Intel Core i9-9900KF slips to just $440 over on Amazon

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Intel in January launched the Core i9-9900KF, an eight core / 16 thread CPU that’s essentially no different from the standard 9900K save for the fact that it doesn’t include integrated graphics. If you’re already planning to pair it with a capable discrete graphics card, you’d have no need for a built-in GPU and could thus save some cash, right? Well, not exactly.

As PC Gamer highlights, Intel priced the chip nearly on par with the standard 9900K so there wasn’t much reason to buy it… until now.

Intel’s Core i9-9900KF is currently going for just $439.99 over on Amazon. That’s $50 less than the standard price of the 9900K, making it an attractive offering that may be too good for some to pass up.

Built on a 14-nanometer process, the Core i9-9900KF features a base clock of 3.6GHz with a max Turbo frequency of 5.0GHz. It packs 16MB of cache and a TDP of 95W.

Our very own Steven Walton took an extensive look at the i9-9900K late last year for those interested in gauging how the CPU handles various productivity and gaming workloads.

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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Needs to be less then $400 to be worthwhile.

If they had lowered the pricing I would have considered the 9900K or 9900KF instead of purchasing the 3900X.

I'm not going to spend the same amount of money for <3% more gaming performance on my 1440p 144 Hz monitor. Not while loosing approx 40% multi-threaded performance, the lower power consumption, and lack of security holes of the 3900X.

For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games plus wins in productivity and comes in much cheaper. It also includes a cooler.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Needs to be less then $400 to be worthwhile.

If they had lowered the pricing I would have considered the 9900K or 9900KF instead of purchasing the 3900X.

I'm not going to spend the same amount of money for <3% more gaming performance on my 1440p 144 Hz monitor. Not while loosing approx 40% multi-threaded performance, the lower power consumption, and lack of security holes of the 3900X.

For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games plus wins in productivity and comes in much cheaper. It also includes a cooler.
But that's only at stock isn't it? Factor in overclocking and doesn't the 9700K or the 9900K beat it outright?
I am referring to gaming specifically, nothing else.
Yes you may need to buy or spend extra for Intel to get that overclock.
 
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Panda218

TS Evangelist
Needs to be less then $400 to be worthwhile.

If they had lowered the pricing I would have considered the 9900K or 9900KF instead of purchasing the 3900X.

I'm not going to spend the same amount of money for <3% more gaming performance on my 1440p 144 Hz monitor. Not while loosing approx 40% multi-threaded performance, the lower power consumption, and lack of security holes of the 3900X.

For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games plus wins in productivity and comes in much cheaper. It also includes a cooler.
Careful there bud you're going to offend some Team blue fanboys ;)

I cannot wait for my 3900x. I had stopped at Microcenter early on the 7th to see if they had stock, but they only had 3700x so I bought directly from AMD. Sadly they use Digital Rivers for shipping so it'll be weeks before I see it :(
 
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amstech

IT Overlord
For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games
Going to have to disagree a little bit.
I mostly agree with you, but in many, many games, over a span of 40 or so, there is quite the difference.
Also, this is talking stock clocks, as the Ryzen is pretty much tapped out, the 8700K, 9700K and 9900K can hit 5.0Ghz-5.3GHz, so the gap would be even higher.
If gaming on a high refresh rate monitor, you will need everything you can get.
From a gaming perspective, the difference is still noticeable - significant.
Here are a few examples from the 3700X review, posting min/max frames, all CPU's obviously at stock clocks.

Hitman 2
9900K = 89/119
3700X = 83/111

World War Z
9900K = 123/151
3700X = 111/135

Far Cry New Dawn
9900K = 96/123
3700X = 88/112

The Division
9900K = 108/172
3700X = 107/158

Shadows Of The Tomb Raider
9900K = 89/123
3700X = 72/102

Battlefield 5
9900K = 125/168
3700X = 107/155

Total War: Three Kingdoms
9900K = 107/128
3700X = 106/123

Ryzen has closed the gap, and they are no doubt a very capable and good performing CPU for PC gaming enthusiasts. But if your running an 8700K @ 5.2GHz, when it comes to gaming, your leaving Ryzen in the dust.
 
