Intel Core i7-9700K vs Core i7-8700K: Which One Should You Get?


Last week, Intel has officially announced their latest 9th Gen Intel Core Processors, a refresh of the previous 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. The 9th gen Coffee Lake Refresh offers, in general, higher clock speeds and more cores, at least for the flagship Core i9-9900K. You can learn more about the Intel Core i9-9900K here. In this article, however, let’s check out the new Intel Core i7-9700K and find out how it compares with the Core i7-8700K. I personally find this comparison very intriguing since both processors are somewhat similar. Each CPU has its own advantage over the other and they are also priced very similar, making it quite puzzling which CPU to get for a (gaming) PC.

Intel Core i7-9700K vs Core i7-8700K: More Cores or More Threads?

Right off the bat, the Intel Core i7-9700K features 8 cores with only 8 threads but no hyper-threading feature. It has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and a max turbo speed of up to 4.9 GHz. It also has 12MB of L3 cache and the rest of the specs are already similar with its predecessor. Like the Core i9-9900K, the Core i7-9700K features a soldered HIS as well.

On the other hand, the Intel Core i7-8700K only has 6 cores, but with 12 threads and yes it has hyper-threading. However, the base clock speed is 3.7GHz with a boost clock speed of only 4.6GHz. It also has 12MB of L3 cache and has 95W of TDP similar to the rest of the lineup. However, unlike the newer Core i7-9700K, the IHS is not soldered and many 8700K owners (including me) delid the CPU and replace it with a better thermal paste to achieve stable overclock of 5GHz.

Comparing just the specs alone, I can see that the only advantage of the Intel Core i7-8700K is it has more threads than the Core i7-9700K. It’s also a bit cheaper than the i7-9700K. However, the Core i7-9700K has 2 more cores, has a higher clock speed and the IHS is soldered. I have a strong feeling that the Core i7-9700K can do 5GHz on all cores easily, and perhaps even more.

With higher clock speeds, the Core i7-9700K has the potential to perform better than the i7-8700K in games and other tasks where core frequency has the higher impact than more number of threads. At this time, review embargo hasn’t lifted yet so benchmarks results are not yet available.

UPDATE: Embargo has lifted and reviews are out! Check out benchmark results and more comparison here:
Intel Core i9-9900K vs Core i7-9700K vs Core i7-8700K vs AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

However, more or less I already have an idea on the outcome of this comparison. The new Intel Core i7-9700K will be the faster CPU between the two, thanks to its higher clock speeds and two additional physical cores. The soldered IHS will also mean better heat transfer resulting in a better CPU temperature and longer sustained boost clock speeds.

If am building a strictly gaming machine and my options are the Intel Core i7-9700K vs Core i7-8700K (since the i9-9900K is out of the budget) I would certainly get the Core i7-9700K instead. It’s a refresh, meaning the technology is more refined; it has two more core and higher clock speeds that would definitely help when it comes to gaming.

However, the Core i7-8700K is still a powerful CPU with its 6 cores and 12 threads configuration. Remember, even the 8-core 16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 2700X can’t beat the i7-8700K when it comes to gaming. Let me repeat and clarify this, the i7-8700K defeats the Ryzen 7 2700X in gaming alone. Other tasks such as multi-threaded workloads, the Ryzen 7 2700X is the clear winner and faster CPU. So if ever you spot a really good deal for the i7-8700K and price difference between the i7-8700K and i7-9700K is somewhat significant at the time you are about to purchase, the Core i7-8700K isn’t a bad choice either. If you need more threads, you might want to get the i7-8700K instead.

Price and Availability

At the time this article was published, the Intel Core i7-9700K is currently priced at $409.99 USD. Meanwhile, the Core i7-8700K is currently priced at $375.99; making it $34 cheaper than the i7-9700K. They are priced very close making it a little bit difficult to choose. But personally, I would lean towards the i7-9700K, simply because it has higher clock speeds, 2 more physical cores, soldered IHS and has better overclocking potential than its predecessor. Check out their latest pricing and availability below.

Intel Core Processor latest pricing and availability:
9th Gen Intel Core Processors:

8th Gen Intel Core Processors:

Z390 Motherboards:

Intel Core i7-9700K vs Core i7-8700K Specs Comparison

SpecificationsCore i9-9900KCore i7-9700KCore i7-8700KCore i5-9600KCore i5-8600K
Cores / Threads8 / 168 / 86 / 126 / 66 / 6
Intel Hyper-Threading TechYesNoYesNoNo
Base Clock3.6 Ghz3.6 GHz3.7 GHz3.7 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Clock Speedup to 5GHzup to 4.9 GHzup to 4.7 GHzup to 4.6 Ghzup to 4.3 GHz
L3 Smart Cache16MB12MB12MB9MB9MB
Memory SupportDDR4-2666DDR4-2666DDR4-2666DDR4-2666DDR4-2666
Built-in GraphicsIntel UHD 630Intel UHD 630Intel UHD 630Intel UHD 630Intel UHD 630
TDP95W95W95W95W95W

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − eight =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.