Should I buy an Intel Core i5 9600K or a 10th-gen Core CPU for gaming?

Kevin is having trouble deciding if he should buy an Intel Core i5 9600K or 10th-gen Core CPU for his gaming PC.

Question by Kevin from Australia | Answered by in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs on

Just a quick question! When gaming, do games rely on single-core performance or multi-core performance? Since I'm building an Intel gaming PC, I'm having issues choosing between a Core i5 9600K or a 10th-gen Intel Core CPU.

Also, could you check if my PC parts work well and any suggestions for better performance or upgrades?

  • Intel Core i5-9600K GIGABYTE
  • Z390 AORUS Pro
  • Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 16GB
  • Western Digital WD Blue 1TB 3D NAND M.2 SSD
  • Corsair RM750x 750W 80+ Gold
  • Corsair Hydro Series H60
  • GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2060 R2.0 OC 6GB

Hi Kevin,

I will try my best to steer you in the right direction! I'll start by saying games are increasingly taking advantage of more cores and even higher clock speeds.

Should I buy an Intel Core i5 9600K or a 10th-gen Core CPU for gaming? 1

First, will you be overclocking at all? Do you want that option? I'm going to steer you towards 10th Gen for sure, and it's going to be between the i5-10500 that offers a 6 core 12 thread design over the 6 core no hyperthreading of the 9600K or the 10600K that will cost you a little more, but you will get that 6C12T and a boost in clocks to 4.8GHz!

As far as the rest of your build goes, the motherboard can be swapped for the Z490 model, and the memory is fine. I run some RGB Pro myself with no issues, although I do recommend at least 3600MHz.

SSD is a solid choice, the WD Blue is among the best value for NVMe solutions, and the RM750x for power supply is what I use on my test systems and has been reliable. The H60 is now almost three years old but will work just fine for your CPU. I'd almost recommend moving to an H100 because Comet Lake is hot!

Last, no issues with the GPU, assuming you are going for high FPS 1080p? 1440p might be a stretch but is likely doable at playable framerates 45FPS+.

I hope this helps with your decision. Remember, this is just what I would do and doesn't mean the parts you initially chose were a bad pairing.

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