I wouldn't recommend going out and buying an Intel Core i9-9900K solely for Apex Legends, but if you want one of the best gaming CPUs on the market then you're already sold. Anyway, the 9900K provides some insane performance at 1080p with all of our graphics cards including the 'slowest' of them all - the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
But if you are building a serious 1080p/1440 high refresh rate display and wanting to hit 120FPS minimum, you're going to want the best gaming CPU you can buy and that is the Core i9-9900K. Secondly, you'll need the best GPU you can buy, right?
1080p high refresh rate gaming monitors will need a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti if they want to get close to 240FPS average, as our RTX 2080 Ti cards were hitting 230FPS average or so at 1080p on Low settings. The closest to this is the RTX 2080 with 214FPS, while AMD's best in the Radeon VII hits 206FPS average at 1080p while the previous-gen GTX 1080 Ti is only pushing 163FPS average at 1080p on Low settings.
Apex Legends at 1080p on the High preset can still see over 180FPS on the RTX 1080 Ti, so 1080p 144Hz gaming monitors will be fine with virtually all high-end cards, even AMD's new Radeon VII. The older-gen GTX 1080 Ti will reach 130FPS average, so you'll have to tweak a setting or two to get 144FPS average while the RTX 2080/2080 Ti hit 144FPS and 175FPS average, respectively.
2560x1440 is where the real run begins, where on the Low preset all of our cards are scoring over 144FPS average. The Radeon VII is a surprise here with 180FPS average, keeping up on the heels of the RTX 2080 with 186FPS average. The higher-end RTX 2080 Ti reaches 193FPS average, while the overclocked MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z performs beautifully here at 207FPS average.
Changing over to the High preset at 1440p will see you needing to get an RTX 2080 Ti and overclock it, or get something like MSI's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z which hits 140FPS average. AMD's best Radeon falls below 100FPS average (just) while the previous-gen GTX 1080 Ti only hits 93FPS average at 1440p High.
This article was never written for 4K in mind, but I thought I'd run Apex Legends through the high resolution and see how it performed. NVIDIA is the only company that has a card that'll even get close to 144FPS average on Low detail, with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition scoring 130FPS average, while the overclocked MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z hits 134FPS.
I can tell you this much: Apex Legends at 4K and 133FPS average is nothing but glorious.
Cranking the game up to 4K and the RTX 2080 Ti only achieves 81FPS and in the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z with 90FPS. The Radeon VII drops to just 60FPS, while the GTX 1080 Ti is below it with 51FPS average and the higher-end RTX 2080 with 64FPS. Not bad, but I wouldn't be dumping cash down to play Apex Legends at 4K 60Hz over 1440p 144Hz.
I'm an avid user of my Acer Predator X27 gaming monitor, with its monster 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync specs culminating in the best display I've ever used. But, it's expensive and requires the high-end (and also expensive) NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card to even begin to run games at 4K 144Hz. Even the overclocked MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z was pushing out 134FPS average 4K on the Low preset. On the High preset we're looking at 81-90FPS average on the RTX 2080 Ti. For a game like this, it's not good enough at 4K so you'd drop to Low settings to compensate (and get very close to 144FPS average).
I think gaming at 2560x1440 on a high-end graphics card on a high refresh rate monitor is the best price/performance set up you can do right now, and it allows RTX 2080 Ti owners to reach 130-140FPS average on High settings, versus just 81-90FPS at 4K on the same graphics card. But drop those settings to Low and you're seeing 193-207FPS average from the RTX 2080 Ti.
Alternatively, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti can run Apex Legends at 1440p at 146FPS average, which is absolutely perfect. You can spend less than $500 on a large 1440p 144Hz gaming display, and use your current (or buy a new/used GTX 1080 Ti on the cheap) and be smashing Apex Legends at 1440p and over 144FPS average on Low settings. Another consideration would be a FreeSync monitor and a Radeon VII, as AMD's latest and greatest performs well here with 180FPS average on Low settings and 100FPS on High.
1080p gamers get the best deal as all of the cards in Apex Legends on high refresh rate displays, with Low settings providing some insane performance on our 9900K. All of the cards do way over 144FPS average, 4 out of 5 of them pushing over 200FPS. If you want to buy a 1080p 240Hz monitor then you're going to marry that with a Radeon VII or GeForce RTX 2080/2080 Ti.
Now that the 9900K benchmarks are finished, next up is the Core i3-6100 on some mid-range graphics cards which will be very, very interesting to see. UUntil then, comment below with what CPU/motherboard combo we should be testing next. Some of them will be: Core i5-8400, Ryzen 5 1500X, Core i7-8700K, and maybe even a Celeron CPU or two.
Last updated: Sep 24, 2019 at 12:28 am CDT