What is funny, that back a few years ago - before Zen launched, CPU reviews had very little emphasis on gaming numbers for exactly the reason some of us have been stating - the GPU does the gaming, no one bottlenecks their CPU to game, and the chances that someone even has a CPU/GPU/Resolution/Quality combo that even allows a CPU to be bottlenecked on purpose is about 0.001% of all PCs used for gaming out there, is why these numbers were and still are, not very relevant to real world gaming experiences.I'm actually amused if someone has a i9 9900K for gaming with a 2080ti and plays at 1080p, medium settings. I'm playing at 1440p with a 2700x and a 1070 (144hz panel and at about 90 fps or over I'm plenty happy for twitch shooters).
I'll still stand by my assertion that there really isn't a "gaming CPU". Better to put that money into a better graphics card most times.
What used to happen is a CPU was tested for full CPU workloads, - all cores, all threads, all saturation, long periods of time (not this 1 or two minute BS you see in modern reviews). The absolute power of a CPU was what was evaluated. Gaming was just one or two graphs with a major disclaimer that bottlnecked CPU doesn't happen so evaluating your gaming experience by the CPU was a waste of time. The only reviewer I really see still reviewing CPUs like this is maybe Gordan Ung from PCWorld - makes sense as he is a bit more old school.
So what happened? Ryzen blasted on to the scene in 2017 with 8 cores at the same price Intel was offering four, and a more efficient SMT, -- superior multi-threaded and overall heavy workload domination. That's what happened.
Intel asked ... "where are we ahead?"
"if we can 'convince' key reviewers to focus their CPU reviews solely on artificially induced bottlenecked gaming and lightly threaded tasks, then we'll easily maintain the perception of dominance over this new Ryzen." was the response.
And isn't it just a coincidence that since Ryzen launched, many, if not most CPU reviews are 75% bottleneck gaming numbers with a couple renderign graphs and a "synthetic benchmark" disclaimer (even if the benchmarks is benchmarking a real world app), with little thorough testing of the CPUS true capabilities. Intel propaganda/"incentives" had nothing to do with this change in reviews though ... right?
Did this actually happen? Did Intel propoganda and "incentives" really create this scenario? Well did anyone read the "internal" memo Intel circulated on how to combat zen2? Did anyone notice the army of journalists Intel has recently "hired"? Of course that is exactly what happened. And the clear evidence is the thousands of zombie fanbois out there apparently crippling all the visuals to game on a $1200 card, trying to induce bottlenecks on their Intel CPUs so they can feel like they didn't waste $200 trying to squeeze out 5% more fps ... or not doing that, getting the same FPS as a $200 more affordable competing CPU, but believing that they are getting higher FPS ... its all quite sad really.