Question Need help picking a CPU for a new gaming build March 2019


Jan 20, 2015
I need some help picking out a CPU for a new build that a tech friend will put together. What is the difference between I7-8700K I7-9700K and and I9-9900K? Do any of these run hot? Are the upgrades worth the price?

What is more important - cores or threads?
I do not play the craziest games on ultra high settings anymore but would like something to game on, do streaming and video and art work on. I would also like it for the future as I keep my computers a while. My last rig was an Alienware Aurora R-3 with an Intel I7-2600K chip.

Also, why are there so many Ryzen builds? Isn't Intel better? I never had an AMD system.

Thanks so much in advance.
Intel generations 7, 8 and 9: increase core count. Effect in game: almost none (many games don't use more than 4 threads). AMD Ryzen : more cores for less cash. Intel goes higher in frequency and works better with creative apps, but if you want to game and stream at the same time, nothing beats a Ryzen R7 2700X at its price point. Also, there is no need to tinker with settings: Ryzen 2xxx auto overclock themselves very well by default.
Also, why are there so many Ryzen builds? Isn't Intel better? I never had an AMD system.
"Better" comes down to how much performance you can get for your money from the whole system, and currently AMD's Ryzen processors can in many cases offer better overall system performance for the money. They offer a little less performance per-core compared to Intel's higher-end parts, but often cost substantially less, and that money can be put toward other components like the graphics card, which will typically make a greater performance difference in most games.

Determining what hardware is best can come down to the overall budget though, and what kind of monitor one is using. At higher resolutions, graphics card performance tends to be most important, whereas on a lower-resolution, high refresh rate screen with a higher-end graphics card, that bit of extra CPU performance might potentially be more worth considering.