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Beginner
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Intel i5 9600 processor

Hello everyone, I have a doubt and I don't think there is better place than this to ask:

I'm looking for a new Intel processor and I found the i5 9600, but there is the K version, the F versione and the KF version, now my doubt, which is the difference between this 3 versions of this CPU? There is something better maybe spending less money?

Thanks from now for who will answer, I'm in your hands 😄

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Super User
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Super User Retired Employee
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Here's the meaning of the appended letters:

 

K - Unlocked (overclockable) processor with enabled graphics engine. Example: Core i5-9600K.

F - Locked processor with disabled graphics engine. Example: Core i5-9600F.

KF - Unlocked processor with disabled graphics engine. Example: Core i5-9600KF.

<No Letters> - Locked processor with enabled graphics engine. Example: Core i5-9600.

 

...S

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Beginner
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Ohh, ok thanks!

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Beginner
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Thanks a lot, even if I'm evenr more confused. Which one would you advise most?

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Super User Retired Employee
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Which to choose depends upon what you plan to do with the processor. Two questions:

 

  1. Do you want to have the possibility of overclocking?
  2. Do you want to have the possibility of using the Intel HD Graphics engine (i.e. you don't plan to exclusively use an NVIDIA or AMD add-in graphics card)?

 

If your answers to these two questions are:

 

  • Yes, Yes -- choose the i5-9600K.
  • Yes, No -- choose the i5-9600KF.
  • No, Yes -- choose the i5-9600.
  • No, No -- choose the i5-9600F.

 

Some additional considerations:

 

  1. The 'F' processors, because the Intel HD Graphics engine is disabled, use less power and run a bit cooler. This is extra advantageous if you are overclocking. Of course, you do need to have an add-in graphics card in this case, which is a considerable expense.
  2. Locked (non-'K') processors are typically less expensive.
  3. Unlocked ('K') processors are typically higher performing, even when not overclocking.
  4. I have been skipping the processors with the 'T' letter (like the i5-9600T). I presumed you weren't interested in these lower-power, lower-clocked, lower-performing versions.

 

Hope this helps,

...S

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Beginner
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Well, to be honest I wont overclock the CPU, I haven't the right cooling system to do it, so I will just use the CPU "normally". The graphics engine is not a problem for me, I already have one, so I think the F versione would be the right choise, but you wrote the K version is higher performing. Do you now how much "big" is this difference between F and K?

UPDATE:

Ok no, I just realized the difference of GHz between those 2

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Super User Retired Employee
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Yea, the additional performance comes from having a higher processor base frequency. The difference is 3.1GHz for the i5-9600 and 3.7GHz for the i5-9600K/i5-9600KF and that's a pretty significant difference.

 

My personal opinion, for your situation, is to spend the extra and go with the i5-9600KF. What I don't understand is that Intel is showing the K and KF processors as having the same wattage (95W). I would have thought the KF would have been lower wattage. Still, not having the graphics engine running is going to mean a cooler processor and this could mean that, depending upon the software mix being run, Intel Turbo Boost can be active more of the time, yielding a performance benefit.

 

...S

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