a bad deal sure. The issue is, when has this ever-stopped consumers? Why spend $100K on Porsche when you can buy a $60K BMW, why buy a $10K Rolex over a $3K Omega, why do women buy $3k designer handbags when you can buy a $200 one that looks just as good? People that can afford these things don’t care about an extra $150. We live in a world where PC builders spending over $100 in RGB fans is not rare.

When you have a $2k high end gaming build, that extra $150 easily gets lost in the wash. The 9900K is not good value for money but it is very likely going to be the fastest mainstream 8Core/16T CPU available and people will buy it for that.

Just remember the great thing about the free market is that people can vote with their wallets, people stop buying this stuff Intel will change. Until that happens we will all be paying a premium.

Comments Sorted by:

democrachi 3 points 4 months ago

It always comes down to not being a matter of whether they should, but that they can and subsequently will. There's something to be said for the people who always want the very very best, regardless of necessity, and thereby inevitably will gobble up whatever new releases come out the moment they're available to buy.

You can already hear the snobs polishing their fingernails going " Well I have a fully overclocked 9900k, quad 2080ti SLI, fully submerged liquid cooling, pish-posh-look-how-big-my-wallet-is-are-you-impressed-yet?"

Now that's not to say that there's no one who wouldn't need something like that, just like there are certainly some people who would need a GTX Titan V for whatever purposes deem it necessary. But as far as the average consumer, gamer, and otherwise, I don't see the 9900k as a practical choice, given performance in comparison to cost, and every day need.

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democrachi 1 point 4 months ago

Well, I guess the "beauty" of a free market is that those people who have the ability to do so can do so.

(just like how I can buy the 9900k cost equivalent of literal poop for no other reason than 'because I can')

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democrachi 1 point 4 months ago

5.0? Dang, you're really cranking the performance on that card, and definitely getting your money's worth if you can hold the CPU stable.

I can't be one to argue though, as I got a i7 4930k free of charge :D (will be posting a completed build soon)

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Moop1337 3 points 4 months ago

I think most of the hate on here is just from the mass of AMD fanboys that seem to populate this forum. I'd consider it a pretty good value, but then again, I tend to feel the vast majority of folks on here are better served given the greater IPC of Intel processors. Too many rigs on here are being suggested to have Ryzen 7 just because it fits the budget, not giving into account it's still bested by the i3 in many games. Not to say that I'm not guilty of it myself, of course.

It's also important to remember that you're saving money by staying on Intel's mainstream platform instead of jumping up to their enthusiast X299 stuff. If you're going to compare it to the 8700k it might look more expensive, but a more accurate comparison would be the 7820x or 6900k, and at that point is where it's more accurate to place within their product stack. I think the frustration is better placed on the i7 9700k for taking away the hyper threading, personally.

Allan_M_Systems 4 points 4 months ago

I tend to feel the vast majority of folks on here are better served given the greater IPC of Intel processors.

Important distinction here is that Intel achieves higher execution throughput to single threads running on a core, especially in software with no architecture specific optimized branches of code. The execution pipeline design and high clock speeds are well optimized for this. Intel seems to be doubling down on this advantage, with the elimination of hyperthreading from more of its product stack. I'm excited about the 9700K. I have no doubt it will become the new standard for gaming performance optimized builds, while the 9900K will become a standard for gaming+streaming optimized builds. The Ryzen alternatives will remain perfectly effective at these tasks with lower performance and price.

The IPC (instruction per clock) of a Zen+ core in total, is actually higher than that of any other X86 CPU design.


Too many rigs on here are being suggested to have Ryzen 7 just because it fits the budget, not giving into account it's still bested by the i3 in many games. Not to say that I'm not guilty of it myself, of course.

I don't think there's anything to feel guilty about there. I think many of us, likely yourself included, understand there is more to gaming performance and experience than the benchmark result. Benchmarks are almost always conducted in ideal conditions on a fresh install with minimal background applications. Real world gaming often takes place with numerous background applications running. In practice, this may translate to the i3 stuttering more, or having a more VARIABLE performance characteristic in actual use. I also think many of us have noticed that machines with 6+ cores these days are proving to be faster and more responsive while doing many other day to day tasks that come with running a PC, like when performing software updates and installations, etc. More cores are being used more and more often these days. Having a bunch of cores and threads has a quality all to its own from a "computing experience" perspective that you sort of have to experience to appreciate.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Agree on the i7...could have easily kept it a 6/12.

Only negative aspect of the 9th gen launch in my eyes.

