Intel i5-8600K vs i5-9600K
- is 8600K Overrated?
Intel Core i5-8600K
4.8 out of 5
Intel Core i5-9600K
4.8 out of 5
Intel’s Core i5 processors have long been the go-to CPUs for midrange gaming PCs.
With the entry of AMD’s Ryzen CPUs which are cheaper and equally powerful, it’s right to question whether you are getting more with Intel.
i5 processors are value-oriented. They don’t demand too much power and are the best performing gaming CPUs at their price point. The i5-8600K processor was released in 2017. It has been a favorite for those looking to build their PC on a modestly priced CPU.
After the debut of the 9th gen i5-9600K, based on improved architecture, it may be time to upgrade to this newer CPU or not.
Although newer, it should not be the only thing in mind. AMD has better priced, faster CPUs in the likes of Ryzen 5 chips. You should gauge your choice on the workload. This is because AMD’s Ryzen 5 chips are better at threaded workloads.
But if you only game at 1080p and the occasional 1440p without performing intensive tasks, you are good to go with an i5 processor.
Compare i5-8600K and i5-9600K. What’s in it for gamers?
i5-8600K is an unlocked CPU. It is a better pick over other 6-core Coffee Lake CPUs that are much pricier. Hyperthreading is disabled on 8600K. You won’t be able to undertake heavy workloads. With 6 cores, 6 threads, and 50Mhz speed boost, it showcases improvement over previous generation i5 processors.
This CPU is based on Intel’s Coffee Lake architecture with higher clock rates. But it’s pricier than its Coffee Lake successor, the i5-9600K. It is also priced higher than Ryzen 7 2700 CPU.
Because of its sophisticated die, the CPU can reach turbo speeds of up to 4.3GHz. This is higher than the 7600K which dials up to 4.2GHz. Remember that it requires Z-series boards because of its unlocked multiplier. We’ll get more into this later.
i5-8600K is optimized for better power performance. With the help of the 14-nanometer manufacturing process (14nm++), Intel can now have the 6-core count within a 95W TDP envelope. That is, it can perform at higher clock rates at minimal thermal cost.
Intel has not increased the L3 cache. It is set to 9MB like the cheaper i5-8400. Sounds like the only interesting thing on the i5-8600K is high turbo speeds. But its performance is head to head with Kaby-Lake core i7 chips that are more complex.
Its L3 cache is at par with the 1.5MB/core i5 configuration. Also, it carries an integrated Gen 9.5 graphics card. Intel has branded it as the Intel UHD Graphics 600 Series. This is because it features an enhanced driver and higher clock speeds. It now supports DDR4-2666 memory across two 64-bit channels.
According to Cinebench, all six cores can hit top speeds of 5.1GHz battling temperatures on the 830C mark. You get extra CPU performance in regular desktop tasks. But it doesn’t add any significant benefits to gaming.
i5-8600K takes on Ryzen 5 2600 and 2600X in gaming performance. You get superior speeds across 1080p and 1440p. Except for matching Ryzen 5 2600X in Assassin’s Creed, it is a clear winner in all other games at 1080p. Though, this may not be the situation you experience. Many factors affect gaming performance.
Things such as the graphics card and RAM can influence the way one game performs on one CPU over another. Remember that it’s a known fact that the 8600K does not bottleneck GPUs. It performs equally as the i7-8700K in frame rates.
Not many games use more than four cores. But it’s possible to find games that will utilize every core in your CPU. For games like Battlefield V which can use 8 cores and 16 threads, you'll want to upgrade to a more complex CPU like the i7-9700K.
As we mentioned, i5-8600K works only with Z-series boards. This motherboard fits well with 8600K’s unlocked multiplier. It has new overclocking knobs, gen 3.0 lanes, six SATA 6GB/s featuring RAID Support on its integrated SATA controller. The board is good enough for bandwidth-demanding onboard devices. It's also nice for up to three NMVe devices demanding up to 32GB/s.
However, you don’t get air or closed-loop cooler bundled up with the motherpard. At its steep price, Intel still has to make you get a cooler for your setup. Ryzen 7 1700 is based on the B350 motherboard. It comes with the Wraith Spire Cooler. Ryzen 7 1700 is a better value in this regard.
Intel i5-9600K Review
With a 100MHz base clock speed boost, you would expect that i5-9600K is the better of the two CPUs. Well, Yes and No. i5-9600K is still a midrange gaming PC. It was introduced in October 2018. AMD had just stepped up, forcing Intel to wake up and offer more cores at competitive prices.
The processor hails itself as a head-on competitor with AMD’s Ryzen 5 series that feature 6 cores and 12 threads. Like the 8600K, this CPU is based on a similar die. It also has 9MB of L3 cache. It supports DDR4-2666 memory within two 64-bit channels. But it’s closed to Intel’s hyperthreading technology.
Intel has increased the base clock speeds to 3.7GHz and the turbo speeds to 4.6GHz. As you can see there’s only 100MHz base clock and 300MHz turbo improvement. This processor is 15% more powerful than 8600K when dealing with demanding applications.
It is also a better CPU for overclocking. It comes with an improved solder-based thermal interface material. It improves heat transfer which in turn facilitates higher frequencies with six cores only.
Given that it has an unlocked multiplier, this CPU is quite easy to overclock. And even then, you may not need an aggressive cooler. Most gamers are comfortable with a capable closed-loop liquid cooler.
Even though it has 95W Thermal Design Power, it can consume as much as 150W when overclocked. That’s why you will need a more powerful cooler than when using the 8600K.
Benchmarks do not always represent the exact performance with the processor you choose. Remember that you may be using different components in your set up.
The Core i5-9600K comes with an Intel UHD Graphics 600 Series GPU. It clocks up to 1.15GHz similar to the i5-8600K. In GPU performance, you can expect that the two processors will showcase similar performance.
We’ve looked at a few benchmarks including techpowerup.com. Most benchmarks use games like Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to determine the performance of gaming CPUs. Fortunately, such benchmarks have proved more reliable in their test results.
After going through various benchmarks, we conclude that the i5-9600K is a capable gaming CPU. It will not bottleneck any GPU. And it can play old and modern games comfortably.
i5-9600K competes effectively with Ryzen 5 3400G. It achieves similar test scores in single benchmarks. Compared to the i7-9700K, this processor scores better in gaming benchmarks.
However, Ryzen 5 series proves superior to the 9600K in multi-core benchmarks. This is because it supports only six threads on its six cores. Compared to Ryzen 5 which has six cores and twelve threads, it is not an ideal processor for content creation and video editing.
i5-9600K is a budget gaming processor. You will want to grab a more capable CPU for multithreaded tasks.
i5-8600K vs i5-9600K: Conclusion
Intel Core i5 processors are about modest prices and minimal power consumption. They showcase significant improvement in Intel chips between generations. The i5-8600K is just as great as the 9600K in gaming. The only slight difference you will encounter is in applications performance.
It has a 15% performance increase owing to the ramped-up speeds. If you have the i5-9600K, no need to upgrade to the i5-9600K. But if you want a budget-oriented gaming processor, i5-9600K is the best performing 9th generation CPU for the price.