At the product launch of Intel’s 9th gen Kaby lake refresh, the focus of the event was the gaming performance of the new processors. As per Intel’s official benchmarks, the Kaby Lake refresh is a fair bit faster than AMD’s 2nd gen Ryzen processors as well as Intel’s previous 8th gen CPUs.

Intel had commissioned “Principled technologies” to do the tests and the irony here is that the outlet turned out to be not so principled. In the benchmarks conducted by the above said company, the Core i9-9900K isĀ  faster than the AMD Ryzen 2700X in pretty much all the 19 games tested- the delta varying from 20 to 50%.

Intel 9th Gen Core i9-9900K
A photo released Oct. 8, 2018, shows a 9th Gen Intel Core processor packages. The processor family is optimized for gaming, content creation and productivity. (Source: Intel Corporation)

Now given Ryzen’s not so appealing performance in games, I can certainly digest the lower limit, but 50% seems a bit too extreme especially considering that the new Intel chips are a refresh (on the same node!) and not actually a new architecture.

It didn’t take long for tech journalists to chew through Intel’s numbers and within mere hours we got reports that Intel had provided misleading benchmarks. How exactly? Lets dig in!

For starters, most experts seem to be pointing towards the memory profile of the Ryzen test bench. Intel CPUs use the XMP profile for better memory frequencies, but on AMD’s side the XMP equivalent was possibly left off. And we already know, memory has a notable impact on Ryzen’s gaming performance.

Intel 9th Gen Core i9-9900K

Another point worth noting is that “Principled” technologies haven’t mentioned how many cores were enabled in case of the Ryzen chips. The Game-mode at times improves the gaming performance of the AMD chips. It hasn’t been specified if it was enabled at the time of testing.

In conclusion, we know that the Core i9-9900K will be a better performer in games than the Ryzen 2700X, but it’s highly unlikely that the gap will actually be this wide. As always, the exact figures will be clear when the 9th gen CPUs start shipping.

You may view the complete benchmarks here.

Further reading:

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