Intel CPU Comparison: 8th Gen Vs 9th Gen — Is i9 9900K Worthy?

Intel CPU Comparison
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Intel CPU comparison between the 8th Gen and the 9th Gen processors reveal some interesting data for buyers. The upgrade from 7th Gen Intel CPUs to 8th generation was significant due to the increase in the number of cores and clock speed.

However, the hardware difference between the 8th Gen and 9th Gen Intel CPU is pretty negligible. The only increase here is of slightly higher clock speed and even then not every CPU model benefits from it.

Intel CPU Comparison: CPU Benchmarks

The most powerful 7th Gen Intel laptop CPU was Core i7-7920HQ. The CPU was a 4core/8thread unit running at 3.1GHz base clock and 4.1GHz boost clock. The next-gen upgrade to this unit is the Core i7-8850H with 6 cores and 12 threads. The base clock was decreased to 2.6Ghz but the boost clock increased up to 4.3GHz along with 9MB of cache memory.

The Geekbench score of both these laptop CPUs is as given:

Single Core Score Multi-Core Score
Core i7-7920HQ 4276 14292
Core i7-8850H 4890 19185

The performance improvement from 7th Gen to 8th in the top spec Core i7 CPU is around 15% and a massive 34% increase in Multicore performance.

The story takes a slight turn when we compare the 9th Gen Core i7 with the current 8th gen chip. The Intel Core i7-9850H has the same 6core/12thread unit with the same base clock speed of 2.6GHz and a slightly increased boost clock of 4.6GHz.

The Geekbench CPU comparison between the 8th gen and the 9th gen Core-i7 is given:

Single Core Score Multi-Core Score
Core i7-9750H 5220 20310
Core i7-8850H 4890 19185

The single core performance, in this case, has only improved by a mere 6% while the multicore performance has improved by 5.86%.

There is a massive drop in performance rates when compared with the previous gen. Quite frankly, the results are just as expected. The Coffee Lake refresh line up still uses the same number of cores (at least for Core-i7) and the same 14nm architecture. The integrated GPU performance of 9th Gen is also underwhelming, to say the least.

There is a silver lining, however. The latest Intel CPU comparison reveals Core-i9 to be the receiver of the most upgrades this generation.

The 8th Gen Core-i9 8950HK was limited to 6cores/12thread hardware with a 2.9GHz base clock and a mere 4.3Ghz boost clock. The 9th Gen Core-i9 9900K series sees significant improvement. The Core-i9 9980HK now comes with 8cores/12threads and so does the Core-i9 9880H. The former has a boost clock of 5GHz while the latter has an equally amazing boost clock speed of 4.8GHz.

The Cinebench R15 scores between Core-i9 8950HK and Core-i9 9980HK are as follows:

Min Average Median Max
Core-i9 8950HK 1051 1209.9 1116 1391
Core-i9 9990HK 1600 1757.3 1842 1930

The performance increase in the 9th Gen Core-i9 series is significant due to an increased number of cores and a 4MB (total 16MB) increase in cache memory.

The Beastly Performance of Core-i9 9900K

Intel CPU Comparison core-i9
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The Intel CPU comparison reveals a significant performance increase with each generation in desktop processors. Core-i9 9900K (desktop version) has a single core performance score of 6217 and a multicore performance score of 33960.

So laptops utilizing desktop grade 9th Gen Intel processors will have a significant performance increase over laptop specific CPUs.

However, the Core-i9 mobile performance has itself improved a lot since the last generation.


If you’re looking to upgrade to a Core-i9 laptop this year from your current 8th gen laptop, then go for it because the performance increase is worth it.

However, if you plan on switching to 9th Gen Core-i7 CPUs from 8th Gen ones, then it’s better to skip this generation.

Laptops using desktop grade CPUs like the Dell Area 51m will almost have the same performance as the i9-9900K if it were on a PC.

Only recently have the specs of Intel 10th Gen Comet lake CPUs were leaked on a Chinese portal. According to the specs, a 4core/8thread Core-i7 was spotted in the 10510U model number.

Intel is currently refreshing its 14nm CPU platform for the third time. The processors in smartphones are planning to shrink down to 6nm very soon. With Qualcomm’s 8cx chip, the laptop market will see a dominant force, the likes of which Intel has never encountered.

Also Read: CPU Comparison: X86 vs ARM — Will Intel i9 9900K Stay Atop?

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