So we’ve heard a lot about the Core i9-9900KS. It’s the competitor-to-be for the Ryzen 9 3950X (which is slated to arrive in November). As Intel’s flagship consumer processor, it’ll offer absolutely the best gaming performance you can get your hands on. But exactly how much is it going to cost?
An Australian retailer, MWave, recently listed the pricing for the Core i9-9900KS. It’s listed at AUD$899.99. That translates to around $600 in northern hemisphere money. This would make it more expensive than the Ryzen 9 3900X, currently retailing at around $499.
Now, this equation might seem a bit problematic. Why on earth would you pay $100 more for 4 fewer cores and 8 fewer threads? While the Ryzen 9 3900X is almost certainly going to deliver better results in heavily multithreaded applications, there
For starters, single-threaded performance still matters a lot in gaming. While the third-gen Ryzen’s largely covered the IPC gap with Intel, AMD’s not been able to push clocks on Ryzen clocks as high as Intel has with their latest. This means that 5 GHz Core i9-9900KS will still deliver better single-threaded performance. And in gaming workloads, where it’s not likely to see scaling beyond 8 cores anyways, the 9900KS will likely retain the performance throne. Cost is another factor. The 9900KS isn’t exactly a new product. It’s a select, highly-binned variant of the 9900K, with units that could get to up to 5 GHz cherry-picked from the lot. This pushes Intel’s bill of materials up and that reflects in the pricing too.
All in all, and especially with the 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X in the wings, the 9900KS will live or die by its gaming performance. If it outdoes AMD’s high-end considerably, there’ll be a niche of people out to buy it. If not, it’ll end up joining the AMD’s FX 9590 in the last-ditch-crank-up-clock-speeds-and-hope-for-the-best club.