Why Buy an i9-9900K?

Why would someone buy a 9th gen coffee-lake refresh Intel CPU over a 2nd gen Ryzen 7?

The i9-9900K costs almost double what a Ryzen 7 2700X costs and you’re unlikely to get double the performance for the extra money. Is the only argument that supports Intel still, “I need the absolute fastest single-threaded performance I can get?”

Bonus points for answers that are Linux biased.


Pretty much this.
You answered your own argument.
AMD has already proven themselves stronger in every other field be it lithography, security, power usage etc etc. albiet an 8 cor 16 thread part doesn’t make sense if you want the best single core performance i think 6 core 12 thread is realisticly the highest core count someone concerned with single threaded would realisticly need.


Diminishing returns, manufacturing losses, binning, et cetera. A 2990WX costs 5.7x the cost of a 2700X, I doubt it’ll have 5.7x the performance.

One of the arguments because it’s still a very real thing. We’re lucky that software is supporting more and more threads nowadays, but not too long ago a lot of software didn’t support more than a thread or two (esp. games).

Another argument would be if the software you are using uses any of the instruction sets AMD does not use.

My question is why do you care what somebody else buys?


I don’t. I was curious as to why people would be interested in them. I don’t know why you took this personally…

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Passthrough might be a reason because 8 cores means you can have 4 hyperthreaded cores for the guest and the VM, and not have hardware ACS issues through the chipset which AMD has still not fixed.

It’s the best of both worlds in that situation cause a healthy OC can make the VM run at 6700K levels without doing much. And it costs less than Skylake-X or it’s refresh.


Intel also still has a lot of Brand power behind it, so there’s that. Regardless of other possible reasons, for some people that’s enough, for a variety of it’s own sub-set of reasons.

Other than that, we honestly don’t really know how it performs compared to other options, as we don’t have real benchmarks yet. We could find the extra cost is more justified than it looks like, or we could find it’s just a premium for extra power without going into the much higher end.

For that matter, we don’t know if the new AMD 2920X Threadripper at $650 will be proportionally worth the money over the i9-9900k either (or whether it will perform better at all in most applications).

EDIT: Forgot you asked about some linux bias as well.
Last I saw, the 2700X is a bit faster on most benchmarks in Linux compared to Windows 10, a bit slower on a few though. Threadripper 2990X is at times significantly faster in Linux than on Windows 10. I don’t know if Intel chips show a similar effect, but that could make some of Intels edge, if it’s real, diminish when looking at linux (but, again, I don’t know the intel comparisons in linux).

I want to make a ITX Passthrough machine and Intel seems to be the best choice for my use case:

  • Their 8 core / 16 thread has a integrated GPU (ryzen only has it on their four cores)
  • Intel has GVT-g (I want do some exploring with this technology) while AMD does not have an equivalent for their APU.
  • As far as I am aware, Intel motherboard are the only ones that could have a built-in Thunderbolt 3 port on the rear.

There are also other (unrelated) reason for choosing Intel over AMD, such as better out of box support for a hackintosh.

Honestly, if AMD made a 8 core / 16 thread CPU that also included a integrated GPU, I would probably buy that over the Intel one (especially with the street price increase). But they don’t sadly.


You would want to get an Asrock ITX board cause it has Bifurcation support, so the x16 can be further split into x8 and x8.

I have never heard of bifurcation before. From what I read online, it allows you to connect two GPU to the x16 slot using some sort of adapter, right?

I haven’t really designed my usage around that use case (and I am not sure If I want to though). But I was actually thinking of getting an ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac, since it has Thunderbolt 3 on the rear.

I will admit that this feature sounds fun to mess with when I no longer need the motherboard in my case.

Personally, for the cost of a i9 9900k, I would get a X399+1920x build instead. I can see why some people would get it, but going TR especially for passthrough seems more practical to me.

I find the mainstream sockets too limiting in terms of PCIe lanes if you plan on really loading up the build. X399 gives way more flexibility for future expansion. Intel’s X299 is good too, but is no longer cost competitive by any stretch.

As for macOS, worth pointing out there is no issue virtualizating it on a Ryzen CPU through QEMU+KVM. If you want to run it on bare metal, then yeah, wouldn’t recommend going AMD.


if someone is a pure gamer with money to throw at the best gaming performance they can get, it’s probably going to be the new i9 8core or last seasons i9 8/10 core on liquid at 5ghz with a 2080ti or two. yea it’s not the best performance per dollar and some of these guys will go for a 18 core because while the overclocking headroom is lower, but their score in time spy extreme will be higher.
these guys will probably also be rocking 1440p 144hz or better on windows and these are the guys intel is targeting, not us linux nerds.

You just brought up a point about explicit multi GPU. DX12 and Vulkan explicit multi GPU runs through the PCI-E bus, so if you’re doing that instead of NVLink, you would need X299 or Z399.

I actually agree with you, but I want my system to be easy to transport since I could see myself moving a lot when I graduate. Having to transport a normal size case would be a lot of pain. Otherwise, I would absolutely go with a 2950x instead and buy two GPUs.

Yeah, I was referring to bare metal. I actually knew about the benefits of using Penryn on AMD.

I’d buy it for the same reason I bought the i7 8700. Rather, I’d buy an i7 9900 without the K if it was available (OC isn’t worth the money cost and stability risk IMHO).
My reasons behind buying i7s are:

  • The iGPU doesn’t require me to buy a dedicated graphics card, which I don’t necessarily need (especially in an ITX system like mine). Even if I have a card, the iGPU gives me the safety that I will be able to work on my machine even if the dedicated GPU breaks.
  • I tested the tools that I use for development (webpack, libsass) and I had about 25% worse performance after “upgrading” from a Haswell i5 to the R5 1600. I guess it’s the IPC, but that does not matter - what matters is that I have much better performance on Intel.

In case you’re confused - I sold the R5 1600 system for a private reason, and I’m rocking the i7 8700 right now, didn’t want to go back to AMD after my test.

I just wanna make a sarcastic comment and say ‘buy bintel’ to waste your money on shit you don’t otherwise need, for performance that is questionably ‘better’ and for the extra costs you will incur when you decide to upgrade

that is unhelpful and irrelevant.

I agree. Here’s some context:

^This lays out the lack of XMP use on the 2700x test, and the claim that the i9 is 50% faster.


^reddit thread with some more details.


Thank you for providing that.

I’ll admit I was being salty

With the heinous acts committed by Intel recently as competition heats up (and so do their processors) and a very good competitor available… only thing is you want the purely fastest gaming CPU available. And money is no object… seriously, you have to give zero fucks about money because at 500 with a probable 300 to 400 dollar motherboard cost you are going to need it.