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New PT Data: i9-9900K is 66% Pricier While Being Just 12% Faster than 2700X at Gaming

Principled Technologies (PT), which Intel paid to obtain some very outrageous test results for its Core i9-9900K eight-core processor launch event test-results, revised its benchmark data by improving its testing methodology partially. Initial tests by the outfit comparing Core i9-9900K to the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX, sprung up false and misleading results because PT tested the AMD chip with half its cores effectively disabled, and crippled its memory controller with an extremely sub-optimal memory configuration (4-module + dual-rank clocked high, leaving the motherboard to significantly loosen up timings).

The original testing provided us with such gems as the i9-9900K "being up to 50 percent faster than 2700X at gaming." As part of its revised testing, while Principled Technologies corrected half its rookie-mistakes, by running the 2700X in the default "Creator Mode" that enables all 8 cores; it didn't correct the sub-optimal memory. Despite this, the data shows gaming performance percentage-differences between the i9-9900K and the 2700X narrow down to single-digit or around 12.39 percent on average, seldom crossing 20 percent. This is a significant departure from the earlier testing, which skewed the average on the basis of >40% differences in some games, due to half the cores being effectively disabled on the 2700X. The bottom-line of PT's new data is this: the Core i9-9900K is roughly 12 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 2700X at gaming, while being a whopping 66% pricier ($319 vs. $530 average online prices).

Principled Technologies' Response to Allegations of Horse Manure Data Disingenuous

Principled Technologies Wednesday published its first response to allegations of flawed and misleading "independent" comparison between the $319 AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and the 66% pricier $530 (pre-order price) Intel Core i9-9900K, which Intel used in its launch event to woo gamers and investors. In its response, the company elaborated on the reasons why it tested the AMD chip with memory and cooler settings reputed hardware reviewers found sub-optimal. "One goal of this study was to test the CPUs and their graphics subsystems, not the GPUs, so we ran the tests at the most common gaming resolution (62.06%), 1920×1080," reads the response, touting a foregone conclusion that gamers with $500 8-core processors still game at 1920 x 1080. We get that they, like every CPU reviewer, are trying to simulate a CPU-limited scenario, but to justify their settings with Steam Hardware Survey data as "the most common resolution," is a disingenuous argument.

We next see Principled Technologies justify the use of NH-U14S TR4-SP3 cooler on the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. Noctua, in its own TDP Guide for this cooler, states that 250W TDP (which also happens to be the TDP of the 2990WX), is the design limit of this air cooler, and goes as far as to mention that an additional NF-A15 fan, which is not included with the cooler, is recommended to be able to "increase Precision Boost headroom," implying that out of the box, the cooler is already bottlenecking the 2990WX. The Core i9-9980XE, on the other hand, has a rated TDP of 165W, and Noctua provides no additional guidance for 165W TDP Core X family processors, such as the Core i9-7980XE. Principled Technologies' reasoning for memory configuration proves they either continue to lack basic knowledge on AMD Ryzen memory controller limitations, or are deliberately disregarding it in an attempt to cripple AMD chips.

Principled Technologies Comments on their Intel Processor Study

Today, we have seen several reports that suggested Principled Technologies (PT) published misleading information in our recent study comparing Intel's gaming processors to AMD's. We apologize for our delay in responding, but it's been a busy day, and we wanted to be as thorough as possible in addressing inquiries concerning our testing. We'll address specific questions and share more detail on our methodology in a moment, but we first must respond directly to attempts to call our integrity into question.

For almost 16 years, we have tested products for our clients because they trust our integrity. We have worked not just for any one company but for dozens of the leading technology firms, including rivals such as Intel and AMD, Microsoft and Google, Dell and HP, and many others.

In Wake of Controversy, Intel-Paid Principled Technologies Retesting AMD Ryzen Processors

Well, that proverbial storm of dirty undies did serve to rile up some people over at Intel and their paid-for stint with Principled Technologies, whose name begs for a change for honesty's sake. In wake of the controversy regarding its... flawed... testing of AMD's Ryzen 2700X performance in gaming workloads, Principled technologies has now come forward to say it's retesting AMD's processors in less... biased circumstances.

Let's start with the glass half-full part of this retesting: initial reports of memory timings on AMD's system being set in an almost "whatever" kind of way apparently weren't fair, since Principled Technologies have said they used D.O.C.P. settings for AMD's XMP-equivalent memory settings (not properly disclosed in the initial report, so, it's their own fault this happened). The good stuff ends there, though; numerous other flaws in the methodology, such as the usage of AMD's stock cooling solutions against a Noctua cooler for the Intel system (which they'll now fix on retesting), and the usage of AMD's Game Mode on their consumer Ryzen processors, which meant the usually 8-core processor was working in a 4-core mode (really, now?)... The company will now retest both CPUs in a more even-footed way. How's that for a change?
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