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Is Intel Core i9 good for gaming?

Intel Core i9 aims to deliver on power

Updated: Feb 8, 2023 11:10 am
Is Intel Core i9 good for gaming?

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Intel’s Core i9 processor series consists of their very best consumer-grade processors and features their generational flagships. These CPUs have the best specs Intel has to offer and receive competition only from AMD’s Ryzen 9 lineup.

While core i9 processors offer you amazing performance, they are also somewhat expensive, usually retailing above the $500 price point. You would expect them to be good for gaming – and indeed they are – but are they worth their high price point? Let’s find out.

Why is the Intel core i9 good for gaming?

Core i9 processors are often the best available consumer-grade processor, as is the case currently. The current fastest gaming processor is the Core i9-13900KS, the Raptor Lake i9 released only recently in Q1 2023.

Here are some specs to give you a better idea of what we’re working with:

  • Core Count: 24
  • Performance Cores: 8 (Hyperthreading Enabled)
  • Efficiency Cores: 16
  • Total Threads: 32
  • Cache: 68 MB
  • P.Core Base Clock: 3.2GHz
  • P.Core Boost Clock: 5.4GHz
  • P.Core Max Clock with Thermal Velocity Boost: 6GHz
  • E.Core Base Clock: 2.4GHz
  • E.Core Boost Clock: 4.3GHz
  • Base TDP: 150 Watts
  • Max TDP: 320 Watts (with Intel’s Extreme Power Delivery Profile)
  • Socket: LGA 1700

As you may be able to tell from the specs alone, Intel has spared no expense here to squeeze out every last bit of performance they could from the flagship i9. The i9-13900K may also be of interest.

Intel Core i9-13900K

19 118 412 V01





Base speed

P-cores 3 GHz / E-cores 2.2 GHz

Boost speed

P-cores 5.8 GHz / E-cores 4.3 GHz




125 W / 253 W boost.

Industry-leading clock speeds 

Intel’s processors generally tend to have higher maximum clock speeds than AMD’s. And the core i9 processor series have the highest clock speeds out of all of Intel’s offerings.

In other words, core i9 processors lead the CPU industry with their record clock speeds. The 13900KS is the first i9 processor to break the 6GHz clock speed mark at stock values.

That translates into incredible gaming performance since games carry out the bulk of their performance on a few threads. The higher your CPU’s boost clock, the more FPS it can deliver under CPU-bound workloads.

High core/thread count

A high core/thread count isn’t essential in a gaming processor for the same reason I shared above. Games these days definitely can’t utilize the whopping 32 threads offered by the i9.

Still, the extra threads are certainly nice to have and help multitask or run additional applications in the background without noticeable performance loss.

High cache

Core i9 processors are equipped with a decent amount of cache. The 13900KS, for example, has 64 MB of cache, which is an excellent amount to have. Only a select few processors currently have more cache.

Is an Intel core i9 processor right for me?

While core i9 processors are great for gaming, they’re also very expensive. And they don’t necessarily provide you with the best value for your money if all you’re interested in is gaming.

A core i9 CPU is better suited for individuals who engage in streaming, content creation, or productivity work in addition to gaming. Core i9 can be somewhat overkill for gaming, particularly due to its high core and thread count.

If you don’t mind spending the extra to build the best gaming rig money can buy today, definitely go with an i9 processor. The 13900KS is the current best right now, although the i9-13900K is a solid option too.

If you’d be more interested in a CPU lineup that can offer you high-end gaming performance at a much lower price point, you may want to opt for an i5 or i7 CPU instead.

Also, keep in mind that it’s better to get a newer i5 or i7 than an older i9. While i9 processors are the best-in-class in their generations, and even the oldest i9-7700K is a powerful processor, you would find better value in newer hardware.

Are Intel i9 processors the best?

It all depends on your use case truthfully. Intel Core i9 processors are high-end processors that offer powerful performance and are suitable for demanding tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming.

However, they may not be the best option for everyone, as the performance improvement they offer compared to other processors, such as Intel i7 or i5, may not justify the higher cost for some users.

other factors such as system configuration, cooling solution, and power consumption should also be taken into consideration.

As a Junior Staff Writer, Jack is involved in writing and maintaining a bunch of hardware guides & reviews. With an interest in PC gaming, he now focuses on writing about monitors, headsets, and more.

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