TheShadowGuy 2 points 4 months ago

Maybe I live under a rock, but the negative reactions I've seen hinge on three points:

  1. Increasing price when they are already getting crushed in value (which can negatively impact mainstream sales, enthusiasts make up a fairly small percentage of the market, and AMD is clawing back marketshare rapidly; overall, this is annoying for enthusiasts who want their money's worth and people who have a stake in Intel).

  2. Blatantly misleading benchmarks, done on commission by a company outside the usual reviewers who do independent benchmarking that are still embargoed.

  3. That Intel is still using a variant of their 14nm process, further delaying their 10 nm parts. That makes this launch look like a floundering response to AMD, changing what they can about what they have like using solder, rather than a real next gen launch. 8 cores is cool and all, but it almost seems like an 8900k rather than actually new products.

The i9-9900k will sell, and it will sell well. I can already think of recommendations I've made previously where this would slot in nicely instead, stuff where you want a mix of content creation tasks to where 6c/12t isn't quite enough, but the IPC and clock speed losses of Skylake-X make it less than ideal. But the top end enthusiast processors are a small part of the market, and for every one of these that sells, AMD is selling multiple Ryzen chips and preparing for their truly next-gen launch.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

The only thing I have an issue with the 9th gen launch, is dropping hyperthreading from the i7. I think that’s complete BS.

In that sense I feel like they are pushing you into the i9 if you want a thread heavy CPU.

TheShadowGuy 1 point 4 months ago

It's product differentiation. Compare to the Ryzen 1700x vs 1800x: why buy an 1800x? Intel wants not only to sell these 9900k processors but use them as a marketing tactic. If the i7 was the same core and thread count, it makes the higher end product look worse.

Besides, the product stack has transitioned from the older and narrower range of 2c/2t, 2c/4t, 4c/4t, 4c/8t parts to having 2c, 2c/4t, 4c, 6c, 8c, 8c/16t. It's a broader range, and since they added more cores to the top end, it only makes sense to add a higher tier.

Then the top two tiers have been differentiated by hyperthreading for a long time, so it makes sense that the now second tier parts don't have it.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

They could have kept the i7 as 6c/12T though and it still would have stood on its own just fine.

I think they were worried it might eat into their i9 sales though...

TheShadowGuy 1 point 4 months ago

And then you barely differentiate from the last 'gen.' The big importance of the second tier and third tier is in the mainstream: justifying hyperthreading to an average user is more difficult than physical cores.

Also, compare the i5-8600k to the i7-7700k. While I'd expect the 8700k to win in heavily multithreaded workloads, for roughly 8 threads and below I'd expect the new i7 to win quite easily. 8 threads is pretty significant; there are a ton of programs and workloads out there that prefer a mix of clock speed and cores that probably wouldn't see much improvement from the new i7 to the i9 simply because they don't scale that well at these high thread counts.

SubNauticaWaterWorld47 1 point 4 months ago

Sure people are making 2,000 builds and if you want the absolute best gaming processor Intel really is your only choice. However, when you consider that the majority of the PC market is not making 2,000 dollar PCs you can see where people are coming from when they criticize the value of the 9900k.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

You’re right, but it’s important to note the vast majority of people don’t drive Porsche’s or wear Rolex’s either, but there is a still a huge market for these products.

NerdyTurd 1 point 4 months ago

You're also right, but just keep in mind that PCs vs cars and watches are vastly different, because you won't be taking your PC with you everywhere you go.

It's a valid argument, sure, but Rolexes and Porsches are seen as items of personal wealth that can be worn or drove everywhere you go. They're more of a public display of wealth and money than a PC that sits on your table at home.

What I'm trying to say is just don't compare them too much. :)

gorkti200 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

The thing is… you know the 9900K is going to sell like hotcakes.

Nobody is claiming it won't sell like hotcakes. This seems to be the only thing you are confused on. Just because something WILL sell, doesn't mean it's smart. Pointing out that it is stupid, is not a claim that it won't sell.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Is that not contradictory though? It it were truly ‘stupid’ wouldn't they struggle to sell enough of them to make it a good profit?

It makes me think of Apple, with $5k MacBook pros that should be half the price based on the hardware inside. Apple the now Trillion $ company.

gorkti200 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

lol yeah let me clarify: I am not saying it is "stupid" for the company (like Apple for example). Clearly, Apple's pricing is working for them! And clearly, Intel's has too, being worth tens of billions themselves and an industry leader.