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fluffydestroyer

TS Booster
For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games
Going to have to disagree a little bit.
I mostly agree with you, but in many, many games, over a span of 40 or so, there is quite the difference.
Also, this is talking stock clocks, as the Ryzen is pretty much tapped out, the 8700K, 9700K and 9900K can hit 5.0Ghz-5.3GHz, so the gap would be even higher.
If gaming on a high refresh rate monitor, you will need everything you can get.
From a gaming perspective, the difference is still noticeable - significant.
Here are a few examples from the 3700X review, posting min/max frames, all CPU's obviously at stock clocks.

Hitman 2
9900K = 89/119
3700X = 83/111

World War Z
9900K = 123/151
3700X = 111/135

Far Cry New Dawn
9900K = 96/123
3700X = 88/112

The Division
9900K = 108/172
3700X = 107/158

Shadows Of The Tomb Raider
9900K = 89/123
3700X = 72/102

Battlefield 5
9900K = 125/168
3700X = 107/155

Total War: Three Kingdoms
9900K = 107/128
3700X = 106/123

Ryzen has closed the gap, and they are no doubt a very capable and good performing CPU for PC gaming enthusiasts. But if your running an 8700K @ 5.2GHz, when it comes to gaming, your leaving Ryzen in the dust.
Uhh Intel turbo boost will boost the clock speed AS NEEDED. Its not because you see up to 5.0ghz that you're cpu will run all the time at 5.0Ghz, thats a false impression that I see from a lot of gamers or people.

Also the cpu's you mention goes goes up to 4.7ghz (8700k), 5.0Ghz(9900k), 4.9GHz (9700k). So certain conditions must be met of course and the turbo isn't a flip switch you can just turn on and suddenly you get 5ghz speed. So where is the 5.3 you mention ?

Maybe its just an opinion but above 80...its barely noticable and not worth the extra cash which is usually double or triple at that point. So for the money and performance cause I'm cheap, I'll go with AMD but thats just me.
 
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amstech

IT Overlord
Uhh Intel turbo boost will boost the clock speed AS NEEDED. Its not because you see up to 5.0ghz that you're cpu will run all the time at 5.0Ghz, thats a false impression that I see from a lot of gamers or people
My i7 930 runs at 4.0GHz 24/7, configured by yours truly and thanks to my old but still boss Asus P6TD Deluxe, we setup my buddies 8700K to run at 5.2GHz 24/7.
It never downclocks. Ever.
Takes one badass cooler though.
Even if it wasn't setup like that, setting the boost to 5.2 or 5.3 is still going to leave Ryzen in the dust when talking gaming.
I have a 27" HP Omen that has Gsync and a 165Hz capability, I would definitely want the 8700K over a 3700X (well if I ever upgrade from my dinosaur). And it would be noticeable with the overclock, 500-600MHz is a massive difference in gaming, or going from 4.7 to 5.3.
 
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EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
I'm not going to spend the same amount of money for <3% more gaming performance on my 1440p 144 Hz monitor. Not while loosing approx 40% multi-threaded performance, the lower power consumption, and lack of security holes of the 3900X.
Amen, brother. I didn't even want to touch the Zen 2 review comment section with a 1 mile pole because I knew it was purely a fanboys war.
Ryzen has closed the gap, and they are no doubt a very capable and good performing CPU for PC gaming enthusiasts. But if your running an 8700K @ 5.2GHz, when it comes to gaming, your leaving Ryzen in the dust.
I've seen Gamers Nexus charts with OCed Intel and still not impressed. Sorry, but I left Intel camp when clocks went above 4 GHz in more than 4 cores and you had to spend at least additional $100 in cooling. I went from HSW-E to SKL-X to Ryzen and haven't looked back. My AIO 280mm cooling is just secured to my chassis, disconnected, because I was too lazy to remove it. If Zen was a better overall solution (good enough gaming, better thermals, lower power consumption, and good productivity) in real world and not paper comparison, I'm pretty sure Zen 2 is a no-brainer. I even tried a 22 core Xeon in my old X99 system and it didn't do anything for me in productivity workloads, fortunately I didn't pay for that. My brother didn't find an advantage vs the OCed 5930K for his common workloads, neither did I, so I went back to the 5930K.
So, every time you intend to buy a modern Intel CPU to use it with MCE enabled or manually overclocked, factor an additional $120 for cooling and about $200 extra, compared to a B350/B450 mobo, for a good Z370/Z390 mobo with VRMs that can handle that sustained load. I'm not talking about DRAM, because Intel fanboys like to pretend they would buy 2133 MT/s DIMMs when in reality they would buy the same 3200 MT/s DIMMs with RGB that would be recommended for Ryzen anyway.
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
But that's only at stock isn't it? Factor in overclocking and doesn't the 9700K or the 9900K beat it outright?
I am referring to gaming specifically, nothing else.
Yes you may need to buy or spend extra for Intel to get that overclock.
Correct

