Intel Core i9 9900K Linux Benchmarks - 15-Way Intel/AMD Comparison On Ubuntu 18.10

Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 19 October 2018 at 09:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 10. 33 Comments.

Intel sent over the Core i9 9900K as their first 9th Gen Coffeelake-S CPU hitting store shelves today. With the embargo on that now expired, let's have a look at how well this eight-core / sixteen-thread processor performs under Linux.

The Core i9 9900K is Intel's new answer for competing with the likes of the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, but does come at a higher price point of $499 USD. While the Core i9 9900K is a Coffeelake refresh, rather than being six cores / twelve threads, they are matching AMD's precedent set by the Ryzen 7 processors in having eight cores / sixteen threads. This 14nm 8C / 16T processor has a base clock frequency of 3.6GHz with a turbo frequency at 5.0GHz, a 16MB L3 cache and supports dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory.

The Core i9 9900K has the same UHD Graphics 630 as existing Coffeelake/Kabylake processors. This LGA-1151 processor has a 95 Watt TDP and retail price of $499 USD. The 12nm FinFET 8C/16T AMD Ryzen 7 2700X as a reminder has a base clock frequency of 3.7GHz, 4.3GHz max boost clock, 16MB L3 cache, and a 105 Watt TDP. The biggest difference with the 2700X is the price with it retailing for just above $300 USD.

Most Intel motherboard vendors should be putting out BIOS updates (if not already) enabling the new 9th Gen CPUs to work in existing Coffeelake LGA-1151 motherboards. But there is also the new Z390 chipset rolling out as well. Z390 motherboards won't be much of an upgrade if you already have a Z370 board, but some of the additions are useful including: better overclocking, USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, and integrated Intel Wireless-AC.

The motherboard I have been using for most of my pre-launch testing is the ASUS PRIME Z390-A. After the great experience using the ASUS PRIME Z370-A on Linux over the past year (and it still continues working great!), ASUS kindly sent over the Z390-A motherboard for this i9-9900K testing.

To no surprise given Intel's always punctual Linux support and Z390 not being a whole lot different from previous Coffeelake motherboards, the ASUS Z390-A motherboard has been working out great under Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 18.10, Fedora 29, and the like. The one caveat to point out is the unfortunate problem we have with most new Intel/AMD motherboards and that is the lack of sensor support for being able to read thermal/voltage/fan sensors with the stock mainline kernel drivers.

The ASUS PRIME Z390-A has two M.2 slots, Intel Optane memory support, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connections, and other features building off the success of the Z370-A. The ASUS PRIME Z390-A is priced well compared to other Z390 motherboards at launch with it going for about $190 USD. I'll provide another update on the ASUS PRIME Z390-A in a few weeks but with the time I've spent with it so far this month and enduring a lot of benchmarks, the Z390-A has proven to be a great contender for Linux desktop systems.

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