It is stupid for consumers. And as you rightly highlight in your OP's largest paragraph, something being stupidly-overpriced has never stopped consumers before. Those of us who care about price and performance are clearly the minority of consumers.

TheShadowGuy 2 points 4 months ago

something being stupidly overpriced has never stopped consumers

Like Beats. Brand name fashion products. Expensive greeting cards. Movie theatre popcorn. Diamonds. Bottled water. Etc.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Ah OK.

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JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

You're assuming that all consumers are well informed and opinionated about all these details. And that's just not the case.

Nope, hence my comment that $5K MacBooks are a thing. I believe most companies prey on customers not being informed.

And you're assuming all this consensus hate projects evenly onto everyone who might buy a CPU.

Nope, I still think it will sell well, and be the fastest 8C/16T CPU on the market (that will carry a premium).

If the 9900k had been priced the same as the 8700k people would be cheering in the streets. And the 9700k, people can't decide whether it's better or worse than the 8700k, because more cores, fewer threads, that's a conundrum, to be sure

You nailed this one... This is why I think most people are up in arms.

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JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Yes, in that sense I did already know the answer, but it makes a good talking point. I was hoping to get a better insight into why people are so worked up over it.

I'm not trying to violate anyone's views. Pointing out that people would be better served on a performance/cost basis by other CPUs is exactly what these forums are all about.

I'm seeing more than that though, similar to your earlier point it's almost like people are annoyed that Intel dared price something out of their range.

yawumpus 1 point 4 months ago

Intel hasn't proven that they can produce enough chips for it to "sell like hotcakes". Which is bad because this is still 14++++nm and not their "barely produces anything" 10nm (when TSMC is producing iPhone chips in 7nm). The price also seems to be high enough to make sure that they don't have to produce many of them.

Granted, I'd expect them to sell more i9s than AMD sells Ryzens, so they will still make a ton of profit, but until they get their manufacturing under control I don't see how they are going to maintain "Intel margins".

mack_au 4 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

People who can't afford high end parts will always come up with reasons not to get them to make them feel better.

gorkti200 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

I could buy a metric fuckton of i9-9900K's right now without any consequence (except an extremely disappointed girlfriend, probably) and I'm still going to tell you and everyone else it's a poor investment. This is a terrible argument.

mack_au 4 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

"Investment". I'm not buying an investment, I'm buying a computer part.

You can say that the part is expensive compared to other parts, but the part itself is basically a known quantity in terms of it's performance, so for some people (like me) it is a perfectly acceptable amount of money.

The difference between what it cost for my 9900k and what it would cost for a 2700x, is the equivalent of $1.85 USD per week when I've begun saving money per week after I finished my current build 4 years ago.

Sure, you might be able to buy loads, but you can hardly disagree that there is a huge amount of the community who are deep in the budget category.

The AMD fanboys are dumping on the benchmarks like it'll actually make a difference to Intel's sales, and other people are complaining about the cost because they've got nothing better to do.

I can't afford a $500,000 car, why would I waste my energy bitching about those cars value?

TheShadowGuy 2 points 4 months ago

I'm not buying an investment, I'm buying a computer part.

It is an investment though? You pay for the part based on its performance, and you expect a return through that performance, whether it be in gaming experience or professional workloads.

gorkti200 3 Builds 3 points 4 months ago

^ Everything is an investment. From a certain point of view.

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gorkti200 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

Yeah. I think a modest bump over the i7-8700K was expected for the i9-9900K, and would have been received better, but that sticker shock is blowing people away.

TheShadowGuy 2 points 4 months ago

"Pay more for the i9?! How about... NEIN!"

-Consumers who like bad puns, probably

gorkti200 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago


shreduhsoreus 6 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

In multithreaded workloads Intel's HT enabled chips seem to get around 30-40% performance over their non-HT equivalents(basing this mostly off of older i5/i7 and Pentium/i3). Using this rough estimate, those 6 extra virtual cores provide similar performance to 2 of their real cores. But...generalizations.

I'd honestly venture to say the 8700K and 9700K are going to trade blows depending on the task. But then there's the fact that you get delidded performance on the 9700K without actually delidding since they're(allegedly) going back to a bonded IHS. Overclocked 9700K's are probably going to smack the hell out of the 8700K(I say this because I expect the former to achieve higher clocks and have lower temperatures).

shreduhsoreus 6 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

I have high end parts and I still think most of it is a rip off...

Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Much it falls on influencers reacting to Intel's cherry picked benchmarks out of the PT testing, and how it shows certain platform issues related to a single one of the four platforms tested.

