Intel Core i5-9600K Processor Overclocking Review

The Intel Core i5-9600K Processor will likely hit the the sweet spot for a lot of desktop PC enthusiasts and gamers. We have a solid 6-Core count with a Turbo Boost clock of 4.6GHz coming in for right around $270. What kind of overclock will the new 9600K CPU support and remain 100% stable?


Multimedia Testing

Outside of gaming and encoding, there are few applications on the desktop that will push our systems to the limits, this especially becomes apparent when we start talking about multi-core processors that are now the norm. Some multi-thread aware encoding and content creation applications are starting to reach into available threads and truly utilize the processing power of these multi-core CPUs.

The benchmarks below all represent very real world situations just like you would run into at home while encoding video from your camcorder - or while using a picture or video editing program - or encoding a video for saving it to your hard drive or mobile device to allow you easier access to the content.

We have also included the synthetic Cinebench R15 and ray tracing benchmarks that should give you an idea about how 3D production programs will perform when rendering scenes. We have also added Cinebench R15 one thread performance metrics. The Blender application used below is the same file and version used by AMD when it previewed Ryzen last year, and we have added an actual scene from an animated movie feature We thought it would make for an interesting data point.

We have also added a Premiere Pro v13 "benchmark." This is actually not a benchmark at all, but rather an actual video that was produced with Premiere Pro v13. We simply timed the complete process to encode the video. The native video is 4K footage, and rendered out using the H.264 2160p 4K Youtube preset. Last but not least, we have updated our Handbrake benchmark to show a 4K video being encoded to 1080p.


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The Gooseberry "benchmark" uses Blender to render a scene from a real animated movie. This is not so much a benchmark as an actual usage model. As you can see this benchmark takes quite a while to render and does heatload our system.

The 9600K Stock takes just under an hour to render out this scene. Overclocking the 9600K gives us a ~13% decrease in render time. We see our scaling between the 9600K and 8600K come in as we would predict given the clock rates.


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POV-Ray is our open source ray tracing benchmark and utility and it does load all our cores and threads, however it does NOT heat-load our CPUs. We see our 9600k OC give us a ~16% decrease in render time compared to the 9600K Stock. Again, we see scaling between our 9600K and 8600K come out as suspected.

ChaosGroup V-Ray

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V-Ray is a professional ray tracing application used widely and it also fully loads our CPUs, however not heat-loading our CPUs. It returns nearly identical scaling as we saw with Pov-Ray ray tracing.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

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Here again we are looking at a real-world workload as this a 10 minute 4K video encoded for Youtube. The original video was shot at 4K with a Canon XF405. This encode does in fact heat-load our CPUs. We have recently updated versions of this benchmark, so previous runs are not comparable. Still this should give you a data point if you use Premiere and are looking at this CPU, however this is not likely a primary case model for this CPU. We do see our 9600K OC give us a decrease in rendering time by ~13%.

Looking at our overclock however, we see a healthy ~13% decrease in encode time.

Cinebench R15

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We again see scaling make sense, with a ~10% increase in score by overclocking our 9600K in this single threaded benchmark.

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When we load all the threads, we see much more benefit from our 9600K overclock, giving us a ~17% increase in score.


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We have changed up our Handbrake testing to give us a larger file size and be more realistic as to what you might be using it for at home. This is the 2.5GB 4K file that is 10 minutes in duration, encoded by Premiere Pro. We are using HandBrake to re-encode it to 1080p using its "Fast" profile setting.

Again we have no big surprises here as we see similar scaling again. Our 9600K overclock gives us a ~13% decrease in encoding time.