4K Gaming Showdown – i9-9900K Vs i9-9900KS

The Intel Core i9-9900K has been with us for a little while now. We loved it when we originally reviewed it. Sure, it wasn’t cheap, and it has issues with load temperatures, but we couldn’t refute the raw performance it delivered. AMD countered pretty hard with their 3rd Gen Ryzen though, which saw Intel release a cherry-picked hardcore version, which they called the i9-9900KS.

4K Gaming Showdown

What I wanted to know though, is just how much of a difference there was with this CPU. So many reviews focused on rendering times, on 1080p benchmarks, on WPrime, that kind of thing. That makes sense, as they’re CPU bound benchmarks, but what if you make them more GPU bound? I want to keep things plain and simple and focus squarely on the 4K gaming enthusiasts. Is the i9-9900KS really all that different from the i9-9900K when it comes to high-end gaming performance? To keep things fair, I paired them up with the Gigabyte RTX 2080 Ti, set all the games to High graphics, and 4K and hit run. Let’s find out what Intel’s Version 2.0 of this CPU can really do!

i9-9900KS Features

Based on the robust Intel Core i9-9900K architecture, the Intel Core i9-9900KS is a special edition, halo processor featuring even more performance, such as an increased base frequency of 4.0GHz and turbo frequency of 5.0GHz across all 8 cores out of the box.

“Experience exceptional performance, immersive entertainment and simple convenience with 9th Gen Intel Core processors. The i9 9900KS processor extends all the capabilities that users love from previous generation CPUs with even more advanced innovations that deliver new levels of performance immersing you into your computer on a variety of form factors. The i9 9900KS features all the latest Intel technologies to allow you to have the best computing experience, and this particular CPU is unlocked allowing you to overclock it to your gaming or production needs for additional performance headroom. 8 physical cores combined with Intel’s Hyper-Threading Technology provides you with a colossal total of 16 processing threads so you can multitask like a pro.” – Intel


For in-depth specifications, please visit the official Intel product page here.


  • Battlefield V
  • The Division 2
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Borderlands 3
  • Deus Ex Mankind Divided
  • Metro Exodus

Settings Used

All of the games were set to their “High” profile or equivalent. This is in-line with what we use for our usual reviews. We avoid Ultra as it’s more trouble than its worth for benchmarking and always something you can step up to if the performance is great at High settings. Of course, V-Sync, FreeSync, G-Sync, etc are all off. Beyond that, all game settings are left at their respective defaults.

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Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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