Intel i5-9600k vs i7-9700k Best CPU for Gaming in 2020

If you are looking for a new gaming laptop or workstation, a processor is one of the most important hardware you need to have. And the Intel Core i5 and i7 are two of the most common processors you should consider right now.

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IntelIntel Core i7-9700KCheck Price on Amazon
IntelIntel Core i5-9600KCheck Price on Amazon

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They come packed with lots of good features for the enthusiastic gamer. If you are not familiar with both processors, it may be tricky to choose the one that’s right for you. This is because of their similarities. But don’t worry, that’s why we are here.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Will 6 threads be enough for gaming?

    CPUs with 6 threads have more than enough for gaming purposes. The basic for mid-range games is 4 threads. With 6 threads, you can play all types of games, including a high-end one.

  2. Is the i5-9600k worth it?

    In terms of value for money, the i5-9600k is one of the best you can get when you compare its performance with other processors. It’s affordable and provides the right features.

  3. Is an i5-9600k good for gaming?

    Yes, the i5 9600k processor is enough to play all types of games. It comes with 6 cores and 6 threads, with a 4.6GHz turbo boost, which makes it fast for high-end gaming.

  4. Can I stream with i5-9600k?

    Yes, the processor is strong enough to handle streaming.

  5. Which is better for gaming i5 or i7?

    Although i5 would serve for any gaming purpose, the i7 improves overall performance.

  6. Does i5-9700k need a cooler?

    Yes. The i5-9700k processor is a top CPU that can easily raise its temperature levels. So, a cooler will be vital to keep the levels low.

Comparing i5-9600k vs i7-9700k Best CPU for Gaming

Both processors are high-end models for gamers looking for top-performing processors. They come with multiple cores and multiple threads for an immersive gaming experience.

But while i5-9600k is equipped with 6 cores and 6 threads, its i7-9700 counterpart has 8 cores and 8 threads. Other features of these processors differentiate them as well.

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i5-9600k vs i7-9700k Best CPU for Gaming – features

As we mentioned before, the i5-9600K CPU comes with 6 cores, a refinement of 14nm++, and 3.6GHz memory speed that reaches up to 4.6GHz on turbo boost. Of course, you need to use 8 cores to reach this boost level.

Also, the i5-9600k has one of the fastest gaming performances from Intel’s brand. It won’t have lag issues in any of the modern gaming PCs. The processor is capable of playing all types of modern games at any resolution with the highest graphics.

Moreover, the processor is designed to enable quick and uninterrupted gaming activity. However, despite all these alluring features, it seems the i7-9700k processor is better in terms of performance.

Like the i5-9600k processor, i7-9700k is a top-end processor with 14nm++ coffee lake micro-architecture.

But it provides 2 more graphics cores than i5-9600k, which adds a lot of speed and performance. With the 8 physical cores and the initial memory speed of 3.6GHz, the CPU will be ideal for the top-end motherboards and graphics cards. You can reach an impressive 4.9GHz boost clock on a single clock or 4.6GHz on 8 cores with a turbo boost.

This processor comes with an unlocked multiplier and activated virtualization.

Furthermore, it has 12 MB cache and has exceptional speed for any type of gaming activity. If your priority for a processor is the performance level, it’s safe to say the i7-9700k will give you more than i5-9700 could offer.

Both the i5 and i7 CPU possess similar features because they were released at the same time. Both come with a strong performance for all types of gaming activities, so there is probably no need upgrading from i5 to i7 if you already have i5. As long as the processors are accompanied with equally powerful graphics cards, both processors can deliver top-level performance.

But if you are just building your PC and looking for the more powerful option between the two processors, it’s better to settle for the i7 model.

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i5-9600k vs i7-9700k Best CPU for Gaming – performance

When it comes to overall performance, we give it to the 8 core i7-9700k processor with 3.6GHz. It is better than the 6 core i5-9600k in this area. It is faster when you run the latest games with the processor installed. That means you are less likely going to bottleneck powerful graphics cards with the i7 processor.

The i7-9700k has 2 more cores than the i5-9600k processor, which speaks a lot about the performance difference. But the i5 is still okay for all types of games, as the extra 2 cores of the i7 are probably too much for most gamers who have not been able to properly harness its full potentials.

So, if you are a new gamer, the i5-9600k processor will be enough for you. The only time you may need the i7-9700k processor is when you want to have a more immersive gaming experience. It adds extra power and performance to your overall gaming activities. But Both processors will play all types of games.

Also, the i7-9700k has two more threads than the i5-9600k processor, as each of the processors has one thread per core.

The more threads a CPU has, the better it performs at multi-threaded applications. And if your system requires hyperthreading, you will need as many threads as your processor can get. That’s were i7-9700k scores better again.

But when we are talking about games, a processor with 2 threads can perform equally as another with more threads. In some instances, multiple threading processor can hit performance if the GPUs and motherboards are not of the highest standards.

So, multiple threading is not so much of an important feature to consider when choosing between the two processors.

i5-9600k vs i7-9700k Best CPU for Gaming – Clock rate and cache size

There is a feature that is even more important than threads and number of cores. That feature is the clock rate. The clock cycles for each instruction can tell much about performance. You can get to an impressive memory speed with the right clock rate far more than what turbo boost technology will do.

But since the i5 and i7 processors are coming from one CPU family, their clock rates are similar. The similar clock rate of these two processors is one of the main reasons why they both share similar performance levels. However, since the i7 CPU has more cores, it slightly has an edge here.

The cache size is also another thing to look at. The L2 and L3 cache sizes are far more important than the L1 cache sizes. One thing you should know is the fact that computer RAM will be faster if the cache size available is bigger. That means the more cache your CPU has, the faster you can easily store and retrieve data.

The L1 is gradually going extinct, as it does not determine anything in the systems again. The twist here is L2 is more important than L3. Yes, that’s correct!

L2 is the major requirement, with L3 being an extra.

Nevertheless, the L3 will come in handy if you want to reach the best levels of performance. Remember that even though it’s nice to have a bigger cache, it could lead to a  higher latency if the cache is too high. So, it’s important to strike a balance, which is exactly what both processors have done.

The i7-9700k processor comes with an additional 512 KB of L2 cache than the i5-9600k processor. That means the i7 will perform much better with high-end graphic cards.

Both of these processors consume an equal amount of electricity, due to their manufacturing size of 14nm. Both of them have the same TDP of 95 watts, and you can’t differentiate them when it comes to power consumption.

i5-9600k vs i7-9700k Best CPU for Gaming – gaming performance

In terms of gaming, many people consider the graphics card more and simply do not pay much attention to the processor. But the processor has a lot to say when it comes to gaming performance.

We tested the Intel i5-9600k and i7-970k on some games such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, and Battlefield 5.

We gave 30 minutes to each game to have enough time to classify the processor’s gaming performance. We used the same type of system with the same graphics card and motherboard to carry out the test. The result is not too different from what we expected.

There was a big difference in FPS. Some of the games lagged and missed a few frames when playing with the i5-9600k. But in these instances, 17-9700k was stable as it provides a flawless and smooth gaming experience.

Whether you’re looking to completely immerse yourself or reach a competitive FPS count in the latest games, the extra value of the i7-9700k processor is something you will appreciate.

But the expensive nature of the i7 makes it unreachable for gamers who are low on budget. In reality, i7-9700k is almost twice as expensive as i5-9600k.

If we are talking about the best value for money here, the i5 model is the winner. That’s because you will get a close performance level with i7-9700k while paying half the price.

But the i7-9700k is the better choice if you want to have a luxury gaming experience.

ProductBrandNamePrice
IntelIntel Core i7-9700KCheck Price on Amazon
IntelIntel Core i5-9600KCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.