Most photo editing applications prefer a higher clocked CPU over one with more cores, but Intel's new 9th Gen Core Processors feature not only an increase in core count, but also a small bump in frequency. Where the previous top-end consumer Core i7 CPU (the Core i7 8700K) has only 6 cores and a maximum Turbo of 4.7 GHz, the Core i7 9700K and i9 9900K both have 8 cores and a 4.9-5.0 GHz maximum Turbo frequency. Because of this blend of both a higher core count and a higher operating frequency, these CPUs fare very well in photo editing applications, performing up to 15% faster than the i7 8700K in Adobe Photoshop CC 2018.
If you are interested in examining how well these new CPUs perform in more detail, we recommend checking out our in-depth performance articles:
- Photoshop CC 2018: Core i7 9700K & i9 9900K Performance
- Lightroom Classic CC 2018: Core i7 9700K & i9 9900K Performance
Is the Intel Core i7 9700K good for photo editing?
The Core i7 9700K is pretty good for photo editing, coming in at around 12% faster than the previous generation Core i7 8700K in Photoshop. The performance difference isn't quite as large in Lightroom Classic as it is only on average 4% faster in that application outside of tasks like exporting where it is about 10% faster.
Is the Intel Core i9 9900K good for photo editing?
The new Core i9 9900K is about 20% more expensive than the previous generation Core i7 8700K, but in exchange is it 15-20% faster in Photoshop. In Lightroom Classic, however, it is only about 6% faster for most tasks and about 10% faster for tasks like exporting. Overall, the Core i9 9900K is currently the best CPU you can get for Photoshop as well as being a top-tier CPU for Lightroom Classic.
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