In addition to discussing the number of cores in the 9900, this article will discuss recommendations for compatible motherboards, CPU coolers, and memory.
Intel's Core i9-9900 CPUs have 8 cores.
The Intel Core i9-9900 has 16 threads.
For Intel's 9th gen Core i9 processors, Hyper-Threading is available for each core. Hyper-Threading provides two threads for each of the 8 cores on the 9900.
The processor has a 3.10 GHz base frequency and supports a 5.00 GHz max turbo frequency.
| N | "N" means it's a bespoke CPU for a company such as Apple. |
The 9900 model name doesn't have an F suffix. Non-F CPUs contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card isn't required if your motherboard includes video-output connectors (e.g., HDMI).
The 9900 model name doesn't have a K suffix. Non-K CPUs can not be overclocked.
A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.
Intel CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "Processor Base Power."
The Core i9-9900 has a TDP of 65 watts.
A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.
The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum turbo speeds without adequate cooling.
Learn more in Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-9900.
For Intel's 9th generation Core i9 9900 processor, you'll need a motherboard with an LGA 1151 socket and 300-series chipset.
Motherboards for Intel processors are made with chipsets provided by Intel. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.
The lack of a "K" suffix in the model name 9900 means it doesn't support overclocking. Because of this, you may not need to use the top of the line Z390 or Z370 chipsets which support overclocking. Instead, you can use a motherboard with Intel's other 300-series desktop chipsets listed below.
For compatiblity with Intel's 11th generation Core processors, you can use any of the 300-series chipsets: Z390, Z370, H370, B365, B360, H310. These are roughly sorted from most to least functionality.
The Q370 chipset is also compatible, but is intended for business use cases; its availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.
For a detailed comparison of these chipsets, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-9900 CPU?.
- Find Z390 Chipset Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Z370 Chipset Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H370 Chipset Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find B365 Chipset Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find B360 Chipset Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H310 Chipset Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Locked Intel CPUs may come with a stock CPU cooler. These CPU models do not have a "K" in the name. While stock coolers will prevent your CPU from overheating, your CPU will throttle its performance during games and other intensive tasks. Higher TDP coolers will keep your CPU at turbo speeds for longer durations. Stock coolers are often quite loud at their maximum speed.
Best AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360
- This Enermax liquid cooler has an excellent cooling capability with a 360-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1.
- Quiet operation at 14-27 dBA.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space!
Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4
- Quiet operation at 12.8-24.3 dB.
- The dual fans (120 mm and 135 mm) do a great job of cooling LGA 1151 CPUs with a 250-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011(-3) square ILM, 2066 and AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+.
- Smaller models are available if you don't need as much cooling ability.
- You can even add another 120 mm fan to it for more cooling!
Runner-Up - Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
- Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
- Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA.
Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.
Recommended Stock-Speed DDR4
- At an effective frequency of 2666 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR4 speed supported by Intel's Core i9 9900 CPU without overclocking.
- The low-profile form factor ensures that the heat spreaders don't get in the way of other devices, including your CPU heatsink.
Recommended DDR4 for Overclockers
- This DDR4 memory is designed for overclocking to an effective frequency of 3600 MHz.
- Supports XMP 2.0.
- Compact heat spreaders avoid conflicting with a CPU cooler.
- Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i9-9900 CPU?
- Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i9-9900
- Choosing the Best Power Supply for Intel's Core i9-9900
- Is the Core i9-9900 CPU Good for Gaming?
- Choosing the Best RAM for Intel's Core i9-9900 CPU
- Choosing the Best Motherboard for Intel's Core i9-9900
- How Many Cores Do Intel Core i9-9900 CPUs Have?
- What Is the TDP of the Core i9-9900 CPU?
You can find detailed 9900 specifications on Intel's site.
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: