The Performance & Power Efficiency Of The Core i7 990X vs. Core i9 9900K

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 21 October 2018 at 09:09 AM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 17 Comments.

With my initial Core i9 9900K benchmarks out there following Friday's embargo expiration, for some weekend benchmarking fun I decided to pull out the old Core i7 990X to see how it compares to the new 9900K... The Gulftown and Coffeelake processors were compared not only on raw performance but also overall power consumption and performance-per-Watt.

The Core i7 990X was the Extreme Edition processor back from 2011 codenamed "Gulftown" (Westmere microarchitecture), the 32nm generation before Sandy Bridge. Granted the announced but not yet released Core i9 9900X X-Series CPU will be more akin for comparison to the 990X, and I will at such time that it is available, but just for some extra benchmark runs over the weekend I was curious to see how the 990X and 9900K compare...

Here's a look at how the i7 990X stacks up to today's i9 9900K in some key areas as well as the yet-to-ship Core i9 990X:

For this fresh benchmarking, the i7 990X was running with the MSI X58M motherboard and 3 x 4GB DDR3-1066 per the rated specifications. The Core i9 9900K was running with the ASUS PRIME Z390-A motherboard and 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200 memory. Both systems were tested with a Samsung 860 EVO SATA 3.0 solid-state drive and Sapphire Radeon RX 560 graphics card.

Both systems were running the newly-released Ubuntu 18.10 x86_64 Linux with the 4.18 kernel and its latest Spectre/Meltdown mitigations, GCC 8.2.0 compiler, EXT4 file-system, and other default software components.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a range of benchmarks were run on each system. The AC system power consumption was being polled in real-time by the Phoronix Test Suite with a WattsUp Pro power meter interfacing over USB for being able to generate accurate performance-per-Watt metrics on a per-test basis. Enjoy these results as you wish for just some interesting Intel performance figures from the 990X to the 9900K. See my launch day Core i9 9900K Linux benchmarks for the 15-way AMD/Intel CPU comparison against more modern CPU targets.

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