PT uses median frame rates where most reviewers use averages, it throws out outliers both high and low and looks at the majority of frames delivered are running at.

PT ran the memory at rated speeds 2666mhz for Intel and 2933mhz for AMD and to ensure maximum bandwidth at those speeds they run fully populated dual ranked DIMM's on all platforms.

The use of the stock Wraith Prism on the 2700X.

And the use of Game Mode on AM4 which PT has already covered that they found mixed results with it on and off in their title selection. (They are retesting to show without so in follow up expect both lower and higher frame rated on AM4 from them)

What is sad is these same influencers have for the most part never really covered the issues related to using dual ranked DIMM's on AM4, or fully populating RAM slots, Game Mode for AM4 and its performance hits and/or gains, and if the Wraith Prism holds back a 2700X with a CCX disabled.

So their argument against them is debatable since they have never acknowledged them.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

So part of the reason I started this thread was because of the heavy downvoting you received on the 9900k pre order thread. Your points were pretty valid but it was almost like you were being attacked for defending the 9900K, even though you weren’t really doing that!

gorkti200 3 Builds 3 points 4 months ago

For my part, I downvoted his response to Roller because he said it was AMD's own fault... that Intel published suspect results, from testers who had "no clue about how to set up a Ryzen system". That is some pretty tortured logic to try and support that conclusion.

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

I should have said I agree with his points 'for the most part'. Ha

Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

And as I posted there AMD agreed with the way the systems were configured as the best way to run a system without manually tuning the timings on a single ranked DIMM.

Conclusion #1: Dual rank DIMMs (yellow) offered the best performance amongst “set and forget” (light blue, orange, yellow) memory configured automatically by XMP profiles.

Conclusion #1a: But the increased overclocking headroom of single rank modules was more than enough to overpower the benefits of rank interleaving, so manually-tuned single rank DDR4-3200 and 3466 won the day (dark blue and green).


Very few users ever bother to go in and manually handle timings and overclocking for RAM, they set a preset profile and let it run. Which is what the company running the benchmarks did, the looser timings applied on dual rank DIMMs are a platform problem across AMDs entire line-up which was omitted in the above breakdown which ran both single and dual ranked DIMMs at CL14.

And we now know that the above didn't happen they used Asus's D.O.C.P. timings for the kits, but it doesn't change that there is a very real issue with AM4 motherboards running fully populated slots reverting to worse timings, or that Dual Ranked DIMMs offer better bandwidth at the same timings as Single Ranked DIMMs.

Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

The problem is they didn't use AMD's playbook for how to test systems which doesn't make it totally unfair or biased testing just different, and to build all the testing around a single platform of the five tested is going to have the testing biased in favor of that single platform at the expense of the other four.

Now if they had done something like testing the X299/X399 in dual channel mode to be "Fair" compared to X470/Z390/Z370 then there is an issue.

What is kinda funny though is of all the platforms tested the Z390 was running a budget MSI Z390-A Pro.


JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Points like this are why I was surprised by the reaction to your analysis.

These things get ignored, but points like the stock cooler on the Ryzen are brought up. You ask anywhere else on this forum if the Wraith cooler is any good, most will say it's a solid/great cooler. So did it's use actually impact the results in anyway? Probably not.

Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Even something like Game Mode use when you have titles like War Thunder, CS.GO, and WoW which don't like high latency and don't multi thread is going to be hit and miss.

Biggest thing many are forgetting is they are using median frame rates not averages so you don't have the high and low spikes effecting frame rates, and something like Hardware Unboxed testing is comparing different ways of measuring frame rates and doesn't really apply.

M0RKILLZ.twitch 1 point 4 months ago

I'm not very knowledgeable, but I would say that it would be a great CPU for an all-in-one gaming/streaming rig.

I recently bought a 2700x, and I did so with the knowledge that it wouldn't ever go much beyond 4GHz. Having an 8 core cpu @5GHz would be awesome, though I'm not sure how much of a difference that would make. And of course there's the fact that it costs 2x as much.

Should I feel buyers remorse for the 2700x?

JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 3 points 4 months ago

Not at all the 2700x is an amazing CPU.

Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

The updated review is up with both Game and creator mode testing on the 2700X and they added what timings they set the RAM at.


shreduhsoreus 6 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

Well, now you don't have to delid it and replace the toothpaste underneath. So that's a good $50 value right there between the delidding tools and liquid metal :V

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JimmyBoyUSA submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

My point was that AMD and Intel are no different in that sense.

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