It's a pretty great time for PC Gamers looking to build a new Gaming PC, and with the next Intel Extreme Masters event now less than a month away it's also the perfect time to look at these new Gaming PC designs that feature the latest Intel 9th Gen Processors, and take a closer look at new additions to the Core i5 series - specifically the "F" which removes the unneeded integrated graphics and provides incredible Intel performance for less $!
Starting with the basics, Intel 9th Gen is a recent refresh to the popular 8th Gen series, and thanks to slightly higher clock speeds and some all-new models, it's the most powerful generation of Intel mainstream desktop processors to date. So if you are a gamer looking for a fantastic experience in-game, along with the performance headroom for smooth live streaming or on-the-fly highlights recording and editing, this new generation of Intel CPU are a part of the system you'll be wanting.
Kicking things off with the most affordable of the new 9th Gen range, the latest i5-9400F with 6 cores of processing goodness inside. This one only just released and thanks to the removal of the integrated graphics (which we don't use in gaming rigs anyway) the price is excellent - comparing to the previous 8th Gen i5-8400 the savings are quite significant and we also get to enjoy the slightly higher clock speed. For a gamer on a budget, this is the go-to CPU to use now, it also includes the standard Intel Cooler within the box further reducing the cost of a build. With no manual overclocking you won't need to pay more for the features Z series motherboard with this one either, and can happily fit this onto a range of Intel motherboards - the H310, B360, H370 series of motherboards to suit - even the just-released B365 series is a perfect fit!
Stepping up to the first in the Intel 9th Gen unlocked "K" series we have the exceptional i5-9600K - this was the first of the new CPU series to land in New Zealand, so if you follow us you'll know we've covered this one quite a bit already. The performance provided by this affordable unlocked CPU is amongst the best in the world, as you would expect, but being a "K" unlocked version you'll need to add an aftermarket cooling solutions, such as a popular Water Cooling Kit or premium Air Cooling Kit, and also want to use the Z390 series of motherboard to get into all those fancy overclocking features.
Due to the low price, and the use of those same connected components at the more expensive 9th options detailed below, this i5-9600K finds itself it a great position for a gamer that wants great performance and the best upgrade path - should they want to add the more powerful i7-9700K or i9-9900K later on, a well-built i5-9600K system is ready.
Next up has to be the wonderful i7-9700KF and i7-9700K, these are a bit different from the popular 8th gen i7-8700K they replaced, Intel removed the hyper-threading and added more cores along with slightly higher clock speeds yet again - and now they're providing that "F" option yet again to give us gamers even more value (thanks Intel, we appreciate it!). This is often as far as a gamer needs to go with their CPU, and it's a solid match for the top-end RTX 2080Ti Graphics Card.
At the top of the stack is the mainstream flagship i9-9900K. The first Intel Core i9 desktop processor for the gamer - this one won't require you to use an X299 series motherboard as the other i9's do, instead you'll be happily working with the Z390 series so the best gaming options from Asus ROG, ASRock and Gigabyte Aorus are available for use in your Gaming PC build. The i9-9900K boasts Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology which cranks maximum turbo frequency up to blazing 5.0 GHz, without the need for manual overclocking. Should you want to reach for even greater levels of performance though, and you probably will, you can overclock confidently with new and enhanced features like STIM (Solder Thermal Interface Material) and improved overclocking customisations to tweak the processor performance and its unleashed potential.