Allgemein CPU Hardware Reviews

Intel Core i9-9900K, i7-9700K and i5-9600K in review – Hot tightrope walk between overtaking and braking lane

Similar to the Cascade and Whiskey Lake processors we recently introduced, Intel's Coffee Lake Refresh product line of processors is also affected by the changes for Meltdown and L1TF (Foreshadow). The latest Spectre and Meltdown preventions that Intel provides through software and microcode patches can reduce performance on newer hardware by up to 10% (in relation to the workload), with older hardware suffering even greater losses.

The solutions that have now been implemented directly in the chip should be able to at least reduce or even eliminate the impact on performance for some of the vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability Coffee Lake Refresh/Whiskey Lake Mitigation Cascade Lake Mitigation
Variant 1 (Spectre) Operating System Operating System/VMM
Variant 2 (Spectre) Microcode + Operating System In-Silicon + Operating System/VMM
Variant 3 (Meltdown) In-Silicon In-Silicon
Variant 3a Microcode + Operating System Firmware
Variant 4 Microcode + Operating System Microcode + Operating System/VMM
L1TF (Foreshadow) In-Silicon In-Silicon

However, it can take several generations of processors for the fixes to be applied at the silicon level for all vulnerabilities. The first wave of hardware-based fixes is limited, but Intel has at least vaguely predicted that the in-silicon fixes will expand over time. The processors of the 9th Generation will still need a combination of microcode and operating system patches for most variants, but at least Meltdown and L1TF Foreshadow have been completely patched into hardware.

However, Intel does not describe the exact nature of the changes to the microarchitecture, and probably for good reason. Like the rest of the industry, Intel plays an opaque and very annoying cat-and-mouse game with security researchers and malicious actors ranging from nation states to recreational hackers, so of course it wouldn't be very advisable to have too many information about troubleshooting.



I mean, if you can afford an 8-core with hyperthreading or SMT, you also have the necessary financial strength for an adequate motherboard. But this statement is no longer entirely true for AMD's eighth-seeded corers, who have long since arrived in the middle class. Another point that is sure to hurt Intel and whether the nonchalance that has been on display for years must somehow. Instant karma and so on. For our test system I use an MSI MEG Z390 Godlike, a solid and quite stable choice. The accessories are of course a fine entry for the end customer, but I leave most of it in the box.

But what is really new about the Z390-PCH, that a change from the Z370 e.g. would be worth it at all? Stupidly, almost nothing for which you would have to kill yourself out of desperation, because the bottom line is that you only natively implement the USB 3.1 and AC-WLAN. For all the incentives, MSI, for example, has with the Godlike a Z390 top model at the start, which could also be more lavishly equipped.

If you want to get more impressions of the motherboard – here is a picture gallery with real photos of the unboxing and water cooling conversion for the test system:


Test System & Configuration
Hardware Germany

AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)
AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5
MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2667, DDR4-3466

Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):
Intel Core i7-8700K
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2667, DDR4-3466

Intel LGA 2066
Intel Core i7, Core i9
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2666


GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition (Gaming)
Nvidia Quadro P6000 (Workstation)
1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD)
4x 1TB Crucial MX300 (Storage, Images)
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, 850W
Windows 10 Pro (All Updates)


AMD Socket SP3 (TR4)
Threadripper Gen 1 & 2
MSI MEG X399 Creation
4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2933, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3466

Intel LGA 2066
Intel Core i9-7960X, -7980XE, -7900X
MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
4x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2666, DDR4-3200

AMD Socket AM4 (400-Series)
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2933

Intel LGA 1151 (Z370)
Intel Core i7-8086K, Core i7-8700K, Core i5-8600K, Core i5-8400, Core i7-8700
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
2x 8GB G.Skill FlareX DDR4-3200 en DDR4-2667

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE
1TB Samsung PM863
SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500W
Windows 10 Pro (All Updates)

Cooling Germany

AMD Wraith Ripper
Alphacool Ice Block XPX, Chiller Alphacool Ice Age 2000
Corsair H110i
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut

Wraith Ripper
Corsair H115i
Enermax Liqtech 240 TR4 II

Power Consumption Measurement Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
2x Rohde & Black HMO 3054, 500 MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4x Rohde & Black HZO50 Current Probe (1mA – 30A, 100 kHz, DC)
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 samples, 500 MHz)
1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Thermal Measurement 1x Optris PI640 80 Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Acoustic Measurement NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)
Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H)
Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm
Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA)
Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise


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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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