Obviously, for a mainstream CPU, gaming is a highly relevant topic area.
As is usual for CPU testing, we are running each game at 1080P, to ensure that the graphics card is not a bottleneck, allowing us to evaluate CPU performance across a wide array of titles.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (DX12)
Ashes of the Singularity has always been a CPU-heavy title as is evident from these results. While each CPU scored similarly, the HEDT Core i9 and Threadripper parts came out on top.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
A brand new title, Shadow of the Tomb Raider performs well on all of our test systems at 1080p, but the i9-9900K just barely manages to outperform the i7-8700K.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
An interesting result for Ghost Recon: Wildlands leads to a 3-way tie between the 7th, 8th, and 9th generation mainstream CPUs from Intel for the performance lead.
The Core i9-9900K sees a 6% advantage in frame rate over the i7-8700K in Civilization VI's graphics test, while the AI scores see little change among CPUs.
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V is a notoriously demanding game on CPUs, but it's still a surprise to see the massive 14% lead over the next fastest CPU—the i7-8700K.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
The i9-9900K sees a slight advantage of around 5% in average FPS against the i7-8700K and i9-7900X.
Total War: Warhammer II
Total War: Warhammer II shows up to a 6% advantage for the i9-9900K in the Skaven scenario, but the battle scenario shows virtually no difference between the 7700K, 8700K, and 9900K.
Little performance scaling is to be seen among CPUs in F1 2018, with a few percent advantage going to the i9-9900K over the i7-8700K.
The i9-9900K continues to win in For Honor, providing a 3% advantage over the next closest competitor, which is actually the Kaby Lake-based i7-7700K.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
Shadow of War shows minimal scaling going form the i7-8700K to the i9-9900K.
Strange Brigade (DX12 and Vulkan)
Strange Brigade is an exciting title in that is has implemented both DX12 and Vulkan, allowing us to compare the APIs directly across our array of CPUs.
Here, we see the i9-9900K falling short by a few FPS to the previous generation i7-8700K.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 sees a sizable 7% advantage for the i9-9900K over the six-core i7-8770K, and massive 22% over the quad-core i7-7700K.
One of the big claims that Intel has been making with the launch of the i9-9900K is that it is the "World's best gaming processor." While our game testing does validate their claims of performance somewhat, we have to ask to what end. As you can see above, the majority of modern games still aren't very CPU-bound, leading to very little difference between the i9-9900K and even a 2 generation old part like the i7-7700K.
As you increase the resolution you're gaming at, as someone who is buying a $500 is likely to due, these gaps will likely disappear. This is something we hope to test in the coming days to verify.