I have no problem recommending the 9900K to those who do want to OC and get every last bit out of their machine.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
I've seen Gamers Nexus charts with OCed Intel and still not impressed. Sorry, but I left Intel camp when clocks went above 4 GHz in more than 4 cores and you had to spend at least additional $100 in cooling. .
I didn't say it was the cheapest route to go. :)
Personally I find Ryzen to be very impressive, regardless of the savings/cost difference.
I am just old school and when I build a rig, I build it to last years.
Going on 10 years with my old girl, still rocking good @ 1440p, and the 120Hz limitation on my GTX 670 has been a blessing...can't max things out and haven't been able to for awhile but I can tweak for higher settings and games still look damn good - amazing.
Gsync is the bees knees, games look and run much smoother then they should with my old beast, best tech ever!
 
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fluffydestroyer

TS Booster
My i7 930 runs at 4.0GHz 24/7, configured by yours truly and thanks to my old but still boss Asus P6TD Deluxe, we setup my buddies 8700K to run at 5.2GHz 24/7.
It never downclocks. Ever.
Takes one badass cooler though.
Even if it wasn't setup like that, setting the boost to 5.2 or 5.3 is still going to leave Ryzen in the dust when talking gaming.
I have a 27" HP Omen that has Gsync and a 165Hz capability, I would definitely want the 8700K over a 3700X (well if I ever upgrade from my dinosaur). And it would be noticeable with the overclock, 500-600MHz is a massive difference in gaming, or going from 4.7 to 5.3.
yup, of course you 'll need a monster of a cooler :) . But curiously speaking, what do you have as a cooler ? Do you cool the chipset as well ?
 

DukeJukem

TS Booster
For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games
Going to have to disagree a little bit.
I mostly agree with you, but in many, many games, over a span of 40 or so, there is quite the difference.
Also, this is talking stock clocks, as the Ryzen is pretty much tapped out, the 8700K, 9700K and 9900K can hit 5.0Ghz-5.3GHz, so the gap would be even higher.
If gaming on a high refresh rate monitor, you will need everything you can get.
From a gaming perspective, the difference is still noticeable - significant.
Here are a few examples from the 3700X review, posting min/max frames, all CPU's obviously at stock clocks.

Hitman 2
9900K = 89/119
3700X = 83/111

World War Z
9900K = 123/151
3700X = 111/135

Far Cry New Dawn
9900K = 96/123
3700X = 88/112

The Division
9900K = 108/172
3700X = 107/158

Shadows Of The Tomb Raider
9900K = 89/123
3700X = 72/102

Battlefield 5
9900K = 125/168
3700X = 107/155

Total War: Three Kingdoms
9900K = 107/128
3700X = 106/123

Ryzen has closed the gap, and they are no doubt a very capable and good performing CPU for PC gaming enthusiasts. But if your running an 8700K @ 5.2GHz, when it comes to gaming, your leaving Ryzen in the dust.
Uhh Intel turbo boost will boost the clock speed AS NEEDED. Its not because you see up to 5.0ghz that you're cpu will run all the time at 5.0Ghz, thats a false impression that I see from a lot of gamers or people.

Also the cpu's you mention goes goes up to 4.7ghz (8700k), 5.0Ghz(9900k), 4.9GHz (9700k). So certain conditions must be met of course and the turbo isn't a flip switch you can just turn on and suddenly you get 5ghz speed. So where is the 5.3 you mention ?

Maybe its just an opinion but above 80...its barely noticable and not worth the extra cash which is usually double or triple at that point. So for the money and performance cause I'm cheap, I'll go with AMD but thats just me.
um....if you set everything in your motherboard including the turbo crap to 5ghz the cpu will always be running at 5ghz. its not a misconception. if im wrong then why is task manager reporting my 4690k is sitting at 4.38ghz right now when I have everything set to 4.4 in my bios when im simply sitting here with techspot open and doing nothing else? my processor stock is like 3.5 ghz so......if I'm sitting here literally doing nothing cpu intensive then why is the task manager reporting such numbers to me? it's because you're wrong.
 

EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
I didn't say it was the cheapest route to go. :)
Personally I find Ryzen to be very impressive, regardless of the savings/cost difference.
I am just old school and when I build a rig, I build it to last years.
That's a fair point, I built my X99 system with that in mind, the mobo died on me 2.5 years later and the market landscape changed wildly. Now, more than ever, future-proofing is impossible and if games continue moving towards multi-thread, async compute DX12 titles instead of DX11 or before when a single thread dispatched everything, you or me can't assure what is true now will be true in even a year from now. And that is assuming we don't have more surprises of Intel losing performance to security patches.
Also, think of this, Zen 2 is the micro-architecture of the next-gen consoles, code optimizations for PS5 and Project Scarlet will easily migrate to PC, potentially benefiting AMD more than Intel. That wasn't the case with Bulldozer micro-architecture because they were always the weak cores and when porting to PC you had to program SMT support from scratch since there was no SMT in consoles, thus favoring Intel, the only x86 chip maker with SMT and a clear lead in performance and market share.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Dafuq?!
No Ryzen chip comes even remotely close.
LMAO!

AMD is in serious trouble if that's what their buyers think.
https://www.techspot.com/review/1869-amd-ryzen-3900x-ryzen-3700x/
hahahanoobs comments and stips context again, why am I not surprised. I'm going to put my whole comment here, as the single sentence your provided was not the point of my statement

"Needs to be less then $400 to be worthwhile.

If they had lowered the pricing I would have considered the 9900K or 9900KF instead of purchasing the 3900X.

I'm not going to spend the same amount of money for <3% more gaming performance on my 1440p 144 Hz monitor. Not while loosing approx 40% multi-threaded performance, the lower power consumption, and lack of security holes of the 3900X.

For others who want a top of the line CPU, the 3700X is within earshot of the 9900K or KF in games plus wins in productivity and comes in much cheaper. It also includes a cooler."

https://www.techpowerup.com/review/amd-ryzen-7-3700x/16.html

Margin of error at 1440p and 6.5% at 1080p

Given the 1440p context, yes the 3700X is actually equivalent to the 9900K. 3% margin of error means that anything 3% or below could be due to simple variance or uncontrolled factors in the test bench.

Like I said earlier, I have no problem recommending the 9900K for best of the best gaming only rigs where the user wants to OC but that is a very niche market. For everyone below the ultra-extreme end of the spectrum, the 3700X is more then enough. (In fact it's equal at 1440p and above). After all, not everyone plays at 1080p with a 2080 Ti, a $120 CPU cooler, loves to OC, and has a 240 Hz gaming monitor.
 
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texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Amen, brother. I didn't even want to touch the Zen 2 review comment section with a 1 mile pole because I knew it was purely a fanboys war.

I've seen Gamers Nexus charts with OCed Intel and still not impressed. Sorry, but I left Intel camp when clocks went above 4 GHz in more than 4 cores and you had to spend at least additional $100 in cooling. I went from HSW-E to SKL-X to Ryzen and haven't looked back. My AIO 280mm cooling is just secured to my chassis, disconnected, because I was too lazy to remove it. If Zen was a better overall solution (good enough gaming, better thermals, lower power consumption, and good productivity) in real world and not paper comparison, I'm pretty sure Zen 2 is a no-brainer. I even tried a 22 core Xeon in my old X99 system and it didn't do anything for me in productivity workloads, fortunately I didn't pay for that. My brother didn't find an advantage vs the OCed 5930K for his common workloads, neither did I, so I went back to the 5930K.
So, every time you intend to buy a modern Intel CPU to use it with MCE enabled or manually overclocked, factor an additional $120 for cooling and about $200 extra, compared to a B350/B450 mobo, for a good Z370/Z390 mobo with VRMs that can handle that sustained load. I'm not talking about DRAM, because Intel fanboys like to pretend they would buy 2133 MT/s DIMMs when in reality they would buy the same 3200 MT/s DIMMs with RGB that would be recommended for Ryzen anyway.
Fanboyism? why cause we like what we like? Not all of us ever have problems. Some of the problems are simply bs or so rare it wont matter to most.
So you don't like Intel, ok.
AMD burned people for years, we gave them chance after chance. They get no more from me. Went Intel long ago and wont ever be looking back.

