How did the Intel Core i9 9900K become the “best gaming processor”? By hiring a company which doesn’t even know how to do benchmarks properly
I think we would agree that the Intel Core i9 9900K would indeed be the best gaming processor in the market right now, simply because it has the highest clock speeds for an octa-core processor. But Intel had to nail the point home, by getting Principled Technologies (PT) to do the testing. And what a bad job they did.
For starters, the whitepaper they published somehow listed the wrong motherboards for all the AMD Ryzen processors. Forgive us if we are uninformed, but the Ryzen 7 2700X does not work with the Intel Z370 platform. And neither does the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX work with a Z390 motherboard, nor a Ryzen Threadripper 2950X with a Z370 motherboard. Did they even do any proper testing? They did list the AMD X399 and AMD X470 motherboards further down, so I guess they did actually use the processors. They managed to get the Intel side right though. Well, that’s strike one.
Strike two comes in when they decide to use a Noctua NH-U14S for the Intel processors, well because Intel doesn’t provide stock coolers. Fair point. But they used the stock AMD Wraith Prism for the Ryzen 7 2700X. With any processor without overclocking, better cooling will offer better boost frequencies. No idea why didn’t PT use the NH-U14S with the Ryzen processor. And that’s before we consider the fact that Threadripper CPUs require a specific variant of the Noctua NH-U14S (NH-U14S TR4-SP3) which works with the large IHS on the Threadrippers. No idea how PT mounted it in the first place. Could do strike three all at once, but I want to be lenient here.
Next, PT decided to enable the XMP profile (which is set for 2666 MHz) for the RAM on the Intel Z390 and Z370 motherboards, but manually adjust the frequency to 2933 MHz on the AMD X470 and X399 platforms and 2666 MHz on the Intel X299 motherboard. Why would they even do that? Faster RAM should give AMD’s platform an advantage, but the RAM are rated for 3000 MHz. At this point I am not even sure about PT’s objective. If you want to gimp AMD’s performance, run the RAM at 2666 MHz. Or better yet, run XMP on all the platforms and let ‘er rip. Well, my leniency runs out here, and that’s strike three.
But there’s more. They enabled Game Mode on the Ryzen 7 2700X. Game Mode works by halving the cores in the Threadripper CPUs, and lowering memory latency, thus improving performance in the Threadripper CPUs. And it also goes without saying that you won’t need more than 8 cores for gaming. Ryzen 7 2700X does not need this enabled, and halving the cores meant that PT was benchmarking a quad-core CPU vs the Intel Core i9 9900K.
Intel’s response to Forbes is as follows:
“We are deeply appreciative of the work of the reviewer community and expect that over the coming weeks additional testing will continue to show that the 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K is the world’s best gaming processor. Principled Technologies conducted this initial testing using systems running in spec, configured to show CPU performance and has published the configurations used. The data is consistent with what we have seen in our labs, and we look forward to seeing the results from additional third party testing in the coming weeks.”
Why did you have to do this Intel? You already had a winner in your hands. Now you have just put yourself in a bad light.
Pokdepinion: Seriously have no idea why would Intel even try to sabotage themselves. It’s like they want people to buy AMD…