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Uncommon Core i9-9900T requires no active cooling, offers similar multi-thread performance to the Core i7-9750H

Octa-core Core i9-9900T with no fans performs about the same as a hexa-core Core i7-9750H laptop (Image source: Intel)
Octa-core Core i9-9900T with no fans performs about the same as a hexa-core Core i7-9750H laptop (Image source: Intel)
The 8-core 35 W Core i9-9900T can stand neck-to-neck with a 45 W Core i7-9750H with nothing more than just a large heat sink... for a set amount of time, at least.
Allen Ngo,

When compared to the hexa-core 9th gen Core i7 series, the octa-core 9th gen Core i9 series is able to offer superior multi-thread performance. However, can a passively-cooled Core i9 SKU maintain its performance advantage over a standard Core i7?

We recently had the chance to test a completely silent mini PC with a passively cooled 35 W Core i9-9900T to see how the processor would hold up with no fans at all. It's an appealing concept considering the form factor and CPU involved, but Impact Display Solutions has pulled it off... for the most part. CineBench scores are within 3 to 6 percent of the average Core i7-9750H CPU taken from over 50 laptops in our database. It should be noted that an octa-core CPU cannot be directly compared to a hexa-core CPU in this manner, though the results are interesting nonetheless.

The problem arises when the Core i9-9900T is stressed for long periods. As shown by our CineBench R15 Multi-Thread loop test below, clock rates nose dive toward the latter half of the stress test for a significantly lower score of only about 350 points. Performance eventually recovers until a certain temperature threshold is reached again to repeat the process. A deeper look with HWiNFO shows clock rates falling from 2.6 GHz to just 300 MHz in order to keep core temperatures in check. Thus, a passively-cooled Core i9-9900T is only able to stand toe-to-toe with an actively-cooled Core i7-9750H temporarily.

We imagine that an actively-cooled Core i9-9900T PC wouldn't exhibit the same throttling issues as mentioned here. Few commercial PCs carry the uncommon Core i9-9900T as mini PC form factors generally prefer to use 45 W Core H-series CPUs or 65 W desktop Core i7 CPUs instead.

See our review on the Impact Display Solutions mini PC for more performance details on the Core i9-9900T.

Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (416 - 486, n=55)
443 Points ∼69% +1%
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
440 Points ∼69%
CPU (Multi Core)
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
2626 Points ∼25%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (2017 - 3133, n=55)
2564 Points ∼24% -2%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
185 Points ∼68%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (170 - 194, n=82)
184 Points ∼68% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (952 - 1306, n=85)
1182 Points ∼26% +6%
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
1112 (349.67min - 1112.32max) Points ∼25%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (1.96 - 2.19, n=10)
2.1 Points ∼67% 0%
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
2.09 Points ∼67%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (11.3 - 14.1, n=10)
13 Points ∼26% +5%
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
12.38 Points ∼25%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (28251 - 36304, n=13)
33539 Points ∼51% +7%
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
31357 Points ∼48%
Rendering Single 32Bit
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (6659 - 7214, n=13)
6923 Points ∼62% +2%
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
6758 Points ∼60%
wPrime 2.10 - 1024m
Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T
Intel Core i9-9900T
162.118 s * ∼2%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
 
154 s * ∼2% +5%

* ... smaller is better

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Impact Display Solutions IMP-3654-B1-R Core i9-9900T UHD Graphics 630, i9-9900T, EDGE NextGen SSD 1TB; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø939 (350.72-1113.77)
Lenovo Legion Y740-17IRHg-81UJ001VGE GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i7-9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1123 (1105.49-1224.89)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Uncommon Core i9-9900T requires no active cooling, offers similar multi-thread performance to the Core i7-9750H
Allen Ngo, 2020-04-11 (Update: 2020-04-11)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.