People cry about the price, gaming aint cheap, never has been. This aint some wanna be console that we are building. We build what we like and love. That's all it's ever been. Some of us will defend that at all costs. For some it's simply loyalty.
Where has AMD been all these years, playing catch up. Where were they when someone needed to stop Intel from prices, they weren't even in the same league. Oh wait, I know where they were, in consoles cause they couldn't make enough money in personal computers.

Sure AMD has a chance now but they wont do anything to stop Intel. They can't, because people don't give a crap about them anymore. Sure they will finally make some real money with their Rome servers and finally in personal computers. It just wont be from me and the MILLIONS who will be staying with Intel.
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
Anyone else just happy that there are options available now? Build the PC that's in your budget, that does what you need it to, and you'll enjoy using.
 
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EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
Fanboyism? why cause we like what we like? Not all of us ever have problems. Some of the problems are simply bs or so rare it wont matter to most.
So you don't like Intel, ok.
I'm an Intel stakeholder, stockholder, and employee. Even we've suffered the last mediocre years, where we could still have quad-cores today as the top of the line if it wasn't by true competition. When I talk about a "fanboy" I don't mean having a brand preference, for any sort of reason; I'm talking about those who will justify everything against better judgement, facts, historical evidence, or reasoning. Those who will criticize some aspect in the competition but not criticize the exact same thing in what they follow. A fanboy will hang to anything left to stay in a comfort zone.
Right now everyone is talking about the 5 GHz as if it were the holy grail, when there is a lot more to just one metric. Remember the Intel Conroe days when 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duos could hands down beat 3.4+ GHz Pentium Ds? I still keep brochures of the marketing back then. Right now we're at a point where 4 GHz Zen 2 core can, generally speaking, keep up with a 5 GHz Skylake core.
To this day, I hate and mock AMD's Bulldozer architecture. So why if we laughed at the FX-9590 thermal and power characteristics for achieving a similar performance to Intel's strong quad-cores, completely blowing the power efficiency curve, we are not doing the same now when we see a similar story with a 3700X vs a 9900K? Oh yeah, because of that "edge" in gaming you can't actually notice if you don't measure it.
As for the rest of your comment... I didn't bother reading it, from what I read from replies to it.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
I'm an Intel stakeholder, stockholder, and employee. Even we've suffered the last mediocre years, where we could still have quad-cores today as the top of the line if it wasn't by true competition. When I talk about a "fanboy" I don't mean having a brand preference, for any sort of reason; I'm talking about those who will justify everything against better judgement, facts, historical evidence, or reasoning. Those who will criticize some aspect in the competition but not criticize the exact same thing in what they follow. A fanboy will hang to anything left to stay in a comfort zone.
Right now everyone is talking about the 5 GHz as if it were the holy grail, when there is a lot more to just one metric. Remember the Intel Conroe days when 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duos could hands down beat 3.4+ GHz Pentium Ds? I still keep brochures of the marketing back then. Right now we're at a point where 4 GHz Zen 2 core can, generally speaking, keep up with a 5 GHz Skylake core.
To this day, I hate and mock AMD's Bulldozer architecture. So why if we laughed at the FX-9590 thermal and power characteristics for achieving a similar performance to Intel's strong quad-cores, completely blowing the power efficiency curve, we are not doing the same now when we see a similar story with a 3700X vs a 9900K? Oh yeah, because of that "edge" in gaming you can't actually notice if you don't measure it.
As for the rest of your comment... I didn't bother reading it, from what I read from replies to it.
It's ok, I stopped after the first sentence. TLDR useless dribble blah blah blah.
 

EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
It's ok, I stopped after the first sentence. TLDR useless dribble blah blah blah.
And the first sentence was all I needed to reply to your assumption about me; that's why it was the first sentence. Funny thing, you seem to be replying to my last sentence. If you can tell me why Intel's Netburst frequency was useless compared to Intel's P6, then we have a chance for an actual discussion an not a child covering his/her ears while babbling.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
And the first sentence was all I needed to reply to your assumption about me; that's why it was the first sentence. Funny thing, you seem to be replying to my last sentence. If you can tell me why Intel's Netburst frequency was useless compared to Intel's P6, then we have a chance for an actual discussion an not a child covering his/her ears while babbling.
Not a assumption, I just simply don't care.